Author Topic: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks  (Read 1567 times)

Offline groundhog593

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Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« on: March 02, 2008, 07:53:14 PM »
Crossposted.

I just wanted to test the waters on an idea I had. Please tell me if it sounds interesting to you, or if you foresee any problems.

I have thought about starting a new rat hammock/liner/toy line, but I hope to produce things that stand out a bit from what is already out there. I know that, quality wise, you can't get much better than javakittie, Dearpie, Varicoloured, etc.

BUT, and here is where I hope to differ: I will pledge to use only organic/natural fibers, or recycled materials.

Non-organic cotton is the worst crop in terms of pesticide and insecticideicide use- More than 10% of pesticides used, worldwide, are used on cotton, and more than 25% of insecticides! That is a HUGE environmental impact! (Here is a website with more scary information: http://www.metowestyle.com/Interesting_Facts_s/49.htm#_ftn3)

And we have already made all the clothing we will ever need... and yet we keep making more. There is a big movement in fashion to re-design existing garments, instead of making new ones from scratch: I propose to catch rat-fashion up with people fashion 

Here is a photo of a hammock I made from factory organic cotton and re-cycled wool I cut from an old peacoat I found in a fabric bin at my local art school.

Please let me know what you think! Would anybody be interested? It will demand a fair bit of scavenging on my part, but I think it is so worth it

If I feel there is enough interest, I will make a website with fabric options and designs, shortly!


« Last Edit: March 02, 2008, 08:12:39 PM by groundhog593 »

Offline werecatrising

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2008, 10:31:18 PM »
That is something I'd be interested in!

Offline groundhog593

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2008, 09:19:53 AM »
Why are fleece/flannel things such popular materials? Have people had bad experiences with others kinds of fabrics? (I don't know how this peacoat-wool hammock will work out, for instance, but I will let you all know)



Offline jesirose

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2008, 10:46:36 AM »
Probably because they're soft, fluffy, snuggly and warm!

Why are fleece/flannel things such popular materials? Have people had bad experiences with others kinds of fabrics? (I don't know how this peacoat-wool hammock will work out, for instance, but I will let you all know)



-Jesi

Offline holly238

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2008, 01:35:41 PM »
The reason I use fleece is that it doesn't require a lot of sewing to use it; you can just cut and hang if you want. Plus it comes in bright, happy colors and patterns.

Oh yeah, and it's definately soft, fluffy, snuggly, and warm too...
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Offline groundhog593

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2008, 01:49:12 PM »
I have found some great fleece blankets I can use for a first round of hammocks. I'll post some results, soon.

Offline Leonakitty

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 02:34:01 PM »
While I'm not interested in wool (vegan) I have been wanting to switch to organic cotton flannel for a long time. The sheer amount of poisons sprayed on cotton, plus the GMO issues, makes me really not keen on letting my babes chew and lay on conventional cotton stuff. Did you find a way to get OG cotton that isn't ungodly pricey?  I use towels (planning on buying OG cotton ones soon and stopping the use of the conventional ones) for most of my bedding and have a lot of fabric toys.  I keep trying to look into sources for organic materials (cotton, bamboo, etc.) or recycled fleece options without much luck.

I'm not planning on selling anything - I make my own stuff out of thrift ;) - and would love to chat about where you're getting materials if you're up to it?  Google searches get me nowhere.

Melissa

Offline groundhog593

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2008, 02:47:19 PM »
I make most stuff out of thrift, as well. I am willing to sell some of these recycled goods.

But I also have a contact at an art school near where I live: She is a fashion artist who works with organic and natural fibers, like hemp, etc. I will look into ordering good stuff through her, if there is interest from people.

Bamboo fiber actually use a lot of chemical at the production stage, there is a debate about whether it is actually "green" or not.

edit: I would also like to say, that by using re-purposed wool I am in no way supporting the trade of animal products (I am a vegetarian myself), but it is a bit like "freeganism", don't you think?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 03:00:30 PM by groundhog593 »

Offline laughingfox

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2008, 01:31:35 PM »
I've heard of polar fleece that's made from recycled soda bottles, maybe you could get a hold of something like that? I know the company that makes it is called Malden Mills, but I have no idea where you can fins it for sale.  ???

