Happy Labor Day!

Work space Today in the U.S. is Labor Day. A national holiday to remember the creation of the labor movement and to celebrate workers, giving a day off to those who provide the labor that makes the country run.

Labor can be found in one part of the three-legged stool of sustainable development and the triple bottom line – Economic, Social, Environmental or People, Planet, Profit, and as crafters trying to be environmental conscious it is a topic that directly effects us. The labor movement was responsible for the 8 hour work day, the right to breaks, healthy working conditions and fair pay.

For many of us trying to turn our hobby into a business, long hours seem to be the norm; often juggling a day job with our craft business. The gains made by the labor movement are all things to keep in mind when toiling away the midnight oil, updating blogs, getting shipments ready and answering customer questions.

Like trying to balance our environmental concerns, labor concerns for ourselves and others can seem daunting but just like the myriad of steps that we show you here on how to green your crafting, you can take steps to make your work environment labor friendly.

  • Ergonomics: Your office space is set up to lesson the effects of repetitive movements and so should your craft area. Try not to hunch over your crafting and make sure you have adequate light.
  • Union Label: Look for certifications and labels on goods and services that let you know they are Union made – just like the Forest Stewardship Council certifications and Fair Trade labels.
  • Take breaks: I know this can be a hard one to do, but get up and walk away from crafting. Stretch. Go do something else for a little bit and maybe, just maybe take a day off.

Happy Labor Day!

[Image credit: One Good Bumblebee under the creative commons license]

Written by Kelly Rand

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting.

Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.


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  1. I try to work to the clock when I am writing or researching articles for our website. If nothing else, I stand up and stretch when the timer rings. I really recommend this for any seated occupation.

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