Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slow Fashion

If you haven't already heard this term, "Slow Fashion," you will be hearing it soon...the slowed economy has caused many people's disposable income to dry up, and this has inevitably affected when and how people buy clothes. I first heard about slow fashion earlier this year when I started reading more sewing and knitting blogs in preparation for starting my own blog. There are so many women out there who are sewing their own wardrobes, refashioning thrift shop finds, knitting copies of expensive sweaters, creating their own beaded jewelry, and on and on. It's inspiring!

Zoe Wood (article link) writes: "'Slow fashion is not just about responding to trends,' says Adili chief executive Adam Smith. 'It is a mentality that involves thinking about provenance and buying something that won't look unfashionable after one season.'"

Many bloggers have also translated this concept into wearing things that are handmade, by themselves or someone else. The explosion of Etsy in the past couple of years is part of the slow fashion movement as well, I believe.

The concept of slow fashion fits well with my personal philosophy of consumption: we try to buy things that last, not necessarily the cheapest model of whatever doo-dad the house/car/kids require. BUT--we often buy used or scout around for a floor model or "scratch and dent" item. I've always said I have champagne taste on a beer budget, and this applies to my wardrobe as well. As much as I may drool over the clothes at Anthropologie or higher-end designer stores, the budget simply won't allow it. So, I've really made a commitment to avoiding "disposable" clothes--you know, the ones that fall apart after 5 washings and will look hopelessly dated in just a few months. As a bonus, making things myself enables me to know that they weren't made in sweatshops, and will (with a little skill and luck) fit perfectly.

The challenge for me, at least, is that I do want to look current and fashionable. I definitely don't want to be that weird hippie lady with the cloth-diapered, home schooled kids; a weird diet; and the frumpy clothes (because I already have three of those four). So, for now, participating in slow fashion means attempting to use the fabric and yarn in my closet--see, I'm sticking to my stash challenge!--to make clothes that somewhat re-create looks I see in catalogues and magazines.

I am making a knitted cape, I'm working on a 50's ish dress, and I've got several more ideas for things I want to make and wear this fall and winter. Shall I share the sewn things here, not just the knitted?


  1. YES! Share!

    I'm thinking about starting a project where I make every piece of clothing I own, except for shoes.

    Shoes would be a little hard. But I could probably barter for them, right?

  2. Hi Amy. I found your blog through your Ravelry page ("Watershed" KAL in the anthro group, I'm mandagilli on Rav) and I'm so glad that I did. Please share your sewn stuff, too! I think most, if not all, knitters are inspired by all kinds of fiber arts. I'd love to see what you've done, and thanks for sharing!

  3. would be hard. But bartering sounds like a good compromise! If you're talking handmade even down to underwear, there is a cute Colette Pattern for that.

    Hi Amanda! I'm glad to "see" you out here, not just in the anthro group. :)

  4. This is brilliant! I would love to see your sewing and all your ideas. This year I turned two pair of outdated jeans into super fun cutoff's. I've also been taking old t-shirts and cutting them into cute bathing suite cover-ups. Now both of those are no-sew projects because my machine is broken and I'm too lazy to fix it. *snicker*

    Also we should hit up a bunch of the used clothing stores in Costa Mesa. There are so many great ones.

  5. Annie, are those the cutoffs you wore to the kids' party? I thought they were really cute! I noticed them at the time. I should see if I have any jeans I can cut off!

  6. yes please :)

    I need some slow fashion inspiration as well - although since a lot of friends have been moving (a long explanation that isn't as sad as it sounds) they've donated a lot of their clothes, which is kinda neat, because they are often things I wouldn't have been confident enough to purchase for myself. And they're free! I love trading clothes with friends :)

  7. yes, share them all here... knitting, sewing...especially the knitted cape!