Category Archives: #work

Some fibrous thoughts

Among the things I do is try to peddle wares that benefit the environment. So far, I sell bibs and cotton pads, I am somewhat wary about biting off too much to chew.

And how do those two things benefit any environment? Do I make them out of organic cotton? No, I don’t. I make them out of towels that are discarded by a large, professional laundry firm. Towels come out of wash and drying, quality control discovers a hole, and the whole thing is dumped, off to an incenerator. Even though some 80 % or more is still in good condition.

Cotton yields an average of 3 metric tons to a hectare, which breaks down to 300 grams to one square meter. But that is the “raw” harvest including leaves, seeds, dirt, stones, et c. Sorting that from the usable fibres leaves about 100 grams of ready-for-further-processing cotton to one square meter.

So why do we threw cotton in the bin after using it only once? Habit is probably the likeliest answer. I weighed 10 disposable cotton pads – the small round ones you use for cleansing your face in the evening – and my scales said 5 grams. A bit of calculus ends up with this: Use one every day, and you use 1,5 square metres of arable land a year to prevent clogged pores.

So that’s where the benefit comes into the picture. I take a cotton product, already used x number of times, and rescue the not-a-hole parts, cut them out in neat rounds, edge them and sell them. And my customers use them, wash them, use them … repeat till threadbare. Mine have so far gone through 50+ washes and work just as new.

Does it save our planet? Not alone. But every bit helps.

Timelapse

Who stole my time?!

Know the feeling of life slipping through your hands because it’s … well, life? I do. I just realised my last posting here was last year, and it’s June, swelteringly hot (in Danish terms … ), my to-do-list is full of up-cycling. writing to possible buyers, storyboarding a video, grappling with how to get the right shade of blue for a teaching material, how to convert files from one format to another, the frustrations when it doesn’t work, putting together mailing lists and doing my damnedest to get it right just when to spend money I do not have on printed matter. Apart of course from having to buy provisions, cook, clean, do laundry, keep the worst of the garden weeds at bay et c. This is before going to the work I still have.

I still think it fair to say that the ordinary chores of life do not steal my time. Trying to juggle too many hobbies is probably the likelier culprit.

And now, where did I put my third cross-stitch project in the making?!

Exasperating!

Oh, man! Know the feeling of this loooong list of things you have to do and too little time? That’s the kind of day this is.

And it doesn’t make anything better to find out that the really important point you spent so long time on has a deadline in … August.

But never mind, on to the next job on the list which to some extent was battling Google. In other words a lost cause. I was trying to get a copy of a saved scan into a document and could not see how. Thankfully my daughter had a simple suggestion, just use the “insert”, and it worked. I called her a genius, got another glass of water and set to work all happy. Only to find out that of all the 10 scans only one – 1! – was any good. The others were upside down or not complete.

In little more than half an hour I have to get to work. This is my newly upgraded website, and it still looks awful.

Strange how a day that in some respects seems long because of frustrations turns out to be far from long enough.