Monday, October 5, 2015

Slow Fashion October Introductions

So I realize I'm a little late, but I wanted to officially talk here on the blog about Slow Fashion October. This is a topic that's close to my heart- it's one of the reasons why I learned to knit and it's a big part of my non-knitting life too. I've got big plans for the month (goals & projects, events and guest posts) but for now I wanted to take it back to the beginning and talk about my own personal story and what I'm hoping to get out of the next month.

The above photo is from yesterday, talking an Autumn walk with Waldi to meet some friends for all-you-can-eat Chinese food. (Yum!) Though the cropping is a little unfortunate, I really feel like this outfit sums up where I'm at in my journey towards slow fashion. It contains examples of (or opportunities for) each of the following categories:

ok so obviously, I'm wearing my favorite Lila sweater, which, along with that cowl in my bag (the Stockholm Scarf by Julie of Knitted Bliss) is my most worn handmade item. I'm also wearing my Archery mitts, which was one of the first things I ever designed. I feel like these three items really show my progress in knitting garments- I've slowly expanded from making simple accessories, to garments and wardrobe staples that I wear often. I've also really started looking at where my yarn comes from and how it was made. Over the past year, I've been working diligently to build up my handmade wardrobe, and have been learning tons about what kinds of patterns I wear, and what kinds I don't. 

My monthly wear handmade project has been a huge help in this learning process. You can read more about that here. Some of these patterns have been huge successes and others have not fit at all into my wardrobe, but it's all about the process. I'll share an update on this project later in the month with some more details. But for now I'll just say that handmade is carving out a bigger place in my wardrobe all the time. 

ethical/traceable origins:
this is something that I've learned more about in the past year or so. Obviously, being a knitter, there are huge gaps in my handmade wardrobe- things I can't make and need to find alternatives for. I would love at some point to support crafters and small batch makers through Etsy or locally but for now I've started with learning about the different Fair Trade logos and companies that pay their workers a fair wage for their work. So far I've purchased from People Tree, Good Society, Armed Angels and Stanley & Stella. Mostly basics like tee shirts, sleeveless shirts, socks, jeans and a dress. Slow, but it's a start. 

second hand:
This was one of the first alternatives to "fast" fashion that I discovered and explored. While I have backed away from it over the past few years, I still do enjoy looking through thrift stores, or attending clothing swaps every now and then in search of a perfect item for my wardrobe. What I don't like about this is that there tends to be very little control over what kinds of items can be found- I've been known to impulse buy things that I end up just not wearing. But on the other hand, a few of my favorite cardigans (and that bag!) were second hand finds, so it can work out in your favor. 

mended: (or in need of mending)
this is something I really need to get better at. I have a few very loved items in my wardrobe that I wear constantly (that jacket, for one, as well as my favorite fair trade jeans) that are in desperate need of a little mending. One of my goals for this month is to patch the holes in those jeans and sew elbow patches on the jacket, where it's starting to look very threadbare. While this isn't something I have a lot of experience in, I'm hoping to gain confidence and learn to mend clothes in a way that both looks good, and prolongs their wearability.  

in need of replacement:
Ok, so this final category is basically one big area where I need to grow. Since I started caring about where my clothes come from, I obviously have been buying less clothes. This means there are some items still in rotation that are in desperate need of replacement. The problem is, I have yet to learn where & how I can purchase these ethically. The shoes in the above photo (and really all 5 of my pairs of shoes...yes, I own 5 pairs) are in need of replacement. So I suppose another goal is to do some research on where to find traceable, high quality replacements for those items that need to be swapped out. 

Wow. That was a ramble. I wasn't sure when I started typing what this post was going to turn into, but I feel like it's a really good introduction to where I'm at, and what I'm hoping to get out of the next month. 

You can find all the info on Slow Fashion October on Karen's blog here and follow on Instagram for more frequent updates here. I'm so excited for what this month will bring! There's so much to make, learn and do! 

1 comment:

  1. This is so brilliant I had to bookmark it. I need to implement this into my life. I have basically stopped shopping and my desire to knit came from wanting to make my own sweaters and cardigans. I think part of it comes from wearing family heirlooms. I just love wearing something that was an aunts or grandmothers. I also had aspirations for going to college for fashion design and though I hold degrees in American and European history and political theory a part of me would love to learn to produce my own clothing.

    Long way of saying i love what you're doing and keep it up.