Saturday Musings: Who Made My Clothes? #MMMay16

Who Made My Clothes -- FashionRevolution.org

Today I made a very informal pledge for Me Made May 2016: to write about how sewing interacts with clothing, shopping, body image, and self expression. All of these topics are individually fascinating, so I’m thrilled to write about them together, all month, as my #MMMay16 participation.

This week I’m talking about the Fashion Revolution movement, and their question ‘who made my clothes?‘ For those of us who make our own clothes, the answer is fun to give — ‘I do!‘ Not only do we get a chance to be publicly proud of our homemade creations, but we also enjoy the process of bringing them to life.

Unfortunately, the question arose out of a 2013 tragedy in which over one thousand people lost their lives, and thousands more were injured or personally affected by the massive loss. Newly aware consumers began to wonder what stories lay behind the clothes they’d taken for granted.

In the sewing community, there were already many who made the connection between our clothes the world around us. RTW fasters, refashioners, upcyclers, DIYers, and estate sale mavens, all stitched with a purpose: to reduce waste, to conserve resources, and add back in some of the corners which retail clothing manufacturers cut out.

The difference now, at least for me, is thinking of ourselves as clothing manufacturers in our own right. Certainly most of us sew for fun, but the more fun we have, the more we share. So many sewers branch out into sewing for their spouses, children, parents, siblings, friends, and co-workers. Even I, with my tiny social circle, sew for several people every year.

It’s weird to say we’re clothing manufacturers, isn’t it! But we source and assemble materials, cut and construct garments, commit to a level of construction quality, and wear what we make. Maybe we don’t use industrial machines, and maybe we lose our mojo at times, but we’re definitely part of the manufacturing community. And given the beautiful, thoughtfully made garments we create, I think we’re a great part.

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5 Comments

  1. This is such a big issue and one that raises many questions, I’m happy that i;m in position to make my own clothes but we’re only minority and the problem still exists, to be honest I don’t think there will be any reall effort for the situation to change to the best! Taking for example what is happening here in Greece , an EU country, the last 6 years, at the moment there are no rights for the workers and the salaries are going down while the life cost is getting even higher!
    ps. just for your info, I don’t get any more email notifications for your posts, maybe you would like to look at it.

    1. Hi Aida! Thanks for weighing in. We who can make our clothes are definitely in the minority of clothing consumers worldwide, which is such a shame.

      I did not know about the situation in Greece. How terrible!!! It makes me so angry to hear about workers being exploited. It’s happening all over the world, it seems, at an unrelenting pace. Who exactly is driving it? And what can we do about it? I wonder.

      Thanks for the heads up on the emails — I’m trying to figure out how to add a ‘subscribe’ link to my blog now that’s it’s self-hosted and it’s proving tricky for me. :-/

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