Around the same time I had my weight loss surgery a friend if mine started running and training to run competitively. She was always a few sizes smaller that me so as we both lost weigh she would pass on her clothes to me. For about a year I didnt have to buy new clothes. I kinda got used to it. Now she and I are about the same size so all the things she’s given me are too small. But like I said I’ve gotten used to not having to buy clothes.
Sometime during my weight loss I heard about the deaths of many factory workers in Bangladesh. People working for small wages to make clothes for people like me. People who want to live life in something like comfort and work hard everyday. People like me.
But the whole story turned me off of buying commercial clothes because it’s so easy for manufacturers to cheap out on the Labour so they can make an extra buck.
So. ..I’m taking the clothes my friend gave me and the few things I have bought over the last 2 years and making them smaller. Its not pretty but it works.
I took the sleeves off one long sleeved shirt and made them into pockets. I cut a slit midway up the back of that same shirt and overlapped the flaps and sewed them together so it’s fitted in my waist. I’m going to keep doing this till all the shirts I have fit me the way I like and function the way I need them too.
One of my pet peeves about women’s fashion is that there is a distinct lack of pockets because designers presume you have a purse. Such is not the case for all women. It feels sometimes like they’re trying to tell me I don’t have anything worth carry on my person but I am trying to not see it that way
The point of this story is that Instead of tossing out what doesn’t work and getting new. I’m making do with what I’ve got. It means that I’m paying off more debt faster but it also means that I’m not spending in our consumer based society like im supposed to.
It’s making me think about how I interact with other people. How I veiw people who do care about fashion and how one can use fashion as a form of activism.
By generally not wearing logos and making clothes work for me by changing them as I need to I’m working against what’s normal for people who earn the kind of money I earn. (It’s decent but I’m acutely aware of how close to financial disaster I am every month.)
I am far more conscious about where my clothes come from when I do buy them now a days.
It’s all part of being the change I want to see in the world.
I hope I don’t sound condescending, that’s not my intention. I dont mean to guilt anyone into doing things any different. I just hope I can inspire some positive change.
I love the patchwork look of my new old garments. It comes from my background as a quilter. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to make my own clothes out of the organic fair trade cotton I got in Wales. But for now I gotta settle for re-upping the stuff I already have!