Ever since I began sewing, I have wanted to buy my fabrics from second hand shops and charity shops, however it is difficult to find a big enough piece of fabric for the pattern you want to make. Even if you buy an XXXXXL shirt, there this isn’t enough to make say, a dress. Know what I mean?
Anyway, all that has changed since I began making bags. I am absolutely loving making bags. It allows my inner magpie to go wild. You know when you look at a fabric with a crazy print and you’re like ‘ahhhhh I need that now‘ but actually it would look bloody ridiculous on you? Well that’s fine, because it will probably look incredible as a bag!
I have been thoroughly engrossed in blogs focused on eco living recently, and something that pops up a lot is the negative environmental impact of the fashion industry. From the terrible conditions that cotton farmers have to cope with in order to produce our textiles, to the shocking throw away society of the west – who don’t seem to give a toss about what happens to their waste once it they’ve put it in the bin.
Truth is, we all want ‘new’. The attitude is that there’s nothing glamorous about shopping in second hand stores, or bidding on eBay for someone’s old T-Shirt – but actually, I think there is.
There are so many clothes and beautiful fabrics already in the system, that we really don’t ‘need’ anything new to be manufactured. After my lovely trip to the charity shop today, rooting through all of the clothes to find some gorgeous fabric gems, I realised that it is seriously fun. And another advantage? You don’t have to pre-wash – woo! These fabrics have already been worn + washed (hallelujah!)
The other responsible way to shop is to buy from ethical fabric suppliers and support small businesses who are doing the right thing. As somebody who works in a small family business myself, I know how important it is to spend my money within my community and ensure that it goes to a responsible place.
So from now on, I am setting myself two goals:
- To buy more of my fabrics from charity shops/second hand.
- If I decide to buy new fabric, I will only buy it from ethical fabric suppliers (preferably small businesses!).
Are you with me?