I am not really a fan of shopping for clothes. If I have my fashion advisers (Daughter1 and Daughter2) with me, then I feel OK about buying a thing or two – and usually I just find one item I like, then buy it in every colour. Not smart shopping, really. I have a real aversion to buying mass produced articles of clothing. I don’t want to pay many dollars for something that some person was paid a few cents to make. On the other hand, I am more than happy to pay for a locally designed and made item. It’s not about the cost, it’s about where it comes from and how many more of them I’m going to see in the street.
I’ve had the argument put to me that if we don’t buy the goods that are made in poorer nations, then those sweatshop girls won’t earn a living. Isn’t it more about making a stand for better conditions for those workers? Hmm, I can see I’m not forming a logical argument here, and I am sure that others can provide a more convincing discussion. I don’t think that my little effort will affect the livelihood of those workers. But it is my little effort, and I feel better for making it.
I read lots of blogs and websites like Consumption Rebellion. I love the Brown Dress project. I chuckle over and admire some of the creations on Wardrobe Refashion.
But how to make a little more effort myself?
I have, in the past, given myself small challenges to desist from buying new clothes, new shoes or new books for six months at a time. Recently, I joined Knitting Sprouts in an effort to reduce consumption. (Mind you, my trip to the States temporarily knocked me off that wagon.)
So my new challenge to myself is to make my own wardrobe – for a year. Too much of a commitment? Well, we’ll see. I know myself that I don’t rise to self-imposed challenges too well (otherwise I would have lost these superfluous kilos long ago, non?). But nothing challenged, nothing gained, I say.
Make my own wardrobe for a year? Everything? I reckon that the only things I won’t make are shoes (a bit tricky), bras (yes, I probably could, but I won’t) and stockings (the ones I could possibly knit would not be very functional, I’m sure). So: make my own wardrobe for a year, everything except shoes, bras and stockings. What do you think? Possible, or no?
After all these words, here’s a couple of photos to indicate that I am on the way. The week before I went on hols, my favourite (and only) pyjama pants fell apart. Yes, I could have run out and bought a nice new pair, but I rose to LilyandJinks’ personal challenge to me one lunch time and whipped up a pair the day before I left for overseas. OK, they’re a bit baggy and clown-like but, my oh my, those soft cotton thrifted sheets make comfy jammies.
On my return, I made the pattern again, this time a size smaller. But the cotton from this sheet was not quite so soft. And Ralph wasn't very impressed either (as we can see by the expression on his little furry face). Lesson learnt: choose your fabric carefully.
So the start of my voyage is represented by a couple of pairs of pyjama pants. I wonder what’s next?