I wanted to share this one as an example of sustainable clothing that is also sweet, pretty and feminine. It's only a very simple child's skirt and there are already numerous designers and manufacturers producing some really lovely styles in sustainable children's wear - I'm not seeking to compete in the children's wear market. We are hoping to achieve the same sweet, pretty and feminine styles in a womens wear line of sustainable clothing.
So how is this piece sustainable? The main content of the item is recycled cotton print fabric from an existing dress (always hated the dress cut but loved the fabric!). The lace hem trim and the cotton tie at the waist are remnants, new materials but pieces normally thrown out by suppliers due to the limited quantity. All materials then have been saved from landfill and repurposed into something quite sweet and pretty, and loved by the dear little girl for whom it was made. As we observe similar ideals for obtaining sustainable fabric sources for our womens wear line we will produce a range of unique and individual garments even though they share the same basic pattern. In our studio all recycled and reclaimed materials are thoroughly inspected and tested for wear and durability - a sustainable garment should have the same, or longer, wardrobe life as a garment made from all new materials. Some garments in our developing womens wear line may also contain new materials made from certified organic natural fibres and sustainably produced hemp fibres.
Now this piece was constructed using common polycotton thread. In the future the plan is that garments in this line will be constructed with undyed organic cotton thread and only externally visible stitching will use organic dyed cotton thread or organic dyed silk thread, depending on colour availability.
The other major plan to be implemented for future garments in this line is the use of pedal or hand crank powered machinery. Personally, I love the romance of pedal powered machinery, but on a sustainability level it makes sense for our studio. We currently have two functional and beautiful machines of this type in our studio, they are simply a delight to use - quiet, reliable, and beautiful pieces of machinery. Until the studio is wholly run on green power these will be our preferred machinery for garment construction in this line. (We use these machines already to provide an additional element of authenticity to our late 19th through to mid 20th century historical dress projects.)
If you have a garment that you can't toss because you love the fabric, but the style or size of the garment are no longer suitable, talk to us about having your garment remade into something new - you'll be surprised what some of your old favourites can be transformed into.
Thanks for reading the first post in our sustainable clothing line. We hope it gets you thinking about your wardrobe choices and considering the materials your clothing is made from and their production processes (the environmental costs), where your clothing is made and who makes your clothing (the social and economic costs).