Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Ethical clothing challenge...................

Inspired by Jennie's commitment to the ethical clothing challenge, I have decided it's high time I put a little 'E' for effort into the choices I make with how I dress.

Of course there are the usual choices to be made when buying clothes, like can I afford it, does it fit, will I get the wear out of it....

But I have never included thoughts like, is it ethical, fair trade, handmade or organic.

Having spent over a year doing markets, I'm confident to say that I can buy handmade accessories and home wares to fill my home. (and I do...)
But....I cannot say the same about clothes. Sure there are clothes makers out there, but not for plus size. So as much as I'd like to support handmade in the clothes department, I haven't been able to find many, that do a size 20.

Seems as though I might have to be the one who does the making. Which is o.k Just makes me all the more determined to get a clothing range happening for us bigger girls that is hand made local and fabulous.

Of course that's just a pipe dream ...... one day.

For now, I can indeed follow a few rules pertaining to the ethical clothing pledge to get myself sorted for a year of ethical fashion.

So, created by Isis over at Isis Made, is the Ethical clothing pledge.
I plan to follow the pledge for at least a year. If all goes may continue on.

The basic rules are:

I pledge to only wear clothing that is one or more of the following:
1. Pre-loved
2. Handmade (preferably by me)
3. Reconstructed
4. Made with ethical / environmentally friendly materials
5. Made by a company with strong ethical policy & workers' rights

To add to the challenge, I'm going to try my bestest to make colored clothes...GASP! (mum will be so proud!)
I have just ended up a job with a plus size company that whilst fabulous in design, have filled my wardrobe with black, black and more black clothing. Whilst classic and timeless indeed, I do crave the bohemian and Moroccan prints i see and adore Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry fabrics.

So I will also pledge to fill my wardrobe with color....

My concern like many when taking this challenge is what to do about undies. Lucky Isis has got that one figured out too.
Firstly a few ethical makers who do under wear and a great tutorial on making your own. Very funky indeed!

So I'm exciting to become reacquainted with the old sewing machine. It will help fulfill my 2010 resolution to make more time to sew for me and will also start the process of teaching me to take the time and think a bit more about the choices I make when shopping.

Oh, oh, oh....I almost forgot.
I already made my first non black thing today.

It's hot hot hot in Melbourne today and I just wanted something colorful, light weight, and summery to wear. So instead of rushing to the shops for a quick fix I turned to my fabric stash and made a new top with some batik I had.

Not a great photo, but I had to document the beginning of a great pledge.

I'll be back tomorrow to draw the first theme for my monthly design challenge, so don't forget to send through any ideas that you'd like to be included.


  1. Cute top!

    I'll have to check out those ethical undies links. The Kaotic Kraft Kuties have a pattern for making undies out of old teeshirts (although the Etsy link is broken):

  2. the top is beautiful! iwould like to make you something to help give the pledge a kick start x

  3. Several years ago, after ending a bad relationship with a goth who told me I didn't wear enough black (even though it was the predominant colour of my wardrobe), I made a conscious decision to wear more black.

    When choosing clothes, I'd automatically gravitate towards black and then have to stop myself to see what other colours were available.

    I reached a bit of an extreme though, where I wouldn't buy black. I had to turn my mind around a bit and decide if maybe black was a good choice for this particular garment, and maybe I did want black this time (but not all the time!).

    Good luck with your clothing challenge.

    I've been contemplating the ethical clothing pledge, now that several people on my following list have joined it, but I'm a bit scared ;) I don't know where to buy ethical clothes (other than second hand and home made of course)... but maybe now is the perfect time to start because I don't need any new clothes so I can do some research before the time comes when I do need new clothes.

  4. The top looks great - love the fabric :)

  5. And that comment above was supposed to say "I made a conscious decision to wear LESS black."

  6. I think it IS a gorgeous photo of you!

    Jen in Melbourne

  7. welcome aboard! so glad to have you along Jay, and I'm so excited that you have taken this pledge as a plus sized person because while researching my options I've often thought to myself "how would I do this if I were bigger". for example soon I'm going to try making my own bra, but i am teeny tiny so a bra for me doesn't have to be very supportive. I'd love to get your imput on these issues that I might unknowingly miss.

    great work on the batik top! and how good does it feel when you make it from your fabric stash so it doesn't cost you anything

    good luck with adding more colour to your wardrobe, looking forward to seeing your finds. Also looking forward to sharing ethical clothing ideas and info :D

  8. Great top Jay, I'm a bit of a fiend for green and batik so i'm a wee bit jealous. I've joined the ethical clothing pledge too and am looking forward to the undies challenge as the old bondsies are about to give up the ghost.


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