Issue 72 Green
Read a sample article 'The checkered history of checks' by Liese Van Der Watt
MAKING ETHICAL CHOICES can be a challenge for even the most informed consumer. We are surrounded by so many brands claiming ethical credentials that it is difficult to cut through the hype and find products with real integrity. This issue Sass Brown guides us through the jungle. My vote, for what it’s worth, is with the buy less buy better lobby, and to repair and repurpose garments to extend their life.
One of the side effects of the technology revolution is the renaissance of making. In this issue we see Amy Revier hand weave coats, Abigail Booth hand stich quilts, Huda Baroudi and Maria Hibri reupholster furniture with recycled materials; all of whom make aesthetically beautiful products and almost unconsciously engage with an ethical agenda by managing the integrity of their materials through every stage of production. This movement engenders an optimism for the future as it injects aesthetics, the absence of which has blighted ethical manufacture for decades.
Textiles have value because of the time and skill necessary to construct them. If we were able to educate and re-skill our population in garment construction then surely responsible consumption would follow. TV programmes such as the Great British Sewing Bee are helping - I just wish they would use better cloth!
Cloth is not a neutral material: it is steeped in cultural connotations, none less so than checks. In this issue we explore the migration of checked pattern around the world and look at how artists have commented on the meaning of the inexpensive nylon checked carryalls we associate with displaced peoples. I urge you to go green when considering your winter wardrobe.
Polly Leonard, Founder