Although I do feel especially fortunate to be living in the 21st century and to have the particular set of skills and values I have, I am still a bit hesitant about jumping on the sustainable textile bandwagon just yet. Like any aspect of "greening" lifestyle, clothing and textiles certainly have their points of compromise. I feel like I am reliving the earliest days of nuturing my passions when synthetic fabrics and fibers were flooding into the market in the late 1960's and early 1970's. I see the same problems emerging.
I'm like any human and prefer the avoidance of drama, and, for that reason, will focus my work for awhile on vintage and salvaged materials. I expect the things I make to last forever and I think there's a lot of competition for the "green" greenback right now. I'm going to wait until I see some proof that materials are better. I want assurance that textiles are produced with respect to human rights. I want to see standardization in labeling and identification of fibers.
I will reuse and recycle and repair for awhile. I will buy new materials with caution. I use a lot of cotton muslin fabric. It's the workhorse of my studio. I do have a bolt of organic muslin fabric and am glad the obscene amount of agricultural petrochemicals typical for cotton production was avoided. However, I am displeased that organic cotton production uses significantly more water. And, I do not rest easy that the fabric was made in Pakistan not known for positive human rights policies and practices.
Lucky for me, I live in the United States of America where there will never be a shortage of junk. A lot of the junk is textile in nature. So while industry is becoming saner, I will make use of what's already here. This is the happiest way for me to work because I will get great exercise stretching my creativity and imagination. On the downside, profit is in replicable product and that's not possible from random supply. Lucky for me I can measure true wealth and worth in terms other than dollars and cents!