Wedding Crafts: Cork Brides and Grooms – Sustainable? Recyclable? Upcylable?

The textile elements of this project were the most successful economically and environmentally out of all the textiles, or other materials, used throughout the whole the Wedding Crafts series.

We wanted to use our corks to make something for the wedding as we felt it was a nice homage to the French culture or stereotype perhaps, nevertheless a proud one. Admittedly we had others' corks donated to us too to make the total of 51 that we needed. This project gave me a chance to look through all my bargain bin bags of mixed odds and ends of; ribbon, lace, netting, mesh, felt, bows and the left over butterfly pins from the name places! It felt very satisfying to know that that problem I have, and I know I'm not the only one, where I buy crafting materials with no real intentions or plans for them, honestly it's a great example of my unhealthy consumerisms...

Everything in this project was 'free' but then it becomes unclear which verb I use to describe the act of using stuff from my textiles stash. Maybe it's neither, to recycle, to upcycle, to be sustainable. Maybe there's a new term for 'using what's already in your home, for a purpose that it was potentially, very definitely, intended for in the first place, to make something that has no real function'.

But could this term relate to being beneficial towards the environmental and/or economy? Or are we looking at a term that's swaying towards creative selfishness?


Recent research indicates no decisive conclusion regarding whether humans are “fundamentally generous or greedy and whether these tendencies are shaped by our genes or environment.” (Robison, M; 2014). Studies seem to indicate we are both, and the reasons are genetic, evolutionary, and environmental 

I've only touched the tip of the ice burg here and that's because I don't feel I have the vocabulary to articulate or conclude this. I've included this quote from psychology today because even studies haven't been concluded, but there are suggestions on areas that need to be explored further. I'll finish with bringing this back to the context of this post, is this project outward reaching, recyclable, upcyclable or sustainable, or is it inward and does it come under the umbrella of selfish behaviour?


© Mindful Stitch

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