Image: Garments – Christine Mayer, Photography – Andreas Oettinger from Billy & Hells.
Selvedge editor, Polly Leonard, introduces our new issue, Rethink, which explores the ways that we can repair and reuse textiles: While it is our daughters who are leading the way in introducing the older generation to the effects our lifestyle is having on the climate, it is mothers and grandmothers who may hold the key to curbing some of the environmental impact caused by the textile industry.
Research has shown that mothers and grandmothers not only tend to spend less on clothing, but also are better informed about the implications of their consumption. In contrast, daughters have lower expectations for how long clothing will last and fewer skills to extend the life of a garment. Selvedge offers the following check list and advice to all our daughters so they might buy less and buy better.
Image: Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing and Dave Dunning.
- Check the label for natural fibres - blended fibres break down more quickly;
- Check the stitching is secure and straight - holes are better avoided than repaired;
- Check that patterns match at the seams;
- Check the garment comes with spare buttons- you may be thankful for this later;
- Avoid overwashing and air dry rather than tumble dry, as the lint you take out of the dryer is actually your clothes disintegrating;
- Ask someone to teach you how to sew on a button and darn a hole to extend the life of your clothes.
Image: The Royal Manufacturers of Tapestry, De Wit, Belgium (c) John Tys.
In this issue we celebrate the art of repair at the De Wit Royal Manufacturers in Belgium and in Hikaru Noguchi’s guide to visible darning. We marvel at the ingenious new garments brought to life from precious old fabrics by Walid al Damirji, Susan Perkuhn of ratatouille designs and exciting emerging talent Emily Bode. We are introduced to ‘no waste’ manufacturing by Christina Kim and innovative ways of extending the life of garments returned to her stores by Eileen Fisher, including the towering artworks created by Derick Melander. Finally, Maria Speak shows us how to decorate with vintage fabrics. So, if you are spring cleaning your wardrobe, think twice before you replace last season’s sweaters and buy a darning mushroom instead.
Selvedge Issue 93: Rethink is available now.