Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Slow Fashion October

          A few weeks ago I was parsing one of my favourite wooly blogs- Fringe Association- and I stumbled across the most wonderful of plans for October. An entire month dedicated to talking about slow fashion- examining our consumption as makers- and potentially starting a conversation beyond our closest circles. Now it will really come as no surprise when I did a little happy dance and made room up on my soap box- for this is truly a topic near and dear to my heart. One could say that slow fashion and conscious consumption- textiles and having a chance to talk about making garments is my passion- it's what I get really excited about- making a change and being part of the solution.

       So of course I ruminated and obsessed for days about what I had to say in this first Slow Fashion October post- so many things to say yet how to speak with out having my words tumble out and pile up in excitement! So I thought I would start as most others are starting- talking about my road to becoming a maker- talk about why it's so important to me.

    I have written about my sewing journey a few times- born out of necessity and frugality my Grandma fought me to sew at a very young age. I vividly remember standing with her at her kitchen table while we drafted a dress for my favourite doll- she found a scrap of fabric and showed me that something can be made from nothing- I was hooked! My Mother also sewed- she sewed all of my sister and my clothing when we were children- Little House on the Prairie was a very popular look and that was my childhood in a nutshell.

   Although I have sewed and thrifted and tried to be as conscious of a consumer as possible- as ingrained by my Mother- I of course am no angel. I am guilty of buying t-shirts made in faceless sweatshops. I am guilty of over consuming my fair share. To be really honest it was only after the birth of my children that I started to really think about the source of garments and what they were made of. It was through sourcing ethically made organic clothing for my own kids that I began to realize how important it is to buy quality over quantity and I started turning that spotlight on my own closet.

   Today it's something we try as a family to be mindful of- we live in a small apartment and as my children grow our space shrinks. We live where we work. We eat locally and seasonally. It only seems natural that our clothing is gentle on the earth as well.

    As a maker my biggest step in the slower direction was to becoming more conscious about the textiles I was using. I was introduced to the wonderful slow fabric produced for a store local to Vancouver- Maiwa- and I was hooked. As soon as I started using the textiles from Maiwa it became evident the difference was not only in how they were grown- organically, ethically, slowly but in quality. Always a sucker for craftsmanship this sealed the deal for me. From there I started noticing locally grown and produced yarns. I became interested in natural dye techniques and learned about the harmful effects of conventional cottons and dyes.

    For me this month will be about using what I have- every maker has a "stash"- and I intend to track how I utilize what I already have. I'm working towards creating a capsule wardrobe- which will be small and perfect for me own needs. I am also planning on taking a look at and rethinking my relationship with Thrifting- something that has the potential to get out of hand for me. I think overall the one thing I am really excited about during this month of exploring slow fashion is starting a conversation- connecting with a larger tribe of makers- and seeing all the amazing handmaids of course!

P.s- you can follow along on Instagram- check it out under #slowfashionoctober


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