This is the question of the moment for me. I have been a long time lover of getting a deal on clothes. I would spend a little as possible on my clothing, wear it a season or two, maybe more. Then I’d donate it. And who knows where it may have ended up after that.
I am a sewer. I mostly make bags and quilts, but a couple of years ago I started garment making. When I finished my first t-shirt, I remember thinking that it was really hard and it took forever! I thought, “Who wants to take all this time making their own t-shirts, when they are so cheap to buy?” What I should have thought is “How can t-shirts cost so little? How much is the person who made this getting paid?”
Fast forward to about a month ago when I was listening to an early episode of the Crafty Planner podcast (LOVE this podcast! I highly recommend it!). Sandi was interviewing Jaime Jennings from Fancy Tiger Crafts and they discussed some of the issues with the garment making industry, and the benefits of knowing where your clothes really come from. That’s when it dawned on me: that is why people make their own clothes, or really, that is why I should make my own clothes. Jaime also mentioned that she had pretty much stopped buying clothes, because she was making so many pieces herself.
I started doing some research about the garment industry, fast fashion, and the environmental impact of the industry. I re-discovered some things that I already knew, but had been choosing to ignore, and some things that really surprised and angered me. I no longer want to support these unethical companies with my own money.
So that’s my inspiration, and here is my plan:
In 2016, I will buy as few pieces of clothing as possible. If I do purchase something for myself, I will do my best to be sure it is ethically made. I’m still learning exactly what that means. I don’t plan on getting rid of the things I already own, 99% of which was not ethically made. I plan to get as much use out of it as possible. Whether that means continuing to wear it, or turning it into something else…we’ll see.
If you’re interested in learning more about the impact of the fast fashion industry on the planet and it’s people, here are a few great resources:
By the end of 2016, I really hope the answer to the question above is ME!