I just want to preface this by saying I love October. I love when the nights start drawing in, the leaves turn brown, the scarves, layers and hot water bottles come out to play and things just getting cosy. I have all the love for Autumn! Don't get me wrong, I love the summer but I'm much happier that's it's Autumn.
Why else do I love October? Well, it's slow fashion October!
I first heard of slow fashion October last year and I absolutely loved the concept. Ever since I started making my own clothes a couple of years ago and realised the amount of work that goes in to a garment (even simple ones like t-shirts!) I started re-thinking my ideas and values regarding the high street. I vividly remember the moment I swore off high street goods - I was walking past Primark and saw a bra advertised in the window for £5. It dawned on me that it's simply not possible to sell a bra for £5 without screwing someone over. I mean I know that buying things wholesale and bulk making brings the prices down but £5? For a bra? No way. This isn't a discussion about the quality of a product. It's a discussion about fair wages and working practices.
Last year I watched the documentary 'True Cost' which I highly recommend everyone watch. It's a fantastic insight into the reality of the fast-fashion industry from the lack of human rights to environmental issues. It's a true eye-opener and from then on I refuse to buy from these retailers that think the conditions their clothes are made under is acceptable.
My current philosophy is that if I can make it, I won't buy it. I haven't purchased any new clothing, except a pair of running leggings, in the last two years. If I want new clothes I make them myself. Although saying that I will happily support independent, eco-friendly stores/ designers/ makers. I know people find these options to be expensive, and I get it - in comparison to the high street (and that £5 bra!) they are. But in all honesty, if you actually took the time to think about the actual worth of the item - how long it took to make, the cost of the materials, paying the person who made it a fair wage, just to mention a few things - it all adds up to the price of the item.
The price of an item reflects its worth. The reality of the fast-fashion industry is that when people see a bra for £5 they come to believe that a bra is only worth £5. This leads to negative associations of higher priced items - if I can get it for £5 somewhere then surely £5 is all I should pay anywhere?
I could on for a while about this topic - it's something I'm starting to become quite passionate about and will continue to do research and engage in conversations about the topic.
So, what is my slow fashion October project? Well, I'm inspired by the 'make things wearable' idea and I have a few items on my mending pile that I really should give attention to. So I will aim to make a start on that.
I'm also currently learning to rag-rug and I must say it's incredibly fun and relaxing! If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my progress on my rug already. I'm aiming to use rag-rugging as a way of using all those scraps of fabric I stock-pile after each sewing project, even though they're too small to make something out of. earlier in the year I ended up throwing a big section of the pile away and I've always felt slightly guilty about the waste. Now I've found another craft to use them up!