Sunday, May 11, 2008
I just posted the following to a Ravelry forum. Thoughts? Opinions? Please?
There seems to be a lot of confusion about "eco-friendly" fibre and "cruelty-free" fibre.
Something that is eco-friendly means it is good for the environment where it comes from. Possum fibre from New Zealand is eco-friendly. The possums need to be culled so they do not ruin the environment, and as a by-product of this the manage to use the fibre from the dead possums in yarns and fabrics.
Likewise, rabbits are a pest in Australia, and as a result rabbit felt hats were made from the culled animals. The brand 'Akubra' is quite well known for these hats. Foxes are also a pest in Australia, and it would be quite eco-logically friendly to wear australian fox fur (though not cruelty-free).
In a similar argument, just because something is "certified organic" does not mean it is "eco-friendly" either.
Growing cotton uses lots of water - growing cotton in an environment experiencing drought (like Australia) does not make it "eco-friendly", and is, in fact, very eco-logically irresponsible, whether or not it is grown to precise certified organic practices. Cotton would ruin an environment like this.
People are getting so caught up in what is good for the Earth, that they do not realise that a lot of this is just a marketing ploy to sell a new, different line of yarn. Sometimes the impact of these yarns can still be quite significant for the earth they are grown upon.