If you look at the view from a mountain top, or wander down a path through woodland, it is hard to imagine that nature is anything other than perfect. However, as we all know, our planet is in need of some urgent care and attention.
I live in rural Lincolnshire, surrounded by fields and farmland, and so I am constantly aware of the way that the earth provides for us. Around 12.5% of the UK’s food is grown here, including 30% of its vegetables, 18% of its poultry and 70% of the UK’s fish is processed in Lincolnshire too. Around 80% of the Lincolnshire Wolds is arable farm land and yet it is identified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is a working landscape: a county that relies heavily on the health of the land and sea. Catching a sunrise, or morning mist over the rolling Wolds is always a joy, and watching the changing landscape (rather than a clock or calendar) mark out the times and seasons of the year is good for the soul.
These are sweeping, open scenes – much like the landscape hoops I create. They are pictures of perfection – moments in time captured in a hoop. I hardly ever feature people in my designs and that’s a conscious choice. I want to depict nature as it should be (or perhaps as it once was before people got involved), because every time I capture a scene, I am painfully aware that everything I love about the world is teetering on the brink. If I zoomed in on one of the hedgerows I stitch, I would undoubtedly find a discarded coffee cup, fast food wrapper, disposable nappy or plastic bag tangled amongst the brambles. I don’t want that in my view! I do not claim to be an eco-warrior, I am not yet plastic free or zero waste, but I am changing for the better and gradually unravelling a lifetime of unconscious plastic use by buying differently and thinking differently about the way I live.
Featherstitch House is brand new and we wanted to start out in the right way. The second of our core values is ‘Eco-Consciousness’. We wanted, from the outset to be as responsible as possible with our products.
This is why we use as much recycled or compostable material in our kits as we can. Our templates and instructions are designed to use as little paper as possible. We print on recycled paper; we use felt and toy filling made from recycled plastic bottles; our fabric pens are refillable; we package in compostable cellophane and our kits are sold in mailer boxes – sealed with compostable stickers – so that there is no unnecessary packaging. We only use 100% cotton thread, metal threaders and bamboo hoops. We only use virgin plastic when there is absolutely no alternative. We will never use bubble wrap, polystyrene, plastic bags or acrylic fabric or thread in any of our products. We know that we can’t fix everything that is wrong with the planet by selling craft kits, but we can do our small part to not add to the problem.
We love the world we live in. It inspires everything we do from the design of our products right down to the decisions we make about our needle-threaders. In this small way, we hope that we can help nature to rebalance, repair and remain glorious for many generations to come. Buying a kit from us means that you are participating in this mission too. It might not be a big step, but it’s definitely in the right direction.