New Year, No New Clothes...
Blog post by Penny Gray, Selvedge Events Director
Last year I resolved to take up a new craft- I’d like to make clear (on the off chance anyone who has seen the results of my ceramics classes reads this) that my resolution was not to master a new craft, simply to give it a go. I have loved learning something new -attempting throwing, experimenting with glazes and collecting the results from the kiln.
This year my resolution is more of a challenge-no high street shopping. 50 years ago we spent 10 percent of our monthly income on clothes, now we spend less than 5% but our wardrobes are twice the size.
Just 2 generations ago a new dress would have required saving up for months to buy but these days the whole process of buying a new outfit has changed and our drawers are full of impulse buys and ‘bargains’ we didn’t need that we bought purely because we don’t really think about it.
So this year I resolve to think more carefully about where my clothes are coming from, how they are made and how much I should really be spending on them. I resolve to shop only in second hand or vintage clothing stores, or from independent makers whose processes are ethical and whose products are really well made.
If you’re stuck for a resolution this year - borrow mine- here I've listed some beautiful brands whose products are worth saving up for…In order of appearance: Ottowin, Bug Clothing, Cecilie Telle & Susie Petrou.
So many people, myself included, are taking the Me Made path. My spinning, knitting and weaving only add to the friendliness of sewing. Great article.
I will absolutely join you! In the last few years I’ve made a shift to buy a significant part of my wardrobe second hand, but over the last year I’ve found myself buying more clothes overall, and often from high street stores or even big box kinds of stores, eeck! No more-this was a great reminder, thank you. I’ve also vowed to avoid making purchases for clothing online (unless it’s an eBay type purchase where I’ve seen or tried the item on before). I’ve made so many mistakes by not being able to try the item on and then I’m often stuck with it because I don’t have the time or energy to send it back. Going to an actual second hand or vintage store or a special boutique with beautifully crafted pieces to feel the textures and see the true colors makes me much more mindful of what I’m purchasing. Seeing the endless racks and stacks of mass produced clothing when I was holiday shopping this year made me feel truly overwhelmed by how out of control our appetite for new, more, fast, cheap has become. I’d love to become part of the movement to bring more peoples’ attention to this, so any (more) Selvedge articles on this would be most welcome!
Thoughtful article, nowadays I make my own, but even then one can get carried away with fabric purchasing.