October is already my favorite month of the year, and now there's even more reason to love it: Slow Fashion October, "a celebration of the small-batch, handmade, second-hand, well-loved, long-worn, known-origins wardrobe."
As you can imagine, handknit garments fit right into this celebration--small batch (the smallest!), handmade (obviously), second-hand (sometimes), well-loved (yup), long-worn (hopefully), and known-origin (somewhat and improving daily).
Week One of this celebration is dedicated to introductions: who are you, and what does slow fashion mean to you?
Well, you probably already know who I am, so I'll do that part quickly: I'm Kristen, a hand knitter, knitting pattern designer and infrequent freelance translator from Baltimore, Maryland. I'm a mom to 2 small boys, I've been married to my amazing husband for almost 5 years, and I love wine. I've had a sewing machine sitting in my studio for 2 years and still don't know how to turn it on (not that I've tried, because it's still in the box).
Now, what does slow fashion mean to me? While I've been knitting for nearly 10 years, the concept of slow fashion came to me more recently, and I immediately appreciated how it meshed with the things I loved about my handknits: handmade, personal, durable, long-wearing, individual, special. So to me, slow fashion is about incorporating those characteristics into my wardrobe when and how I am able, whether through handknitting, altering, mending, repurposing, or investing in better quality clothing.
It would be silly to say I hope to knit more during Slotober, but what I would like to focus on this month is mending, altering and re-knitting--patching socks, mending jeans, reworking old projects--making sure I'm getting the most out of the things I've already made and purchased. Hey, maybe I'll even learn to turn on my sewing machine!
As a mom, it's also entirely too easy to throw on a tshirt and jeans every day, so I also plan to focus on giving my wardrobe a workout and actually wearing some of the amazing handknits and other clothes I own!
The economic, environmental and ethical implications of fast vs. slow fashion have gradually worked their way into my consciousness over the years, and are a concern for me; they are also more loaded issues that I continue to struggle with, particularly when it comes to clothing for kids, and will continue to try to educate myself about. These are issues that can make people uncomfortable with the slow fashion discussion--as if ownership of a t-shirt from Old Navy negates anything else you might do or say--so I think it's important to recognize that anyone even willing to have this discussion is making a contribution, we all do the best we can at any given moment, and we all have room to grow.
I hope you'll join me in celebrating Slow Fashion October, I look forward to reading everyone's ideas and commentary!