Are Yarn Crafts Sustainable?

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Over the past few years social media has popularized knitting and crocheting as a way for people to create their own clothing. However, the yarn crafting(knitting, crocheting, weaving, etc.) community has been questioning whether or not their hobbies are sustainable.

There are two main groups of yarn: synthetic and natural.  Big box stores such as JoAnns and Michaels sell majority of synthetic yarns. Yarns companies use acrylic and polyester fibers in synthetic yarn. Some plastic materials which as you probably know is harmful for the environment are found in both acrylic and polyester.

Natural yarns are less accessible and are usually sold by independent yarn dyers or local yarn stores. These yarns are usually comprised of merino wool, alpaca, and mohair. However, many of these natural yarns undergo the superwash treatment.  During this treatment the yarn is treated by plastic to make it washable and softer.

While yarn crafts aren’t as sustainable as you may have previously thought, they are relatively more sustainable and fun than buying your clothes. Handmade garments are more personal and has a longer shelf life verses fast fashion.

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