Boy, it's been a while since I've written on ye olde blogge. Sorry dear readers! Life-and business- got in the way. (If you need a more consistent Blueprints fix, sign up for my newsletter! I send it out bi-monthly and its full of updates, featured projects, sewing tips, links, and more!)
Today marks the start of Fashion Revolution Week! In the spirit of ethical fashion, I've decided to host a special giveaway. More details can be found below!
Not familiar with Fashion Revolution week? Here's a little primer:
The Fashion Revolution project was started after the Rana Plaza collapse, the deadliest garment factory accident and structural failure in history. Four years ago today, 1,129 people lost their lives after the factory, deemed unsafe but kept open regardless, collapsed. Fashion Revolution seeks to change the industry for the better, by focusing three things:
The Model - The way the fashion industry operates is broken. We need to change the model from one that thrives on exploitation & fast fashion to one that is human focused, pays a living wage, and invests in quality over quantity.
The Materials - One of the biggest problems with the fashion industry is the use of toxic materials. They harm the people who work with them and the environment that surrounds them. What does get produced is often made from materials that not only don't hold up over time but are difficult to dispose of.
The Mindset - Perhaps the biggest hurdle is a mental one. In order for the fashion industry to change, the fashion consumer has to change. We have to shift our thinking about the value of clothing. Decades of fast fashion have trained us to buy a lot and buy frequently, focusing on quantity rather than quality.
Their most well known campaign encourages people to simply ask 'Who Made My Clothes?' Sometimes, just doing a little investigation into the clothes you wear and where they came from is a great way to start thinking about how you can be a positive force in the fashion industry.
I've been a big supporter of re-imagining the fashion industry in one way or another for many years. I love teaching people to make their own clothes, working with design students, hosting clothing swaps, and even slipping mending guides into the pockets of clothing in shopping malls. There are lots of things you can do to be a more thoughtful consumer - and producer - of clothing.
Not everyone can afford to shop with ethical brands, but re-using what you have or something that's already been used is a great alternative. In the world of sewing, we often get tempted by the endless bolts of fabric at Joann or other large fabric stores. But at the end of the day, do you know more about where that fabric comes from than the clothing you buy in stores?
One of my favorite ways to have a smaller impact when I sew is to re-purpose textiles and old clothes. Buying fabric secondhand or re-purposing textiles is a great way to keep things out of the landfill, make something with your hands, and honor the people who worked hard to bring us the clothing/fabric in the first place. I love the kinds of fabrics I find in thrift shops, yard sales, or passed along from friends. I also love coming up with projects to use up my scraps and coming up with ways to breathe new life into clothes I haven't worn in a while.
I design many of my patterns with this in mind! I've seen lots of awesome folks make them up in recycled fabric or old clothes (Like Lexy's sleeveless Geodesic below, made from old t-shirts, including one that belonged to her dad!). I've made my fair share in 2nd hand fabric as well (One of my most worn is my A-Frame made from thrifted and hand dyed fabric).
In the spirit of Fashion Revolution week, I've decided to host a little giveaway!
I'd love to see what you can make or have made using only recycled, 2nd hand, or otherwise re-purposed fabric! Tag me @Blueprintsforsewing and use the hashtag #BlueprintsRecycledFashion
If you share your makes, you'll be in the running receive a special prize bundle including a Blueprints pattern of your choosing, a few zines, and a few other secret 2nd hand/handmade goodies. The giveaway will run until Midnight on May 8th (just in time for some first week Me Made May action) , so there's even time to make something new... from something old, that is.
What is your favorite source for 2nd hand fabric? Or ethically produced fabric? What have you made?