“The Love What You Wear Project” (my end of challenge review):
My attitude to clothes has changed and changed forever.
You can read a 52 page report on the current state of non-compensation for those workers here at “Label behind the Labour.
About “The Love What You Wear Project” (LWYW)
I decided I would spend a year buying only second-hand clothes (rather than anything new). I had the idea that I would refashion some of the clothes in my wardrobe, as well as make some clothes from patterns and cloth.
Because this project made me stop and think about clothes, the first task I set myself was to make “pillowcase dresses” for the “Dress a Girl around the World”. This project was set up with the belief that every little girl should own at least one pretty dress no matter where they live. I made around half a dozen dresses and aim to make more.
At that time Making Magazine were publishing articles on their website about “charity makers” so I let them know what I was working on. In November 2012 they published a short feature on me with regards to the “Dress a Girl” project.
I made a set of commandments for myself:
Make Do With What Thou Has, Mend Thy Clothes, Become a “Refashionista Thrift-Shopper”.
The first outfit I remember altering for myself was a black sweetheart neck dress that had been languishing in my wardrobe for years.
As a collector of trimmings, buttons, and ribbons, I found the green trimming in my stash box. It had come from an old green t-shirt my sister had given me to rip apart.I refashioned a 60’s style hat into a 30’s style cloche.
Pretty cool don’t you think?
I also adapted a long black velvet coat purchased from a car boot the previous summer for £5. First I changed the buttons for some large amber coloured ones from my collection. I then added a fur collar that I picked up from a charity shop for 50 pence.
I next made a vintage style under-slip from a green ankle length evening dress. This cost me £1 from a Barnsley charity shop. I shortened it to knee length and added a 2 inch cream lace border from my stash box.
However my initial enthusiasm for altering clothes waned and I didn’t re-fashion as much clothing as I thought I would. I did however sew several themed aprons for my sister who is a cook in a nursery school. The most recent one was this Halloween apron.
At the beginning of the project I promised myself that I would learn how to crochet. The nearest I got to that goal however was to buy a (small) crochet hook. I was inspired recently to buy a rather large crochet hook and give this rug a go, though I have had difficulty in purchasing such a large hook.
As usual I was probably dreaming too big. So far I haven’t managed to make any money from my sewing skills either. Who knows, maybe next year, I can live in hope.
In May 2013 Rochelle Mallise Barrand wrote an article for Steel City Crafts on my involvement with The “Love What You Wear” project and my attitude to clothes.
This photo of me accompanied that article: the outfit I put together for a visit to Whitby in November 2013
This foundation was set was after Sophie Lancaster was kicked to death because of the clothes she wore. She was a victim of hate crime.
The story of Sophie and her boyfriend didn’t come to my attention until 2008 when I was at College giving a presentation on hate crime. (Quite a few fellow students were in tears at the end of the session both male and female). However Sophie died on 24th August 2007, eleven days after being repeatedly kicked and stamped on whilst out with her partner Rob in Stubbeylee Park, Bacup, Lancashire.
Warning the picture of Sophie lying in hospital may upset some readers You can read about hate crime here.
Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred & Intolerance Everywhere
I passionately believe that no-one should suffer persecution for the clothes they wear (or for that matter for any other reason).
Equally no-one should suffer hardship for the clothes they produce for greedy manufacturers. That is why I am proud to have been part of “The Love what You Wear Project”.
As a result I have become far more interested in clothes rather than less interested. I have become more confident in what suits me though I will never be interested in “high street-fashion”. These days I like to dress “vintage” style.
More importantly though, and because of this project:
- I will see the person rather than the clothes they wear.
- I will consider who makes the clothes I purchase (and how they are made)
- I refuse to ever again contribute to “low-wage-no-responsibility fashion”.
- I also try not to contribute to land-fill either.
I would estimate that I spent a total of £186 during the period November 2012 – November 2013
This year I will be following on from this project by taking part in the Handmade 365 challenge, where I promise to wear at least one handmade item of clothing or accessory each day. Look out for forthcoming updates on how I get on during 2014.
I do so love to hear from you so please send me your comments.
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