Issue 27 Frugal

£6.95 GBP

January/February 2009

IT CAN FEEL AS IF little good can come out of the economic situation we face, and it's true that all the magazine editorials in the world won't provide much relief if you're facing its worst aspects. But for the moment the majority of us are observers at the edge of a crisis and the message we should take is an old one, “Be Prepared”. According to Baden Powell knowing what to do and how to do it applies to all areas of life and right down to the (darned) tips of your toes.If we are aiming for a more self-sufficient approach the past provides plenty of inspiration. Earlier periods of hardship offer lessons that have been ignored for decades. In the 1930s and 40sthreads, needles, cloth and yarn were precious commodities, and knowing how to transform the min to garments was a valuable skill – as was the ability to care for and make them last. These tasks were scorned but are due a revival, as our rundown of five simple skills demonstrate.The tradition of 'make do and mend' underpins this issue: in the exhibition ‘Waste not Want not’ at the Museum of Brands, and the work of thrift-craft designer Lilian Dring. Her work reminds us that frugal doesn't mean monastic denial. It's about choosing where to place the resources we have to bring about the greatest satisfaction and, hopefully,the greatest good. Tamar Mogendorff, proves that reusing scrap fabric can produce the most beautiful results, and our photo story In praise of mending,suggests we take pride in making things last. If we can learn to trust our own fingers again then 'made by hand' maybe come a label infinitely more chic than ‘made in Italy’. Frugal is a strategy, a long-term plan of action, and it’s tailored to individual circumstance.It’s about the three ‘R’s’; reduction, restraint and resourcefulness. Perhaps one more word to
add to the list would be reciprocity. Our choices can have a wider effect and what is good for you can be good for everyone. This issue we launch our Hang it out campaign, to encourage readers to rediscover and love their washing line.Turning off your tumble dryer will reduce your energy costs and your carbon emissions. Your clothes will smell better and last longer. Your individual contribution might be small, but if every Selvedge reader made a commitment for a whole summer, collectively, we could make a difference...
Polly Leonard, Founder

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