Before we moved, whenever I needed something like batting or thread or pillow stuffing, I would go to JoAnn Fabric in Glens Falls. It was about a 45 minute ride, pretty close when you live in Hebron NY. From our new farm, it takes over an hour to get to Glens Falls. Since there are no other fabric stores in the area, when I ran out of pillow stuffing last week, I decided to shop online. I already get my insulate batting for my potholders from Fabrics Unlimited, a quilt shop in Nevada. And about a month ago I came across Connecting Threads (I found them through a Google ad on my website, and clicked on it even though I’m not supposed to click on my own ads) and have just ordered some cotton batting and thread that’s on sale.
But neither of these companies had pillow stuffing so my online search began. Now, I do try to shop local or buy from companies that I feel good about. After hearing about the poor working conditions in the Amazon warehouses, I only use Amazon as a last resort. But I looked on Amazon, I looked lots of places including Walmart, another place I don’t like to shop because of the poor working conditions (I’ve worked in enough jobs, where I had to practically beg for a quarter or fifty cent raise, to still be a bit pissed off about it). I noticed most of the online store prices for polyfill were comparable, about $8 for a pound bag. Until I came across Morning Glory polyfill sold at Walmart which was $11 for 5 pounds. Something has to be wrong, I thought, for this polyfill to be so cheap. And suddenly, I was off on a mission, a crusade to find out the dirt on Morning Glory polyfill and the evil store that would sell it. I was getting angrier by the minute, imaging what I would find. But my search didn’t come up with stories of tortured factory workers in China or child labor, or the deadly effects of breathing in Morning Glory polyfill, just a few bad reviews saying the product wasn’t as good as it used to be. I won’t say I was disappointed, but I was kinda worked up, all ready to fight the good fight and….. What exactly was I going to do anyway? Feel really good about myself for not buying Morning Glory polyfill from Walmart?
But, luckily, I didn’t have to think about it for too long , because at the end of one of the reviews someone recommended using Kapok instead. So I shifted my search and found out that Kapok is a natural fiber from the Ceiba Tree which grows in the rain forest. So by using Kapok I get a natural pillow stuffing at a good price (5 pounds for $33 including shipping from White Lotus Home) and help provide jobs for the indigenous people who harvest the fiber and preserve the rain forest.
The next day I got an email from White Lotus Home confirming my order and saying I could expect my Kapok in 2 to 4 weeks. 2 to 4 weeks! But what about my pillows!? I have one already sold, waiting to be stuffed. And what about all the other ones, itching to be made. Can I really wait 2 to 4 weeks to make another pillow?
That same day, Jon and I went to Bennington Vermont to see the movie Lincoln. I searched the internet to find out where I could get pillow stuffing in Bennington. There was only one store that sold it.
So, before the movie, I found myself in Walmart, asking the woman standing next to a case of rifles in the hunting section where the polyfill was. We chatted for a while about sewing then she pointed me to aisle 5 at the other end of the store. I thanked her grateful for the polyfill and Walmart.
So much for me and my noble ambitions. Seems, I’m just like most of my fellow Americans after all, I don’t want to wait for a month to get what I want, when I can have right now.