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Published: 06 March 2021

By Andy Ross

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Loving the Earth

The Loving Earth Project aims to raise awareness of the issues of climate change and species extinction... through craft.

Originally created by a group of Quakers who wanted to get people to engage in the subjects in a simple and accessible way, it includes a community textile project that anyone can be involved in. By creating a 30x30cm panel on any subject to do with the environmental crisis and sending it into the group you can be part of an exhibition that (eventually, when Covid allows) will travel. It looks like a great way to do something constructive at a time when our world is facing multiple crises. (Thank you to our readers. Hilary and Peter for the link.)

On a similar environmental note, a few weeks ago the blog featured an Australian shop facade, with jacaranda and hummingbird motifs, made of woven wire. A kind reader emailed to confirm that neither of the subjects are native to Australia, thank you Diane, and that spurred on a search for other plants, animals and birds that people think of as native but which are not. One that immediately comes to mind is the eucalyptus, native to Australia and South-East Asia but now found across the globe. In Southern Africa these trees, so legend has it, were introduced because the trunks grow straight, making them suitable for mine shaft supports. They were also introduced for firewood and some species have become naturalised. This project looked at making an alternative to cotton from the trees which, although certainly not without its problems, appears to be an environmentally-kinder way of producing fibres to make textiles.

Over in France another project is looking at how to make use of invasive species for dyes, textiles, waxes and gums in the Camargue region.

This is all happening as we wake up to the environmentally-unsustainable practices of the fashion and textile industries across the world. If you want to read more about those, this report sets out some of the issues and what we can do to effect change. We can all be part of something to be kinder to our world.