Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No - it's a facewasher!

I'm not really sure what's come over me - maybe it's all the economic doom, maybe it's the colder nights and crisper days - but I suddenly felt like staying in and making something useful.

Now, usually in times of recession, people would go to their stash and whip up a facewasher or two with odds and ends. I was just about to do this when the thought struck me: If we're worried about making ends meet, what's it like for those who have far less than us, but with many more burdens to carry?

The thought stuck around for a few days, but was just about to burrow into the deep recesses of the forgetful chamber of my mind when I chanced upon an article detailing how charities are especially feeling the pinch, as more and more people stop donating money as the credit crunch gets worse.

I knew then what I had to do.

Jumping online, I ordered myself some amazing organic cotton yarn, produced by EcoYarns. The yarn is 100% organic (good for the environment), is plant dyed by hand in Peru (reviving ancestral techniques) and is Fair Trade certified. To quote from the label:

By buying this product, you are contributing to the welfare of the women (and their families) who work to bring you this product. The women often come from the poorest localities in Lima, they are given Fair Trade conditions and a litre of milk per day that they work. The money that they make helps their children to obtain an education.

All this, and it's also the softest, most exquisite cotton I've ever handled. Normally I'm not a fan of cotton at all, but this yarn is an absolute dream to work with. It's turning me into one of those sad creatures who sits around fondling and crooning to their yarn - yikes!

On a more serious note, as a crafter I'd much prefer to work with high quality products than cheap and nasty items of dubious origins, and it's marvellous to think of the profound impact schemes such as these have on struggling communities. Sure, it's more expensive than what your big box craft store would sell, but I'd rather my craft dollars went to a noble cause, such as keeping traditional skills alive and helping women feed and educate their children, rather then just lining the wallets of some corporate fat cats.

Now excuse me, but I'm off to save the world, one hand knitted facewasher at a time!


  1. Anonymous7:21 pm

    Your facewasher looks so smooshy, it's going to be fabulous when it's done. Truth be told, I think knitted and crocheted facewashers and dishcloths look, work and last better than their conventional cousins.

    I like that there seems to be more and more products where the consumer gets a bit more of an insight and understanding of the processes and practices behind the product they are buying. Fingers crossed support for these kinds of products and practices continues (or increases!) during this downturn.

  2. Hear, hear, Emma!

  3. Anonymous2:36 pm

    good move Jorth. I think we have to shop smarter, which doesn't always mean cheaper. If we can do good with our purchasing dollar, it's benefitting everyone.
    I'm trying to make regular donations now to my fave charities, so that I don't get caught up in the doom and gloom. They need the money more than ever.
    Also trying hard to buy Australian (unless it's Fair Trade) and buy local (same).

    Oh, and cotton cloths are good coz they break down when they're all used up.

    Hey, do you use Enjo? Got any thoughts? Not Australian, Not fair trade, but meant to be good coz no nasty chemicals. Would be interested to know what you think!


    PS Glad you're back!


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