I love Seattle for many, many reasons, but one of the reasons close to the top of the list is the sheer volume of farmers markets. While some of them are seasonal, you can find a farmers market in this area 365 days a year. During the summer, I try to go to the Kent farmers market every Saturday, and today I saw something new.
This is Dominic Muren. He founded a project called the Humble Factory, and as part of that has created the Production Cycle, a bicycle that has a sewing machine attached that he rides to local farmer's markets. While at the farmer's market, he makes a bag from scrap fiber materials from the Seattle area - like coffee bags - and trades that bag for information on other scrap fiber sources in the area.
He is in the process of building a website that will make this information public so that other artists in the Seattle area have access to these same fiber sources that would otherwise be discarded.
He's personable and easy to talk to, and that machine is freaking awesome. It's a Singer Featherweight machine that has been modified into a treadle sewing machine. He built the housing and did the modifications himself and I love that the housing and machine can be transported on a bike.
I think these ideas are pretty cool and I love the idea of using castoff materials to make something valuable. It's the reason I joined freecycle, after all, and I know in a place like Seattle, there are fiber sources available and a community of people who want them, I just don't know where they are or how to get them.