In this fast fashion culture where we’re all in danger of being caught wearing the same thing and products of slave labour, what do your clothes say about you?
Clothes are an important part of our daily lives. They keep us cosy in winter and cool in summer; they shield and protect us; show us off, or help us blend in. Whatever our reasons for wearing what we do, one thing is certain: the clothes we choose say a lot about us and the person we are – or would like other people to think we are!
Nowadays, we as consumers are so disconnected from the process of fabric and garment-making, we forget that someone had to grow the fibres, weave the cloth and finally sew it into a useable product. And all along this timeline is the potential for ethical and sustainable problems and dilemmas.
Whether you’re a dedicated follower of fashion, or simply dress for comfort, our clothes are constantly sending messages to those around us about who we are as people, but do we really know what are those clothes saying if we don’t know where they’ve come from? In this throwaway era, are we losing a vital connection with our clothing?
Making your own clothes from fabrics you know have been sourced ethically is a great way to combat this problem. We spoke to a few people who have boldly made the decision to give up throw away fashion on the high street and make their own clothing!
“I rarely find clothes readymade and think ‘yes, that’s me, that expresses who I am’, which is why I originally decided to try and make my own.”
“The ones that turn out well are lovely to wear because they fit perfectly and you have that sense of familiarity from having spent so much time over the construction.”
With more and more factory tragedies and environmental atrocities hitting our front pages, ensuring that all of the fabrics we use are environmentally and socially beneficial is crucial:
“I source eco-fabrics specifically. I started from an environmental perspective, probably influenced by campaigns about organic cotton but fair trade quickly became important too. The Rana-plaza disaster prompted me to pledge once and for all not to buy new clothes or fabric that were not ethically produced..”
Which is where ethical textiles companies like Offset Warehouse come in. With a broad range from muslins to velvets, at surprisingly low prices, companies like Offset Warehouse compare to those on the high street, but with the added bonus of a guilt free purchase:
“The factory tragedy last year brought it home to me that there is still a huge issue and I really felt strongly that I didn’t want to contribute to that. I was absolutely thrilled to find Offset Warehouse … Oddly, it doesn’t seem to work out any more expensive than high street, although I was happy to pay more.”
For these sewers, they become a part of the process. It’s an empowering feeling transforming a plain rectangle of fabric into a perfectly-fitting garment.
“Thinking about the production of your clothing definitely makes you appreciate it more – you feel better about wearing it. It affects what you make as well – you want something beautiful that isn’t going to go out of ‘fashion’.”
You not only appreciate your own handiwork, but it gives you a greater understanding of the work that goes into every item you buy. You can also be 100% sure that what you’re wearing has not harmed the environment or anyone involved in the making. And that’s something you can be proud that your clothes say about you.
So why not give it a go? You’ll be amongst thousands of others who are catching the bug and producing guilt-free clothes that fit beautifully and they really love, rather than having to make do with what the shops want to sell us.