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Wardrobe Refashion

Last week, catlily posted an interesting link on her journal, which linked to the Wardrobe Refashion website, which urges people to stop buying brand new ready-to-wear clothes, and instead "refashion, renovate and recycle preloved items." Making your own clothing (or buying things others have handmade) and buying from second-hand shops is fine. If you do commit to the challenge (to buy no new clothes for a period of time), specialized clothing (sports equipment, or things needed for employment), undies and shoes are all exempt.

Why do this? Because we live in a society where so many things have become "disposable," including clothing. Instead of buying things that are made to last years, so much of today's fashion will barely last one season. We throw things out and buy new instead of making simple repairs; we toss things out when they go out of fashion - because so much of what we buy is "trendy" rather than something with classic style. Much of the clothing available in our shops was made in sweatshops in other countries, by people making poor wages in worse working conditions. All of the above? Sucks. By refusing to buy new clothes, you can take a stand against all these things. And save money, too!

I think this is a great idea, and catlily and I have agreed that we're both going to take the pledge together, starting in October, and go for two months without buying any new clothes. (I intend to extend my own pledge to shoes, and forego buying those as well, unless I desperately need something to wear in the snow. This is our first winter here, after all). I'll have my winter coat from Scotland, and I own plenty of sweaters, so I ought to be all right. We'll see. If nothing else, this will give me an excuse to check out some of the second-hand shops in the area.

So, who else wants to take the pledge with us? Sign-ups start today, and I've just sent away my e-mail to the organizer. And here, officially, I'm taking the pledge:

I, Wendy S., pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months (October 1 to December 31). I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, or recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that my thriftyness brings!

When I first decided to do this pledge, I figured I wouldn't be doing much refashioning of clothes, since my sewing/embroidery machine is back in California. Then I had a thought . . . I'd seen tiny machines, and thought I'd check into them. Well, I found one at Target for just $20: the Euro-pro Shark. It's very cute, and has a cool name, too. :D I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, and I probably won't attempt any big projects, but I've got a couple of smaller projects in mind already, and I think it will be fun to use. Technically, this is C's sewing machine, btw. He's going to be using it, too. I already know what my first project will be; I've got a kit to make a new handbag. (Brocade; very pretty). I'm also thinking about making a skirt out of an old pair of jeans. So, keep an eye here for future refashioning updates.

COME ON - SIGN UP FOR THIS WITH ME. You know you want to. Or maybe it sounds scary, but do it anyway! It'll be fun and it's good karma, too. :)


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 16th, 2007 02:56 am (UTC)
LOL! Yeah, I'm not sure I could do this with book, either. So I hope no one asks me to try. :D :D :D
Sep. 16th, 2007 10:20 am (UTC)
Basically, refashioning a preloved book is writing fanfiction.
Sep. 16th, 2007 03:36 pm (UTC)
LOL - actually, I do have a plan to "refashion" a few old books in a different way. But I won't do it to any books I love. I'm going to try and find some old stinkers at the used book store (I'm thinking "The Sun Also Rises"):


I'm thinking about making one for C for Christmas; I think he'll get a kick out of it. But I have to choose carefully. I don't want to use a book that someone might actually want to read again, but realistically, there are plenty of books out there who don't have a chance of being re-read, so I'll find one of those. :)
Sep. 16th, 2007 12:33 pm (UTC)
I have to agree. I buy new clothes maybe, MAYBE twice a year - basically when I'm finally at the point that my clothes are getting unwearable without patches (i.e. becoming weekend project clothes).

Plus sized clothes shopping is such a misery that I hate to go do it.

But books? *sigh* My weakness, too.
Sep. 16th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
I go in spurts with clothes; I won't buy anything for months, and then I'll find myself popping into Old Navy several times in a few months, and buying . . . just stuff. I like the clothes, most of them anyway, but I don't need all of them. I have a couple dozen tank tops now, and yes I do wear them, but realistically I do have more than I need.

Do you sew at all? That can be a great way to get exactly what you want, and make it so it fits perfectly. :)
Sep. 16th, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Awesome idea; I will attempt to adhere to the principle, if not the committing myself to web-posting about it. :) *is trying to be less overcommitted and not sign up for every last thing she sees*
Sep. 16th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
Hee! Yes, being less overcommitted is great! I don't mind the idea of webposting, though. As you know, I'm a whore for posting ANYTHING I make with PICTURES (there's going to be a little cardstock cemetery coming soon, if all the webcam pics of my hPDA weren't bad enough :D), so I figure the blogging won't be a problem for me. :D

I do think it's a very cool idea, though. :)
Sep. 16th, 2007 07:54 am (UTC)
I would take the pledge, if it weren't for the fact that I haven't bought any new clothes in months and months, and when I finally get a job I certainly intend to buy at least a new skirt.

