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Textile workshop stitches sewing and sustainability together

 

Freshman Megan Hills learning from Artist Libby Chenault of Moth and Squirrel.
Freshman Megan Hills learning from Artist Libby Chenault of Moth and Squirrel.

Crafty skills like sewing and darning were learned paired with lessons of sustainability at a hands-on clothing and textile workshop held by the Office of Sustainability, Thursday, Nov. 19.

Around 10 students were able to sew reusable tote bags by upcycling beer malt sacks and learn how to patch clothes, sew button and darn socks in the Viking Union.

Wanting to start off early this year in fall quarter, Western student Jacquelyn Stenman of the Office of Sustainability said that they wanted something related to clothes like their winter quarter program “Sweater Days.”

“One of our themes of Sweater Days is ‘You have the power’, so we’re trying to show people that they have the power to mend their clothes,” Stenman said.

Stenman continued, saying that they like to define sustainability as a mix of economic, environment and social sustainability.

Stenman decribes social sustainability as being able to take care of yourself and making sure that there equity amongst all different kinds of people.

Carol Berry from the Office of Sustainabitly helps Western student Niveda Ganesh with her tote bag.
Carol Berry from the Office of Sustainabitly helps Western student Niveda Ganesh with her tote bag.

Local artist Libby Chenault works with recycled scraps of cloth in her work and came to the workshop to help instruct students.

“I feel like these are skills everyone used to have and they really have faded from the consciousness,” Chenault said, “It’s just useful for people to know how to take care of themselves and take care of their clothes.”

Chenault graduated from the Fairhaven College in 2000. She studied sustainability, she feels that there is an environmental consciousness at Western and that it is growing.

Freshman Niveda Ganesh, who attended the event, said that she came to the event to be environmentally conscious.

Student Caitlen Cohen works on her beer malt tote at the clothing and textile workshop, Thursday, Nov. 19.
Student Caitlen Cohen works on her beer malt tote at the clothing and textile workshop, Thursday, Nov. 19.

“I think it is really good, like compared to a lot of schools, and my high school especially. [Western] is very environmentally conscious and they’re really about promoting and educating everyone, which I think is a good aspect,” Ganesh said.

This workshop is the first time the sustainability office has done something of this scale, and hopes to have mending opportunities at this year’s clothing swap.

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