I can’t believe it’s almost October! The summer, the year really, has flown by so fast. I’ve spent a lot of time this year thinking about sustainability - part of the reason I launched Rove Handmade was to explore how I could build something cohesive around making more thoughtful choices in my craft, and sharing that with others. So I’m excited to join in on Fringe Association’s Slow Fashion October this year.
The prompt posted on the Fringe Association blog today for the start of Slow Fashion October is who - who are we and who influenced us to think differently about our clothes. To answer, let me first make a brief introduction: I’m Maria and I’m a Canadian transplant to Iceland. I design crochet patterns mainly using Icelandic wool and I also work full-time for an apparel company. As for who influenced me, there are a few. First, Karen Templer and Fringe Association for sure - I have followed the Slow Fashion October series since 2015, and the stories and discussions around the topic of slow fashion have really helped the seeds of this idea take root in my mind. I've also been lucky to have these discussions with friends and coworkers (and working in apparel brings the topic into even sharper focus), one of whom co-owns a slow fashion knitwear label herself called Doppelganger Collection. But if I go back further, my mother and grandmother are probably bigger influences than I even realize: When I was young, my mom sewed clothes for herself and us kids (incidentally, that sewing machine is sitting in my parents’ basement, still in perfect working order after 40+ years), and my grandmother literally wore things out - repairing and repairing again rather than discarding.
To contribute to the discussion, there are a few topics I'd like to explore (and hope to keep up with weekly posts):
Handmade - making by hand, wearing handmade, sustainability in craft
Second-hand - why buy second-hand, where to look, what to look for
New - overcoming consumer culture, sustainability, buying well on a budget
Care - cleaning, mending, making things last
This is what I’m thinking about right now at least. I don’t have all the answers - in fact, I mostly have questions. There is so much to consider that it can feel like an overwhelming and impossible subject to tackle, but Slow Fashion October is a great opportunity to at least start to think about what sustainability and slow fashion mean to each of us, and how we can make positive changes in our own lives and wardrobes. Me, I have a long, long way to go, but I’m glad to have at least begun the journey.