The biggest issue for me this month on the clothes fast was a friend losing her favourite scarf in a house fire one week ago. I wanted to go out and buy one to replace it. our plastic free July mission made me come up with another option. Knit one!
In the process of taking up knitting again I’m rediscovering the joys of “making”. I used to make most of my clothes and supplemented my wardrobe with op shop clothes. I loved the creativity of exploring and designing.
So, when did clothes become such a serious business? When Allan’s fly on his jeans broke today I found myself wondering when I last wore out a piece of my clothing?
This month I have rediscovered old favourites and feel a little freed from the highly gendered expectations many of us too keenly feel to be “fashionably well-dressed”. It’s another of those woolly terms we can never quite live up to and, if we let it, it can take the joy out of finding beautiful fabric or painting to make a skirt…Or knitting a scarf!
So maybe rather than “fashionably well-dressed” we can shift our focus to “worn-in self-made well-dressed”, at least a little.
Our sisters in Africa, South Asia and Central and South America have much to teach in the way of even those on low disposable incomes are impeccably dressed, expressing the creativity of their cultures in fabrics and designs that are often simply beautiful.
Time to get back to my knitting.
I love clothes and shopping. But the shock of realising how many clothes now end up in landfill and the effect of all those microfibers on the environment and our health (through the food chain) led me to choose the Plastic Free July challenge of not purchasing any new clothes during the month.
Easy – I mean it is only a month!
But actually, it’s been hard. I realise how much of my relaxation has been around looking at clothes, browsing clothes on- line, strolling through stores, reading and thinking about clothes. My email has been inundated with promises of winter bargains and discounts and tempting new styles for the ‘new ‘season. ‘Fast fashion’ is pushing things at me all the time.
It turns out that for me buying clothes is about much more than the clothes – it is about how they make me feel, or rather how I think they will make me feel. So my challenge has been looking for different ways to relax, enjoying the creativity of rediscovering and reconfiguring old clothing favourites.
It’s been great to do this with others in the Creating Communities office – they are watching! And they appreciate the sharing of the tough moments. I experience again how much easier it is to affect change as part of a group than on my own.