A few weeks ago, we were approached by a nice Irish man working for Japanese TV. He was working on a segment that highlighted the “craft wave” in and around NYC and Brooklyn. In particular he was interested in highlighting our weaving and shoe making classes, and he discussed with us the various ways in which we felt this “craft wave” was growing, affecting individuals, as well as the economy.
I feel like we’ve been having this conversation a lot, through several interviews happening around the same time (EcoSalon, Brooklyn Based), and it’s really actually helped in how we run things here. For the most part, we are doing what we believe in and what we think will make people happy. But when you are asked specific questions, it forces you to wrap your mind around what you’re actually doing — what is going on in a larger picture. And rather than just feeling it, you can talk about it in a more concrete way. I like that.
Alisa, one of our wonderful previous interns, shows up on the video as a weaver. She is Japanese, and her father still lives there. So when he randomly saw her on TV one night, he sent her the clip through Youtube:
Now I only wish I could understand Japanese and know what it says under my face while I’m speaking..
(photo courtesy EcoSalon)
If you have been following the Textile Arts Center’s events you may have noticed that it is obsessed with Bags for the People.
Bags for the People is a non-profit organization that is reducing the use of plastic bags through sewing workshops. These workshops are designed to educate communities on green environmental practices though creative thought. By using donated fabrics from donated bolts, old clothing, and scraps one will sew their own reusable tote. If you don’t know how to sew that’s ok because BFTP provides knowledgable instructors to help with basic sewing skills and tote bag patterns.
All over NYC you see stray plastic bags. In the parks, on the sidewalks, gutters, subways, everywhere… Furthermore, plastic bags are not an easily degradable substance. Conventional polyethylene plastic bags do not biodegrade, however they do photo-degrade, breaking down into tiny toxic particles which can be even more harmful to the environment. So Bags of the People have made it their mission to correct this terrible wrong.
Bags for the People was started in 2009 by 3 friends who worked at the Union Square Farmers Market and observed an unethical waste of plastic bags. They began to hold these sewing mini workshops in the market and it took off. The organization now collaborates with art institutes bringing their mission straight to the creative pods.
Recently, Bags for the People has secured sponsorship from Mood. Mood will now be providing fabrics for their workshops. Their next workshop is this Friday at the Textile Arts Center from 6pm-9pm, another in their series of workshops at the Textile Arts Center. Only with help are we able to reduce the problem.
For more information on the plastic bag problem and how BFTP is helping to resolve it visit the BFTP website.