Sustainable – Adaptable – Equal
Yarn and fabric can actively help the environment, it can have a more neutral impact, or it can be actively destructive. Many polyesters, nylons and acrylics currently popular as both fabrics and yarns are forms of plastic spun into a yarn. These harm the sustainability of our planet both in the production process, and every time they are washed from then on, as they produce tiny micro-beads which get into the water supply and greatly harm marine life. And yet, when disposed of, as they always are quite quickly as they have a short life before they wear out and look washed out, they do not decompose in a landfill.
In contrast are a huge range of animal and plant based yarns and fabrics. There is no one ‘right’ alternative to petro-chemical yarns. Each offers something a little different. Concerns about issues from animal welfare to issues of extensive use of pesticides in the growing of cotton, and exploitative labour practices remain.
But its important to start somewhere, and Naturally Adaptive is based on the idea that if we avoid all petro-chemical yarns, and use only animal and plant yarns, such as wool, cotton and linen, we are promoting the growth of the industries and manufacture processes that are needed to create a more sustainable future.
As an autistic wheelchair user, I often need something slightly different than what is on offer within the mainstream shop or range of patterns. Naturally Adaptive holds a Social Model of disability at its core, and seeks to promote the capacity and creativity of disabled people by including us. As creators, many disabled people crochet, knit and produce other stunning works of art, and Naturally Adaptive is always happy to link to and showcase the work of disabled yarn artists.
Its also about thinking outside the box, and using the creation of something new to adapt, to explore how easy it is to use a different texture to sooth sensory needs, to alter the shape to meet the needs of physical disabilities
We live in a world of great inequality, with race, gender, class and other distinctions greatly altering peoples life chances.
Being Naturally Adaptive starts with a core belief in the equality and precious nature of human life.
One way this is expressed here in in the focus on gender-neutral design most of the time.