Whaat??? Bash the stash??
I have been doing some soul searching and a fair amount of reading as of late, regarding Slow Fashion. October—known as a month of breast cancer awareness, domestic violence awareness, down syndrome awareness, and many other worthy topics to be aware of—is also known as Slotober in some circles. The Slotober movement is also about awareness and has moved me to a project.
Soul Searching September
[To my best knowledge, this is not a real thing, but it seemed to have nice alliteration] I spent money this September, in adding various garments to my work wardrobe. [I highlighted those adventures in other posts, so do check out the side bar on my peacock page] I did this very carefully, after taking time away from shopping. I realized that I have more than enough of many items, and that with good care, they will last me a long time. I do like to add something fresh and fun to my cache each season, so I watched the trends carefully. What would fit my style and need? What would work well with what I already own? What existing pieces needed replacement? I used coupons and sales and free shipping or in store purchasing and managed some great deals.
I received more coupons and offers. So I began to troll my favorite stores for just a little here or there. STOP RIGHT THERE, said my conscience. You have enough. You have more than enough.
The next moral jab came as I read, “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion”. This book taught me a great deal about a subject I mistakenly presumed to understand, that of the Fashion Industry. My eyes opened up to the depth of the unjust practices in the industry. I also tuned into the great loss of good fashion and quality workmanship in the industry. I am trained in couture sewing techniques and hold design principles as closely as my undergarments. This information broke my heart. Totally.
October 1 hit and my blogging network began to offer slow fashion stories and options. I drank these in as it felt like I had kindred spirits in the blogosphere. “Fringe Association” [https://fringeassociation.com/], a wondrous knitting/creating blog, embraces the Slotober concept. It is the place I first learned of this tribute. Fridays, they write an Elsewhere post, which offers snippets and highlights of activity worth a look, around the world.
Yesterday, my attention was drawn to several of these places: an article on enough is good enough [http://thecraftsessions.com/blog/2017/08/01/slowfashion-enough-is-as-good-as-a-feast] and an organized fabric swap! [http://agatheringofstitches.com/blog/2017/10/12/slow-fashion-fabric-swap].
I signed up for the swap and then indulged in enough.
Here is the concept—it is not good enough to do the closet mea culpa: where were these garments manufactured, what is the chain of creation, are the materials made/grown/ finished in eco friendly environments? What about the workers? Are they enslaved? Safe? Paid a living wage?
You, dear reader, have probably already run through that examin.
The answer is, no, it is not enough to look at the purchased pieces. It is time to do the really tough work of assessing our stashes: fabrics, yarns, beads, threads, fibers…
The Craft Sessions article bravely took on all the excuses we wrap around our stashes to keep them safely where they are, and to add to and grow them. [It’s so unique; I’ll never have another chance for this type of cloth; I got it on a monster sale; it’s so lovely…]
Yep. That’s me. To a T.
We blithely chat about stash busting, but I know better. Why would I waste time and precious stash fabric on just anything? Right?
Ok. What is a possible way to get at the issue of enough, and the stash at hand?
Let me propose a start. I really enjoy the program, “Project Runway.” In that spirit, what if we were to imagine [and perhaps the imagination would bring about a reality] creating a line out of our stash? The only thing we could buy would be thread, zippers, interfacing, buttons and other notions. Let’s start with challenges. Maybe we could name one a week. They wouldn’t need to be related, but could be based in real life “stuff”, like the Thanksgiving Day challenge, or the Holiday outfit challenge, or…the possibilities are endless!
I will issue a challenge on a Friday. You can use anything in your stash/house to create the idea. You don’t need to actually construct the garment, unless you have the need and/or the time. Draw up an illustration or a croquis and add a picture of the fabric, pattern if you are using one, and any other materials. Write up a description as well. We can use the hashtag #ProjectBashTheStash, and see what everyone is up to!
Get your creative on and watch for the first challenge on Friday, October 27.