Monday, April 23, 2018

Made and treasured (Fashion Revolution Week)

Fashion Revolution Week: April 23-29, 2018

These cushion covers (from Ten Thousand Villages) are not clothes, you say.

Yes, I know.

But they have something in common with the aims of Fashion Revolution Week.

They were loomed by hand, by artisans in India who used the ikat dyeing-weaving process. If you're not sure what that is, take a look at the crafting footage in this video from My Green Closet.

Besides the fact that making ikat cloth seems incredibly difficult and time-consuming, which unfortunately makes it expensive, there's another point to consider: it's valuable because real people used their eyes and hands and tools and skills to create it. Like the Fashion Revolution slogan "Loved Clothes Last," it means that items made with that much artistry are for keeping. We put them to use, but we also treat them with care, out of respect for their makers, for the materials, and the creativity embodied in them. Like hand-knit slippers, or hand-penned calligraphy. Or a recycled-iron owl (also from Ten Thousand Villages, but not currently on their website).
Things kept and used in this way take on a meaning outside of words like "sofa cushion."

And clothes kept, worn, worn again, maybe mended or dyed or altered, take on meaning as well. It's not just a jean jacket; it's your jean jacket. 

That's a long way from fast fashion.

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