Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Slow Fashion October: Introduction

This is the closet I share with my ladyfriend.  I'd say a little less than 2/3rds of it is mine
The lovely Karen Templer has invited everyone participating in Slow Fashion October, or Slotober as it can be known, to introduce themselves.  These are the prompting questions she put forward:

Who are you, and what does slow fashion mean to you. What got you started thinking about it — people, books, films, etc. Are your concerns environmental, humanitarian, financial? Most important: How does your thinking factor into your life and closet. Also, any special plans or projects for Slotober, and what are you hoping to get out of it?

It's probably not surprising that I've waited to address this.  Suddenly I felt like there was way more to say than I could in, for example, an Instagram post.  Here's the scoop - participating in slow fashion (in general) and Slow Fashion October is another aspect of my desire to live as authentically as possible.  Simple, eh?

I've been thinking about slow fashion for a few years now, maybe more but I wasn't conscious of it as a movement.  I'm trying to remember how it all began.  Maybe it was the day I realized I had A LOT of clothes and that all of them didn't reflect who I thought myself to be.  Maybe it's Natalie Chanin's fault.  I fell in love with her aesthetic with the first book, made my first Alabama Chanin item in 2010, and had the good fortune to be able to attend one of her weekend workshops in 2012.  And then there is the Seam Allowance Project started by A Verb for Keeping Warm.  It seemed like many forces were conspiring to move me in the right direction.

But I've always been interested in clothes, and I've been knitting for thirty years now (yikes!) and sewing as well (upping my chops in that area now) so linking the handmade to my wardrobe hasn't been a stretch.  I've also questioned things my entire life (just ask my parents), which is part of the reason I pursued an MA in philosophy (authenticity is a big deal), and I'm keen on learning how to make/do almost everything (e.g. my interest in hunting).  Frankly, I'm an existentialist and want to acknowledge and accept the consequences of my actions.

There are other contributing factors (my involvement with organizations like Amnesty International, for example), but let's get to the most important question (as noted above).  My involvement with slow fashion is organic to the way I'm trying to live my life - in a way that reflects my values and ethics and is mindful.  It is also a way to assert individuality in an increasingly homogenized world.

I'm hoping this month to continue the interrogation of my wardrobe.  I'm working on an essay about how slow fashion has affected my style or my sense of who I am via style, which I hope to complete by month's end.  I'm going to continue making things (just finished two sweaters - huzzah!) and working on picking sewing projects that both reflect my style and are infinitely wearable (just infinitely - hah!).  I'm also giving a talk on slow fashion at A Handmade Assembly on October 19th.

This post rambles, but so be it.  Better to finish it and post it than to continue mulling it over.  As the saying goes "1 idea in action is worth 100 on deck."  Batter up!


  1. I love your phrase "the interrogation of my wardrobe." Your essay about slow fashion and your style identity is intriguing!

  2. I loved reading your thoughts on this! Slow fashion is part of a larger ethical/existential orientation for me as well and I enjoy meeting fellow questioners :)

    1. Thanks, Aimee - looking forward to following your journey as well. I'd hoped to meet like-minded people through this blog. Yay!