YOUR CLOTHES CAN TELL THE WORLD ABOUT YOU.
What do your clothes say about you, about what you care about, or perhaps about what you don’t care so much about?
I’m not sure I can claim to be passionate about clothing, but I have always loved textiles. I grew up in a family where, until I learned to make my own, and later had money to buy my own, all my clothes – including undies & school uniforms, but not singlets, swimmers, socks and shoes – were made by my mother. So I was strongly aware of what my clothes told the world about me.
I have always preferred natural fibres because of how they feel but in the last ten years or so there seems to be more and more conversations in different spheres about sustainability. This has made me think about the planetary costs of things, the personal and social burden of our consumeristic way of life and has made me consider more deeply the costs of the choices we make about various aspects of how we live: what we eat, how we live, and what we wear.
fiftythings2016 brings to life the commitment I made to myself to live this year within a wardrobe of fifty items of clothing. This count includes shoes, underwear, clothes for exercise and encompasses both winter and summer wardrobes. As much as possible I have restricted myself to completely natural fibres. I did not allow myself to purchase anything new to include in the fifty.
THIS IS CLEARLY A FIRST WORLD THING. I have spent much time earlier in my life, when I worked in the development/humanitarian sector, with people who literally only had the clothes they stood in. As I write this, on January 7 2016, there are also thousands of people leaving the bleak destruction of Syria with what can be crammed into a small bag or trunk. There are also people fleeing bushfires in Western Australia, leaving their homes with only precious memories or maybe a few photos they can grab on the way out the door.
I have been inspired by creator and communicator Jane Milburn whose Sew it Again project in 2014 was her journey into creativity, empowerment, thrift, sustainability, ecological health and wellbeing – woven with threads of childhood, professional expertise, networks and nature (words from Jane’s blog). In 2014, Jane upcycled a garment every day from her own or others’ wardrobes to create & communicate about a different way of dressing that valued sustainability, creativity and wellness.
I invite you to take a look at and follow my facebook page where I am posting a pic every day of what I’m wearing. I’d love your feedback and thoughts.
USE IT UP, WEAR IT OUT, MAKE IT DO, OR DO WITHOUT.