Eco-Crafty Events this Weekend: November 15th-16th

Have you checked out the indie craft show circuit lately? It has grown leaps and bounds in the past few years. There is definitely a trend toward eco-friendliness and charitable initiatives, but with a signature grass roots flair.

At the Giant Dwarf Make and Take Trunk Show on Saturday in Philadelphia, PA, Sue Eggen will be sewing her gorgeous hats from recycled materials. She is inviting attendees to customize their item, and will whip it up for them, right there on the spot. This is a fantastic way to not only demonstrate a craft, but let the consumer witness part of the fabrication process.

My buddies over at Handmade Detroit are gearing up for the third annual Detroit Urban Craft Fair.   While there is always lots of crafty upcycling to be had by vendors and organizers alike, this year includes “A Bag: A Dress: A Contest” Event organizer, Adrienne explains:

“a bag: a dress is about two of my favorite things: second-hand supplies and dresses. I believe there is way too much stuff in the world and if everyone just used the stuff already there to make new stuff, there would ultimately be less stuff! Each of the 23 participants received one standard brown paper bag full of random second-hand supplies and created a dress using only what was in the bag.

“The total creative outcome is not only amazing, but reveals some real fashion talent hiding in the cracks of Detroit. This forest of dresses will be displayed in the lobby until 6pm, when 2 runners-up and and a grand-prize winner will be announced onstage. Prizes include gifts from our sponsors along with a mini-editorial shot by ee berger to appear on The entire event will also be featured on

How cool is that? I can’t wait to see those brown bagged frocks. Indie Emporium in Tulsa, OK is pairing up with charities at their show this weekend:

“Our 2008 show will also serve as a canned food drive and fundraiser for
the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.  Please bring canned goods
to be donated.  We’ll also have a silent auction with proceeds benefiting the
food bank.

Also, as a part of our silent auction, we’ll have pink themed items up for grabs, 
with proceeds benefiting Breast Impressions of Tulsa. ” 

If you help organize a show, or plan to in the future, food drives are a simple activity you can host to help your community. Blood drives are a great option as well. Contact the Red Cross to inquire about their portable facility in your area. 

To round out the weekend, crafty green vendors will be making appearances at  Tiny Canary in Columbus, Ohio, Felt Club in Los Angeles, CA and the Brooklyn Indie Market in NY. Check out for a listing of shows nationwide, and you’ll see there is no excuse NOT to take the Handmade Pledge this holiday season!


Written by Autumn Wiggins

This 2008 interview pretty much sums it up:

1. How would you describe yourself?
An oddly situated performer of thought experiments

2. Do you have any anecdotes about your work (how you got started, frustrating moments, or funny stories)?
At this year's Maker Faire in San Mateo, I gave a presentation on how the trend of green crafting can ultimately address the problem of consumption and waste. Dale Dougherty,the publisher of Make and Craft, later had a gift delivered to me, a staple bound book of poetry: Music Like Dirt by Frank Bidart. This is the last thing one would expect to take home from an event so focused on renegade technology. To my surprise, it was an existential reflection on the human need to make things that I now find myself going back to whenever I need some inspiration to look beyond the materials and processes of crafting.

3. What kinds of things do you do for fun?
In my spare time I enjoy amateur astronomy, outdoor adventures, collecting domain names, and hanging out at coffee shops.

4. What interesting projects are you working on right now?
I'm working to organize community involvement in upcycling, and have a few top-secret website projects up my sleeves!

5. Where do you live? Kids, pets, spouse, occupation?
O'Fallon, IL, a suburb (and I mean a totally typical suburb) of St. Louis, MO. Rather than moving to the more culture friendly urban environment, I am staying put and annoying the heck out of Wal-Mart by throwing a massive indie craft show(Strange Folk) in their backyard. I have a husband, Doug, and two sons: a 7 year old mad scientist named Jack, and 6 year old Max, who we think is an aspiring tattoo artist since he's so fond of drawing all over himself with markers. To pay the bills, I do freelance writing, mural painting, and website design, sell my handmade crafts, teach art classes for kids, and work part -time at a local coffee shop.

6. What new idea (in or outside of your field) has excited you most recently?
The concept known as "Cradle-to-Cradle" is a blueprint for sustainability that states everything we manufacture should be either biodegrable, infinitely recyclable, or intended to be upcycled. This is the basis for many of my ideas of how the crafting community can be more widely involved in solving the environmental crisis.

7. What is your favorite food/color/tool?
granola/green/sewing machine!

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