Friday, 24 April 2020

Fashion Revolution Week 2020: #memade

My ethical and sustainable wardrobe is made up of a few different aspects. I have old clothes purchased before I learnt about the issues with the fast fashion industry which I still wear plenty and will continue to do so until they are falling apart. I have clothes purchased from ethical and sustainable brands (read more about one of my favourites here) and then I have my memade wardrobe. 

At the moment my memade wardrobe consists of only knitted items but I am also in the process of learning to sew my own clothes. This all stemmed from a need to find clothes that I felt really suited me and my style. When I first started to buy only ethical and sustainable fashion I struggled to find anything that suited my style and so I decided to learn to make them myself. Fast forward four or so years and I am a keen knitter with quite a few pieces to wear and my own Etsy shop where I sell hand knitted baby clothes. And I hope to soon be adding to my wardrobe with some beautiful hand sewn garments, once I can figure things out like bust darts and zips! 

Today, during Fashion Revolution Week, I thought I would share why  memade is a great option to building a more sustainable and ethical wardrobe. 

1. It Takes Time - Some of the things I have knitted have taken me months to finish. Creating a memade wardrobe, particularly a knitted one, is the complete opposite to fast fashion. It is incredibly slow and allows you to really think about what you're doing. Investing time and energy into making clothes completely changes your perspective on fashion and how we consume it. 

2. Love and Care - And because you've spent such time and attention on your garment you tend to love and care for them in a very different way. My knitted items have taken so much careful work and love that there is no way I would just throw them in the bin. They will stay with me for years and years and when I'm done I will pass them on to others. I also take care of them like no other clothes I own. They never ever EVER go in the washing machine. They are loving hand washed, debobbled using a pilling comb and careful folded in safe places. This also encourages me to take care of my other clothes with as much care as some one else has also made those. 

3. Materials - Making your own clothes gives you a lot more power of what your clothes are made of. I like to choose British wool from small independent businesses or one farm yarns where the whole skein has been spun from the wool of one flock of sheep from one farm not too far away. I also love to use good quality speciality yarns that will last or recycled cotton yarns which are made up of old jeans. Similarly with sewing your own clothes you can use organic cottons, sustainable fabrics such as bamboo or Tencel. Many places also sell designer offcuts and surplus fabrics that would have ended up in landfill. There is a wealth of sustainable and ethical materials to choose from and it feels so good to lovingly make a garment with materials you know aren't harming the planet and it's people. 

4. Skill - It takes skill to make clothes and many of these skills such as dressmaking, knitting, crocheting e.t.c we are losing in this country. Not only is it important to keep these skills alive but it also helps us to appreciate the level of work and skill that goes into even the cheapest of garments. Clothes from Primark are still cut and sewn together by hand. So much work goes into creating clothes and by making your own you become keenly aware of this. 

5. Style - For me this is a big one. I can choose to make clothes that fit my style and purpose exactly. I am currently planning to make a cardigan in the exact shade of a flower on one of my old dresses so I can liven it up and wear it in a new way. And that's the beauty of memade. I make exactly what I want and need for my wardrobe. There are no impulse purchase buys or things stuck at the back that never get a look in because they aren't quite right. Instead I am curating a beautiful, unique and personal wardrobe that I love and makes me feel spectacular. 

I hope this has inspired you to have a go at making your own clothes. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 


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