make and mend: some thoughts on Fashion Revolution Week

Hello, everyone! So Fashion Revolution Week is almost over and I’ve been really tongue-tied.

I’ve enjoyed the Instagram posts from makers who happily answered the question WHO MADE MY CLOTHES? with a resounding “I did!”

It was great. And though it’s maybe really premature — and something I may not be able to live up to (who knows) — I can’t help wanting to arrive at an almost completely me-made wardrobe myself eventually. If it’s not yet a goal, it definitely is an ideal.

I’m rooting for Carolyn’s year of handmade. It’s a challenge but it also seems like a natural extension of her creative talent and curiosity. Liza Mae’s (recently: 1, 2, 3) and Portia‘s feats of refashioning are putting my husband’s old shirts t-shirts in jeopardy (don’t tell him). Zoe’s declaration of underwear sovereignty is another source of inspiration.*

But making (and mending and altering — let’s not forget about those) is one aspect of the incredibly knotted global problem Fashion Revolution Week is addressing.

I’m hoping that Fashion Revolution Week makes a difference. I hope the strategies Orsola de Castro talks about are effective in shifting things finally.

But I’m also very worried. Because fast fashion brands have gotten very skillful at washing their hands off the unacceptable working conditions and the unacceptably low wages off which they profit. For years now they’ve been putting the blame on middlemen — and they are getting away with that deflection of responsibility.

It is important to remember and to talk about the Rana Plaza collapse. And to ask questions, even if those won’t lead us to a straightforward solution to the problem.

Making is one thing, but we’re never completely cut off from global economy. Our thinking, as some argue, tends toward the tiny framework of a village — the world being too vast to grasp and relate to. But since the way global economy works is directly at odds with that “village thinking,” we bear some responsibility to think about the world and our place in it.

I don’t want to sound preachy — since I’m not exactly offering brilliant solutions here. I hope conversations continue beyond this week.

Thanks to everyone who shared their making, refashioning, and upcycling this week.

*add that one to the list of sentences I didn’t think I’d ever write!


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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

3 thoughts on “make and mend: some thoughts on Fashion Revolution Week”

    1. You’re so fast you can’t keep up with yourself 😉 You’ve been on a roll with those t-shirts, so I’m actually not surprised.

      I do wonder sometimes if the people whose sewing I mention here are okay with that — well, I hope they are! Sewing blogs are my main source of inspiration.


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