Sustainable Sewing: Stash Guilt

A photo of some of my fabric scraps

In the sewing community there is quite a bit of stash guilt floating around; a lot of us have more fabric than we need because we gave into temptation once again. It can get overwhelming, so it is very good to take regular breaks from shopping to take stock, use up some of what you already have or have a good de-stash.

But for some of us, having a decent sized stash of sewing supplies is not necessarily a bad thing - we like having the freedom to be spontaneous and to start a sewing project whenever it suits us. Yes, minimalism is trendy right now and I see some stash shaming happening here and there. But minimalism does not suit everyone (and shaming is never a good look!) Some people just feel more secure when they have a generous amount of stuff. As long as you are happy with the size of your stash and it doesn’t bring you feelings of sadness, depression or shame, maybe it's not as bad as it’s made out to be. After all, most of what you have in your sewing collection probably fulfills BOTH of William' Morris' criteria for stuff you should have in your house..

A painted image of William Morris and a quote by him that says " Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful'

If you are suffering from stash guilt, first consider whether that is truly your own feeling or whether you are being influenced by external sources. If you are one of those people who feels good when they have a large stash then keep on keeping on! Just make sure you check in with yourself once in a while to make sure everything is still ok with you.

If you do feel overwhelmed by your stash rather than inspired and enthused, it is probably a good idea to take it all out, sort through it, organise it and use some of it it before you do any more adding to it. You can donate any excess to friends and family, charity shops and local groups, nurseries and schools, thereby spreading the love rather than storing up a load of stuff that makes you feel oppressed. There are lots of excellent resources out there for people who want help with decluttering or deconstructing their spending habits if you do feel you should investigate and tweak your behaviour.

Like with most things, everyone needs to find a balance that works for their unique set of circumstances, and only you know what that is!

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