Thursday, January 10, 2013

Making out of Necessity

As I was crocheting some dishcloths for my own use,  I felt rather old fashioned.  The idea of making things out of necessity seems quite foreign to me and possibly even this generation.  We make because we like to in this North American handmade revolution not because we have to.

I love these small cloths, and love the colors!

In my fashion history course in university, I did a project on war time rations, specifically clothing and fabric, and making do with what you already had.  It was pretty eye opening that people had to do certain things to make it though those tough years.

With this new trend or fad or whatever you want to call it; "upcycling" a word which our parents hardly understand let alone our grandparents.  Recycling was something that was just part of life for our previous generations, it wasn't merely a trend to be eco-friendly.  I agree that it is the right thing to do, making new things from old things, something which a clothing company founded in Toronto have been doing for years.  Pre-loved in my mind a pioneer in the recycling clothing business, they took what was our garbage and leftovers and turned it into a successful fashion brand.

In 2009 I worked for a non-profit organization trying to "solve" the problem of discarded clothing and what to do with it.  Thrift stores would sort through what they wanted or what they could sell, and the rest would come through our warehouse and out the back door onto a semi trailer.  Some of it was damaged clothing or had bleach stains or was out of "style", but most of it was still in fine working condition.  Why did it end up on a semi trailer?  (consumerism maybe?) That's a bigger question for another time though.

We would fill up a trailer once a week with heaps and heaps of garbage bags of clothing.  Some of it would pass through my hands, and my co-workers hands, and we would make things out of it.  So I do fall under the category of being eco-friendly I guess, or maybe I was trying to help with a bigger problem.

Here are some picture of the masses of clothing that come in each day.

This might have go you thinking, it has got me thinking again maybe we have to be socially responsible, live with what we have, mend and make do like our grandmothers did.  Shop at thrift stores instead of buying in to the consumerism mentality of getting a new wardrobe every season.  I know there are a ton of books at the library on how to make clothing and household decor out of clothing you may already have and be tempted to take to the thrift store, instead take a look at some of these books to get inspired!

Here are a few:

 Sewing Green by Betz White

The Sweater Chop Shop by Crispina Ffrench

Handmade Home by Amanda Soule

We made lots of things out of the refuse that would come in; leather bags, wool purses, reusable shopping bags, and pictured below, something that has been going on for years at this organization, weaving rugs out of denim.

My co-worker from this job is making cute baby booties out of discarded leather coats!  Check out her online store!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...