I would personally avoid wool because of allergy worries, and because it's a pain to wash.

Have you thought of maybe using organic cotton sweatshirt-type fleece? or some kind of knit hemp fabric? I love cotton/hemp blend knits (although they are pretty pricey).
http://www.nearseanaturals.com/item.php?id=1298
http://www.nearseanaturals.com/item.php?id=1484

Offline RatAttack59

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2008, 05:33:08 PM »
a search on dogpile (yes, www.dogplie.com) turned up:
www.organic-cotton.com  which can be purchased by the roll or by the yard
www.organiccottonplus.com these guys carry flannels and prints, knits, woven, terry, etc...
www.citexoverseas.com but they may be wholesale only
 
not sure why google dropped the ball, but Dogpile "searches the search engins"
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Offline RatAttack59

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2008, 06:01:47 PM »
ok, so I can't type:

www.dogpile.com
Jackson~George~Theo
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Offline Dearpie

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2008, 06:51:16 PM »
It's very easy to modify your msg to correct mistakes, instead of leaving them and making a new post to correct it.   ;)

Just click MODIFY, which is right next to the QUOTE button ...

Offline RatAttack59

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2008, 09:58:50 PM »
Missed that - thanks! :doh:
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Offline Grace

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2008, 12:18:13 PM »
That's also something we've been silently working on here.  :) (Will be adding a selection of organics, while also having the more "traditional" fabrics) While it DOES make for a more expensive hammock, we have a couple very specific low impact "green" (vegan friendly  hehe) fabrics we are hoping to work with in the very near future.  I've used these, as well as organic cotton, in making diapers for my son and others, and really, the quality is there.  What type of organic cotton were you looking at?  Organic cotton fleece is VERY VERY soft and snuggly, but they also make jersey, which is more like a shirt material, etc...

I've had the pleasure of working with Malden Mills fleece before.  It really is top of the line stuff.  It is very durable, long lasting, and doesn't get pilly and nasty looking like some more readily available fleeces can.  It's a bit more expensive, but is outstanding quality.  Also, while wool might work well (I LOVE wool), I'd worry about how the hammocks would hold up in the wash. You CAN find superwash wools though, that *should* last well.  I'm not sure if it's available in fabric form, but I know I've used some superwash wool yarns in my knitting before, and it's held up wonderfully in the wash. If you're worried with the humane practices in the wool industry, you can also find certified organic wools out there.

One "issue" with finding green fabric is, IMO, the lack of options.  There are only a few truly green choices out there, and it's practically impossible to find them in a variety of prints and designs like you can with flannel and fleece.  I'm sure cost and availability is also a factor, since most of these fabrics you'd have to buy online.  Recycled clothing is nice, but again, can lack the desired prints and patterns some people seek.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 12:22:05 PM by Grace Jr »


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Offline groundhog593

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2008, 08:38:58 PM »
One "issue" with finding green fabric is, IMO, the lack of options.  There are only a few truly green choices out there, and it's practically impossible to find them in a variety of prints and designs like you can with flannel and fleece.  I'm sure cost and availability is also a factor, since most of these fabrics you'd have to buy online.  Recycled clothing is nice, but again, can lack the desired prints and patterns some people seek.

That was kinda the point of the thread... to see how people would feel about a hammock that was made more sustainably, but with perhaps less options for fabric choices (which, I think, would be a compromise some would be willing to make).

I'm making a thrift-store run this week. 

Offline Grace

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2008, 09:57:29 PM »
Oh, certainly!  I'd love to see more people offering green choices!  And even with "plain" unbleached, unpatterned fabrics, there are always ways to make them look more fun, be it coming up with an innovative design/style, dyeing the fabric, etc. 

I know I have, and would, pay more for an item I know to be more eco-friendly, and I'm sure I'm not alone.  :)  Even if it were just a "boring" plain white hammock, it's great to know you're doing your part to help make the earth a better place to live.


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Offline groundhog593

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Re: Proposal about environmentally friendly hammocks
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2008, 08:18:55 AM »
I've started to make some

These went out for free to a few members of the Rat Shack, and I'll be waiting for their feedback before I take more orders. I like how they turned out, though.

I also am able to use grommets, now.





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