The Unicorn and I have a philosophy relating to our crafting / textile / sewing obsession. We call it “out of the closet”. Essentially it is about looking in the cupboard for what is already there. Often when starting a project or working on an idea it is tempting to head for the nearest fabric / craft superstore and purchase everything you need (want really) to make the creation in your head. The reality is that most crafters have a mountain of supplies already squirrelled away that they often don’t ever access. So we make ourselves look in the closet and pull out the fabric we have sitting there to make that dress or use the beads we already own to make new jewelry.
When I saw this prompt for Wicked Wednesday I wanted to write about the minimalism I have been living on the yacht for the last few months. I even prepared a whole post then I saw this news story on a Facebook group I am part of.
The whole story made me feel sick. I have spent the last five months living on the ocean. There have been times when I have collected armfuls of plastic waste that has washed up on beaches. It makes me so sad to see this and know it is a result of our excessive consumption and obsession with convenience.
I read somewhere once that the best way to diet is to cook all of your food from scratch. If you had to go through the ridiculously long process of making the perfect fries you would rarely eat them. Believe me, making fries at home is HARD. Making pizza at home is delicious and worth the effort but it is time consuming. The same applies to textiles. That chunky knit that is so chic? If you had to take the twenty or so hours to create it from a ball of yarn yourself you would wear it more than a few times. That is not taking into consideration the time it would take to spin the yarn from the fleece. There are people who do that.
I have a few garments I have made myself that I wear to work. I always get complimented on them. Because they are different from what you buy in the fashion stores, because they fit me well and because people know I made them. Were they easy and did they come together in the same time it would take to impulse buy something from the sale rack? No way. Do I have more respect for them because they are from my hand? One hundred percent. Will I wear them until they are no longer wearable? Most likely.
I made a statement to Mr Jones recently that I believe that if we stopped manufacturing textiles tomorrow there would be enough clothing already in existence to keep the world population covered for decades. If every crafter emptied their stash and used what they had they would have enough projects to keep them going until they die.
A couple of years ago a group of friends and I went on a ‘fashion diet’. The diet was essentially a ban from shopping at mainstream and on-line shops. The only acceptable ways to obtain clothing were as follows;
- Op shops or second hand shopping
- Independent, market stall shops
- Swaps with friends
- Make it yourself
Underwear and socks were not included in the rules. I think at one stage we bent them slightly to get shoes exempted. I won’t say I succeeded with flying colours but it did make me think every time I looked at clothing “Do I need this? Is there something I already have that I could wear instead?” So even though I didn’t follow the rules all the time it worked. After writing this post I am resolving to implement these rules more into my every day life. It won’t be easy but I think it is necessary.