Thursday, December 29, 2011

What you wear on your back.

Clothing is one of those necessities that is rarely ever produced locally and yet is absolutely necessary.  The construction of clothing - which was once an extremely common skill - is now a complicated process that happens 'somewhere else'.  Beyond the ethical concerns in clothing manufacturing ( which range from the types of fabrics used to the the working conditions and treatment of employees)  the factories and mills that mass produce clothing just do NOT exist anywhere near local - and even if they did - WHO would work there? Do you know how to sew? Can you design patterns and piece together clothing? Because if you can you're a rarity in our current society.  The question is - now that we've lost the skills and materials - how do we bring them 'home' again?

Like most things we start small. Begin by making conscious decisions about what you put on your back.  Know where they come from, what type of fabric they are made with, who made them ... and then vote for the world you want to live in with your wallet.  Support the small local businesses, the local designers, and  the organic fabrics. They may cost more than the factory produced items at the big box store but it's likely that the materials and construction are better and the clothing will last longer.

Want to learn a new skill? - pick up a sewing machine at a local thrift store - they are NOT expensive.  Older Elna's are fabulous - I have two - one is over 60 years old the other well over 30 - both are solid machines that just chug along and are very easy to fix and maintain.  Take a beginners course from your local fabric or machine seller - OR do what I did and teach yourself.

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