Over the years, I’ve collected small pieces of wool fabric that many would deem ready for the garbage. Often asked, what are you going to do with those? (along with a few chuckles at my expense). I’ve used them to tie my product tags onto my bags. But lately I've been allowing myself time to play in the studio. So much of my work has focused on function and the need for exactness. My perfectionistic tendencies are a strength in my work as a bag designer. At times, however, I recognize that they stifle my ability to be creative. Play time has resulted in me broadening my work beyond the walls of a bag. What started as an exploration in piecing work has led me into exploring fiber art. Here I find I’m not hindered by rules or structure and have the freedom to just play without the concern of whether or not it will sell.
As a small scale one woman designer, I have a hard time throwing away all those scraps. The fashion industry is one of the leading producers of waste in this county. I can only imagine how much waste large scale companies produce given the amount that I produce by myself.
Did you know extending the life of a garment by 9 months reduces it’s environmental impact by 20-30%? One of the goals in my work is to create a long-lasting durable product so that you don’t have to buy a new bag every few months. Quality over quantity. Fast fashion has taken over society but we need to stop to think about what happens to our clothes and accessories when we decide to move on to the next fashion trend.
I blame the media and marketing as much as the fashion industry. As young women, we are taught that we must have the latest and greatest in order to be beautiful and admired. We are pitted against one another and learn to compare ourselves in this disgusting fight to be the best, often equated to having the best things.
I’m not claiming to be perfect in any regards here. But I think there are small steps we can all take to make an impact. Ask yourself the questions. Do I really need another shirt? Could I find it at a thrift store? Does it make sense to pay a little more for a product that will last me forever? You be the judge.