I LOVE clothes and I love fashion. You probably wouldn’t know this if you saw me on the school run these days. but I do. In my younger, more carefree days I would spend a large proportion of my wages on clothes every month often only wearing something once, it was almost like a hobby, clothes were my interest and I wanted something new pretty much every weekend. I’m almost ashamed to admit that now but maybe there wasn’t actually anything wrong with that at the time, it’s where I get my love of sewing from after all. I also liked to study the clothes and see how they were made and what fabrics they were sewn from which has all been part of my learning process I think.
More recently though, with more and more talk about how we can help the environment, shop and live more sustainably and in a more eco-friendly way I have started to take more care over what I buy, where I buy from and what I actually need versus what I might want for that fleeting few hours of lust where I’ve seen a garment I ‘must’ have now.
Now I’m not saying I’m in any way perfect at this, it’s all new to me still really. At the moment I rarely buy second hand, I don’t go out of my way to buy organic only fabrics or anything like that but I am trying to think more about ‘throw away’ fashion and how I may have been falling into that trap and the thought of all of those unused clothes going to landfill does make me feel a little uneasy!
Over the last few years it’s not only been my view of clothes consumption that has changed it’s also been my lifestyle. I now have two children, a dog and I work from home meaning that I don’t actually leave the house as much anymore. This occasionally does make me sad, there was something nice about planning an outfit for a day at the office, but I love my current life too of course. Most days I spend my time walking the kids to school, walking the dog, doing housework and sewing either for work or for my own pleasure which means I’m mainly to be found in jeans, jumpers, leggings and Ugg boots, trainers or wellies. I have learned now that I need to plan my wardrobe more sensibly around my daily lifestyle rather than just around the pretty things I see.
So where shopping for clothes is concerned I am trying to go for the less is more approach. If I am buying a garment I will go for something better quality, more hardwearing and something that is going to last instead of spending all of my money on multiple, cheap, lower quality garments. I no longer want to fill my wardrobe with lots and lots of tops for example where I could have one or two nice tops but ones that I feel better about myself in. I hope this babble makes sense…
This also has to affect the way I approach my sewing. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of finding a new pattern and wanting to buy and make it up immediately with little thought about how or when I might wear it and how it might fit into my daily life. This year I am really going to try to plan my makes more carefully to fill any gaps I might have in my wardrobe, at the moment it’s basics like sweatshirts and t shirts which I know I will wear. I’m also going to try to shop for fabric more strategically, only buying when I know what I’m going to make and to use and re-use patterns that I buy and get better at hacking and adapting.
I’ve come to realise that having lots of stuff around and lots of clothes in my wardrobe that I know I’ll never wear actually makes me feel anxious so I’m not one to have a huge fabric stash anyway but there’s always room for improvement isn’t’ there. I want this sustainability to follow through into our home lives too, buying more responsibly and donating and decluttering where we can so that others can use the things we don’t need.
All of this is learning to me, I’ve by no means got this figured out, my husband would probably still argue that I have way too many jumpers filling up my wardrobe, but it’s just how I’ve been thinking and feeling of late and I know a lot of others have been too so this year, so I’m going to try and be better at it. But if you see me flaunting a completely unnecessary but pretty dress on Instagram that I’ve made this summer please don’t judge me I’m just trying to take a few simple steps in my own small way to try and make a tiny difference 🙂
Are you trying to shop, live or dress more sustainably?? I’d love to hear your experiences and tips…
Thank you for reading!
Lots of love