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Sewing to save plastic

We should all now be aware of the huge amount of plastic waste that we generate and how we need to find alternative methods in everyday life for simple things like going shopping and cleaning up. Here we round up some brilliant sustainable ideas for sewing to reduce your use of plastics in the future.


Shopping Bags

Keep a few fabric shopping bags in the boot of the car and you won't need to buy a plastic bag again! Here is a round-up of some simple shopping bags you can sew.  

Simple tote bag

Applique shopping bag

Fold up market tote

Fold-Up Market Tote Bag from Purl Soho


Sew your own Morsbags

Make a Morsbag


Gift Wrapping

 Ditch the glossy wrapping paper that is hard to recycle as it contains plastic. Why not wrap your gifts in fabric instead? The Japanese call this Furoshiki. This is an extra present for the recipient especially if they are a sewer too! Otherwise, why not wrap a gift in a tea towel that can be used in the kitchen? Get these ideas for smart gift wrapping.


Three ideas for wrapping gifts in fabric

Three ideas from


Furoshiko Gift wrapping

 Methods for Furoshiki Gift Wrapping from Wellness Mama


Make your own tea towels

Fabric printed tea-towels to make and wrap gifts from My Poppet


Lunch Bags/Food Wrapping

Instead of wrapping sandwiches in cling film or plastic bags, why not make some re-usable snack bags to put your lunch inside? You can also make your own food covers and wrappings. Here are a few ideas. 

15 minute snack bags to sew

Snack bags from The DIY Mommy


Make your own beeswax food wrap

Beeswax food wrap tutorial from Moral Fibres


Sew a reusable snack bag

Re-usable snack bags from The Search for Imperfection


Reusable sandwich bag

 Cloth sandwich wrap from Gina D Wagner


Fabric food bowl covers

Fabric food bowl covers from Hearth & Vine


Cleaning Up

Why use disposable wipes when you can make your own washable ones? At least these won't end up in the sea! Take a look at these ideas. 

Sew reusable kitchen towels

Kitchen towels tutorial from Sewing Bee Fabrics

Cloth baby wipes

Cloth baby wipes from Wholefully

Make cotton pads

Make-up wipes from This Blog is not for You


Sanitary Pads

There is a fair amount of plastic in sanitary protection which ends up in landfill or the sea. If you feel like making your own with fabric, here are some tutorials to have a go.

Sew washable sanitary pads

Instructions for cloth menstrual pads from Jan Andrea

Sew menstrual pads yourself

Pattern and instructions for five different sized pads from Luna Wolf


For further ideas on Upcycling and Ethical Sewing, visit here.

Projects on ethical sewing