Karen Templer over at Fringe Association recently inaugurated Slow Fashion October, a month dedicated to all things "slow" fashion. That is, things that are handmade, well-loved, long-worn, mended, handed down, thrifted, small batch, indie, ethically produced, sustainable. It's sparked some interesting discussions on Twitter and Instragram, and really provided some food for thought.
I love the idea of celebrating slow fashion, but at the same time recognize that being able to participate in the revival of slow fashion is a privilege. There's a reason fast fashion became a thing in the first place: time and money. We rarely have all we want or need of both, and sometimes neither.
It's true that more expensive but better-made clothes will last longer, and cost less in the long run, but that fact doesn't put more money in your pocket in the short term. It's also true that handmade clothes generally give you more bang for your buck, but not everyone has the time to make them.
In an ideal world, we might choose to opt out of fast fashion entirely, but the reality is very few people are in a position to do so. And while the fashion industry is plagued with problems like sweatshops and environmental concerns, it does provide jobs for people who may not otherwise have them.
Similar problems face other industries as well, like food, and there's no easy answer.
I think what's important is that we as individuals do what we can, strive to improve, but don't beat ourselves up for not doing it all. I'll freely admit that most of my kids' clothes come from Carter's--I simply can't justify spending more money on clothes that they're going to destroy or grow out of in 10 minutes. But their sweaters, hats and mittens are handmade. Maybe if I knew how to sew, I'd do that too, but here we run into the time issue again.
One thing Slow Fashion October has prompted me to consider is how many WIPs I have--I want to commit to finishing the projects I start. Yesterday morning I found the Moc-a-Soc booties seen above, fully knit, they just need to be seamed. It was clear that none of the ends I left was long enough to do the seaming, so I'd just given up. I quickly finished them and fortunately, Ollie has little feet and can still wear them, but that could've easily not been the case, and the work would've been a waste (he definitely doesn't fit into the sweater they match)!
Knitting is fun! But I started because I wanted to have actual knit CLOTHES--one-of-a-kind, durable, handmade pieces--and it seems I lost sight of that somewhere along the way. I spend too much time collecting yarn and delving into new projects without finishing the old ones. That's not a trend I want to continue.
What are your thoughts on Slow Fashion October?