Every October Karen over at Fringe Association starts a conversation about Slow Fashion. Just like slow food is meant to represent making a choice other than fast food, slow fashion is making a choice other than fast fashion. Here’s her post covering this year’s master plan. Lots of the conversation is happening on Instagram and I posted an intro there last week, but I feel like I have more I want to say than will fit in that format, so I’m continuing my thoughts here.
Slow fashion is a really good match for my interests and the way I approach the world. I have never been interested in collecting clothing, I like to have just enough to serve the purpose of clothing myself. I love knitting, but can’t stand to make something that is going to end up sitting on a shelf. One of the things that has really transformed my making in the past few years was making the decision to treat my wardrobe as a project worthy of care and planning. I know what I like to wear, and spend my time making those things.
Concurrently with this revolution in my crafting, I have been fighting cancer. It has been humbling to no longer be healthy and able-bodied, and I have realized how much of a privilege it is to make your own clothes. Slow fashion isn’t a choice available to everyone, it takes ability and time and money to participate.
Last year I was angry during Slow Fashion October. Every post celebrating someone’s success felt like it ignored my struggles. This year I have a different perspective. Everyone has a reason that it is hard to choose slow fashion, and that’s why we’re talking about it. The pride of a handmade garment is well-earned and it is valuable to talk about how you pulled it off. There’s room for that and a frank discussion of the hard parts.