Slow Fashion October: Introductions

Last year I read and followed the articles and publications surrounding Slow Fashion October and this year I will participate! I plan on following Karen Templer’s outline and have some things planned for each week. This is also a little commitment for me to get back to writing after a long summer break and a move, and also a commitment to write and post more. So here we go! This weeks theme is „introductions“, so I will start right away introducing myself. I never really did that here and just recently updated my about page, so it’s time.

I am a general DIY enthusiast and all crafts related to fiber interest me a lot. I am mainly sewing and knitting and started to do so more than ten years ago. In the „day job“ part of my life i am writing my master thesis in Gender Studies and working at Humboldt University here in Berlin. I make time for sewing and knitting here and there, and as making things is very important to me this works quite well.

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I moved to a new shared flat some weeks ago and my new room is finally big enough for a designated sewing corner! These are my sewing machines, a brother serger and an elna, plus a tiny part of my tools and some partly finished knitting projects.

As you can read in my post about my first sweater, what brought me to making my own clothes (and what is still my main motivation), is a passion for making and the challenge to make something that I couldn’t afford otherwise. Especially being a student with a part-time job, this is a very important point for me. This also means that I can’t afford nice fabrics from Japan, beautiful French yarn or all the nice project bags and notions out there. The consequence for me is working with what I’ve got: Buying affordable (but not necessarily traceable or ethically produced) fabric and yarn from natural materials most of the times and sometimes getting something fancy. I think it over and over before I buy a sewing or knitting pattern, and if I am sure I will use it over and over, I buy one. With patterns, I prefer indie ones over Burda, so there is the added bonus of supporting small (mostly) women-owned and run businesses. For the last week of SFO, I have a list of my favorite stores and resources planned.

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Slow fashion means for me being able to control at least one part of the clothes production process: the sewing or knitting. But it also means to me not having to rely on trends and what is deemed fashionable for the season. Another VERY important part for me is that when I make my own clothes I also don’t have to follow the norms of the fashion industry on feminine clothing or clothes for women. Before I made my first Archer shirt for example, I was wearing ill-fitting men’s shirts, because women’s shirts always have some silly ruffles or extra darts or are simply too short to be warm enough.

My most important points or goals with regards to slow fashion, conscious clothing or an ethical wardrobe are the following:

  • Make as many clothes for myself as I can.
  • Buy second hand clothing.
  • Repair as much as I can.
  • Refashion things that I don’t want anymore or refashion second hand clothes.
  • Give away things that I don’t wear anymore.
  • Accept clothes from people, if they don’t want them anymore.
  • Buy ethically when possible and if not, buy something exciting!

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