Here are some of the great things that have come from being involved with WR:
1. I've tried my had at new creative/sewing skills: I've felted and refashioned jumpers; I've made lots of different aprons; I've made kids' pants that have actually been wearable, and I've made skirts from a tablecloth, a men's shirt and even from a pattern!
2. I've become a decent op-shopper: I've learned to look at items of clothing from a different perspective. Instead of just rifling through racks to try to find something in a style I like that also fits (a tough ask!), I scan entire sections for textures, colours and patterns that catch my eye. Some items have fit me or fit my friends, others have been refashioned or joined the 'stash'.
3. I've started to find a style that suits my own tastes and shape: A year ago, I lived permanently in jeans and baggy tops. Now I'm barely out of skirts and dresses, and I often throw in a scarf or brooch for a bit of flair. I'm clearer about what suits my figure. A great benefit of this is that I've become far more content with my body. This is in spite of the fact that I am significantly heavier than I have been before. Dressing the body as it is with respect and acceptance does wonders for the self-esteem!
4. I've thought a lot about where clothing comes from: I had no idea just what a big impact our cultural appetite for 'disposable fashion' was having on the environment. We buy cheap stuff, made in sweatshops, then toss it and let it go to landfill. I feel ashamed about my part in this to date.
So... now what?
I really want to carry on developing my skills, style and new attitude towards clothing. I was trying to figure out whether to take the WR pledge again on behalf of my whole family, when I came across a new-to-me blog Isismade, and THIS:
T H E E T H I C A L C L O T H I N G P L E D G E
I pledge to only wear clothing that is one or more of the following:
2. Handmade (preferably by me)
4. Made with ethical / environmentally friendly materials
5. Made by a company with strong ethical policy & workers' rights
Isis adds: "Companies with environmentally friendly practices (such as cutting down on waste/energy/water) get brownie points. If I get one little inkling of sweatshop labour, I'm outta there! Above all though, I think the most important thing is reducing the amount of things we use in the first place. Not purchasing ANOTHER piece of clothing just for the sake of it is the biggest statement we can make."
I heartily agree. So with permission from Isis, I'm joining her pledge. My aim is to clothe my family primarily from the first three sources, and the latter two where necessary. For specialty items (like shoes and underwear) I'll do my darnedest to find things that fit with the pledge but, failing that, we will buy things to LAST.
If you've been thinking about the same things and want to join in the pledge too, you're welcome to copy the button for your blog, from here or from Isismade.