Re-Fashioning Fabric

I think I’ve mostly always been a very resourceful person. I try not to buy new unless I need to; I purchase second-hand regularly, and buy things with a long use life. But since the ICPP report released a couple of weeks ago, and the extremely dire situation we, as humans on earth, all face, I have been inspired to make further changes.

Like many, I have gone through the “stages of loss”: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I think I remained in depression longer than the first three! But I’m now in acceptance, and more so, in action mode! The time to act is now. So, as one of many steps, I’m trying to make more of my own clothes, and to use discarded fabric to do so.

Simply making my own clothes feels empowering: I can tell large-scale fashion corporations to go f*ck themselves, by simply not supporting their profits or often oppressive and exploitative operations. But for me, this doesn’t go far enough. The textile industry is one of the largest environmental pollutants, and energy intensive commodities out there. So for this reason, I’m trying not to buy new fabric, but to make use of stuff that I already have.

Here is one of my recent projects; to take a sample fabric, given to me, and to turn it into fashion. I modelled it off of a traditional Guatemalan top I recently saw at the Musée des beaux arts in Montreal at the exhibition “Connections” (link here). The final photo is the pic I took of the traditional top at the Museum with my son, who was thoroughly hamming it up, as usual! The first picture is the fabric sample, and then three versions to show you how it looks at different angles.

Let me know what your solutions are for using up stuff in the world!