Kicking the fast fashion habit

A friend alerted me to this absorbing and powerful book which I read before Christmas.

First published in 2019 in the UK, it is packed with startling facts.

For example:

*100 billion garments are produced every year.

*The average garment is worn only 7 times

*20% of all garments go unsold

*Fewer than 2% of workers in the clothing industry receive a living wage

*1 t-shirt and 1 pair of jeans uses 5000 gallons of water. For those of us more familiar with metrics, this is nearly 23,000 litres.

*Over 60% of garments contain fabrics derived from fossil fuels.

You get her meaning? I did. In fact I began to feel increasingly uncomfortable with my practice of buying on-line from a particular chain. A quick look at the inside labels of the first six garments hanging on the nearest wardrobe rack revealed that two were made in China and four came from Vietnam. All were polyester or polyester mixes.

Was it finally time to break away from my dependence on these relatively affordable (and very often available at massive discounts); easy to wear and wash; and convenient- to-order on line clothes?

Yep. Certainly. But how?

When I was young and broke, and store bought clothes were made in Australia and expensive, I did make my own. It wasn’t a pleasant experience though. Paper patterns for home sewers were complicated. To compensate for having only one size pattern in each envelope a quantity of what was called “ease” was allowed by the drafter. Ease translated more often than not to an ill-fitting garment. Too tight in some places; too loose in others.

The actual instructions were often complex, involving much marking of stitching lines and notches and little circles….plus redundancy of language (see image below for repetition of putting right sides of fabric together) and unnecessary steps like pinning AND basting.

Well, I’m not going back there…..

Enter my local patchwork store which stocks the patterns of Sew To Grow (www.sewtogrow.com.au)

I booked a quick lesson in their basic pattern called The Bondi Top.

That had me walking out with a top that actually fitted! A bonus was that I also discovered how nice patchwork fabrics are when used for light tops.

Blue 100% patchwork cotton made in three hours from The Bondi Top pattern adjusted to fit me. Easy!

This could go on forever!

Another excellent patchwork cotton print.
A longer line top made in a 100% linen. I turned the fabric around to avoid horizontal stripes and centred the black lines. The making was then easy using my already fitted master pattern.

Since these were made I’ve gone further and made longer tunics.

Tunic made with fabric from Woven Stories ( https://wovenstories.com.au/) which sources hand-printed cottons from small villages in India.

Also skirts. My friend Liz Arnold ( http://www.lizarnold.com.au/ ) designed these easy to make skirts.

Skirt made with 100% cotton hand-printed fabric from Woven Stories.

Here endeth the lesson…….

This entry was posted in Clothing, Design. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Kicking the fast fashion habit

  1. lizarnold28 says:

    Great post Margaret. I commented on the blog but I got a message back that said ” sorry, but this comment could not be posted”.

    Kind regards Liz Arnold

    E: liz@lizarnold.com.au W: http://www.lizarnold.com.au M: 0400 774 080 ________________________________

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