Ra Ra Raffia My Bag

With a degree in Materials Science and Engineering, I have spent much time over my university years in the research and understanding of the different properties of materials and their uses. I am particularly interested in materials that are engineered with reducing the impact on the environment. Places like CAT (Center for Alternative Technologies) are fantastic at developing new materials and I can highly recommend visiting this place in Wales. They also have a little gift shop too with loads of little eco friendly ideas and STEM toys. Sustainability of materials is a growing area of concern and there has to be a huge shift in research and development in these areas. On a much smaller (little eco gift) scale, I am on a bit of a mission to reduce single use plastics and gifts that end up in landfill and giving careful consideration to material choice is a factor.

Little Eco Gifts is about ideas for presents that are more thoughtful, have a purpose, re-usable, can be recycled after use and even better with no plastic!

Wool and the Gang Star Stuck bag

During the past months of the Coronavirus lockdown, I have had a chance to re-kindle my crochet and knitting skills from when I was younger. If you have never crocheted before then a good place to start is making Reusable face Scrubbies. I made these as a little kits for a pop up mother’s day stall at my children’s school, and have also developed them to doing an on-line tutorial for making them. Living sustainably requires skills and there are so many lovely eco ideas using stitching techniques such as crochet using sustainable fibers.

For this post, I wanted to share a recent discovery of Raffia ribbon for crochet. Raffia is made of wood pulp and the great news is that is recyclable and also biodegradable! It can be used in wrapping gifts like I featured in my birthday post about sustainable wrapping options. It is surprisingly strong, light, and also water repellent from splashes. Given the properties, it is often used for summer fashion items like summer hats. I can recommend this book for some more raffia ideas from Wool and the Gang where I got the inspiration for this eco cross-body bag!

With raffia crochet ribbon, I made up the Star Struck bag from Wool and the Gang. I used the topez tan colour to make this and it is available online in cones. It came in a lovely paper bag kit with everything that was needed to make it and easy to follow instructions. It is using simple double crochet throughout which you can learn to do making the strap for the face scrubbies. It made a lovely holiday project, I accidentally managed to lose the paper instructions whilst away and the helpful people at Wool and the Gang sent me a PDF to finish the make. I am pleased with this fashion bag and already a few people have asked for a gift so I’ll be busy making some more! There are also loads of the yarns available in different colours. Just as a guide, this bag uses 1 1/2 cones.

I have half a cone left over, which I am looking at some different ways to use it. It is Autumn leaf colours, so I may look at some Little Eco Autumn gift ideas and some mini-makes for the next few weeks!

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