Etsy, the popular handmade craft shopping site, touts itself as being green for a few reasons: all the items on the site are either handmade or vintage, and there is a feature to help shoppers buy local. And yes, these are green ideas. But Paula Leven takes her Etsy shop to a new eco-friendly level with her completely off-the-grid wares. Whereas other crafters often using electronic devices such as sewing machines to make their products, Paula relies solely on her two hands, her spinning wheel, and her knitting needles. Her products are old school, and completely non-electric.
As Paula explains about her love for spinning wool (which she’s been doing for 30 years),
“Spinning is a remarkable art – and was largely replaced by machines after about 1820. Wheels came to Europe around 1500 CE (the materials for the Bet HaMikdash were made with a drop spindle – which I also demonstrate). It is a lovely, soothing to do and be around, and obviously uses no electricity. Once all our thread and yarn was made this way…”
Paula also says that she prefers wool to cotton since it is more sustainable. Wool doesn’t require killing an animal or a crop (it only requires a haircut), and cotton is one of the most pesticide intensive crops.
Besides selling her crafts on Etsy, Paula teaches spinning classes at a farm in Mevo Modiin and knitting classes in Jerusalem.
And apart from her crafts in general, Paula tries to lead a green life. In her own words,
“I feel very connected to the green revolution and besides what I do for a living, I grow veggies in my garden and recycle my washing machine water. My kids’ friends often hear/learn about these kinds of options in life for the first time at my house. My floor loom literally “looms” over my living room and it is hard to visit without having to ask, “what is that?” I get a chance to explain to kids how their clothing was once made (and may yet again be made as we will one day adapt to a world without cheap oil).”
Check out Paula’s creations at her Etsy shop, HolyLandWoolens.
Read more about Etsy::
9 Israeli Etsy Shops That Make Online Shopping Greener (and Funner)
Etsy: The Ebay for Handmade Goods
Dria Peterson’s Handmade Creations, Born From a Genealogy of Vegetarianism and Recycling