However! I have been mending my clothes and Cash's when they rip, rather than giving them up for lost. It makes me feel old-fashioned and good. I have a skirt with a hole in it that I'm going to start patching artistically with strips from an old pair of pinstripe pants. So I'm with you in spirit. =)
Sep. 16th, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC)
I must admit I haven't been very good about mending; that's one of the things I'd like to start doing. Like you said, it's old-fashioned and good!

YAY for being with me in spirit. :)
Sep. 16th, 2007 08:59 am (UTC)
I've started to knit some of my clothes. :)
Sep. 16th, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking about what I can crochet. I don't like knitting, which is unfortunate, because I think it makes a "nicer" fabric (well, better suited to most types of clothing, anyway). I do have some crochet patterns for things I want to try. Although before I start anything bigger than a new hat or scarf, I want to finish the afghan that I've got about 3/4 finished. It would be nice to have that to use on my bed this winter, in fact. (Maybe I should pull it out today, and work on it for a while). :)
Sep. 16th, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC)
*smiles* Do post a picture when you're done -- I'd love to see it! :)
Sep. 16th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
I can't remember the last time I bought clothes :/ I'm on such an incredibly tight budget that I have to, of necessity, wear my clothes into the ground before purchasing new. *thinks really hard* Ok, I got one new pair of pants last spring (60% off), and a $7 t-shirt about a year ago. Can I get retroactive credit for the challenge? ;)
Another thing to consider... Back in 2001, I fell in love with a certain style of shorts from a brand name manufacturer. Then I got too fat to wear the two pairs I had bought. That style hasn't been made/sold since 2002, so I've been kind of SOL in finding shorts that fit me. A few months ago, I got the wacky idea to check eBay - sure enough, 12 hits, and a few in my size. Only set me back $5 (vs. about $40 new in 2001), and I now have a pair of shorts that'll last for years. eBay is a heck of a lot more convenient for me than trawling the racks of second hand shops...at least for brands/sizes I *know*. Yay for re-using and not sourcing new!
Sep. 16th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
I've only clothes-shopped on eBay once or twice, so it's not something I think of right away. Thanks for reminding me! That will be a great place to check if I feel like there's something I need. Funny, because I think of eBay for other things, but not for clothes. Definitely more convenient for me, too, than trawling second hand shops. Especially because I don't even know where there are any second hand shops nearby (I'm sure there are; I just haven't found them yet). :)
Sep. 17th, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
I rarely buy clothes, but my last big splurge was at the local consignment shop. They are the best place in my little town to find clothes for my age group that don't cost an arm and a leg. And I've been "reconning" (reconstructing) old t=shirts and jeans into useful items. I made a backpack case for my tripod from a pair of hubby's old jeans.

So, I tend to adhere to this, both on the principal of not buying brand new clothes, and because I prefer to shop locally. Don't know that I'll "pledge" but I support your endeavor, and know that I'm right with you!
Sep. 17th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
I've seen some of the t-shirt recons you've done - so cute! I haven't done a whole lot of that myself . . . yet. Mostly, I've sewn myself things from scratch. But now that I don't have my "real" sewing machine, it might be easier for me to try refashioning things - fewer seams on my little tiny machine. :)
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
I haven't bought a new item of clothing in months. I buy shows about once a year. Maybe every other year if my pair of sneakers holds up. When we were really poor 4 years ago we got all of S's new warm-weather wardrobe from Goodwill. A whole new wardrobe for something like $20-30.

So yeah I'll take that pledge, since I already do it. ;)
Sep. 18th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Good luck! Sorry I won't be participating, but I think I already do a very good job of selectively buying clothes I really need and then wearing them until they fall apart (or in the case of office clothing, until their shabbiness would cause embarrassment in front of clients). After something is too tatty to wear in public, I convert it to bedclothes or a cleaning rag, or wear it to paint the house.

Refashioning is beyond me; I don't really have the manual dexterity to do detail work with my hands.

How about if I commit to get all my reading material at the library for the next 2 months? Think of the trees I'll save!
Sep. 20th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
Heh - don't try and make me give up buying books! I'll MUTINY! ;)

Actually, I've gotten a lot better about this - I use the library for a lot of things now, instead of buying them. That would be a interesting challenge to take, but I think I'll just take one baby step at a time. :D (Although this morning, I was in B&N, just waiting for Best Buy to open next door, and I was able to walk by almost all the books that caught my eye. I ended up buying one thing for me - a book on raising dragons; very cute - and a book that Connor and I have been waiting for - the new Spiderwick. All in all, a pretty tame outing). :)
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