Art & Design Magazine

Fast Fashion and Fast Sewing

By Mmadalynne @mmadalynne

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Ethical e-tailer Zady took out a one page ad in The Wall Street Journal that beckoned, roused and mobilized the fashion industry.

“Fast Fashion is Fast Food. Empty calories that make us feel full. Factories full of mistreated workers. Rivers full of toxic chemical, closets full of disposable wears. Landfills full of yesterday’s garments. Process matters. Quality matters. Honesty. You’re damn right it’s a call to action.”

They nailed it.

As an 18-year-old, I was a morally neutral zealot of clothing. I didn’t care about a garment’s provenance or fiber make-up. All I cared about was if I had an outfit to wear for the weekend, regardless if plans were in place. Even into my twenties, I never second-guessed my gluttony. I simply enjoyed the delight of dressing up.

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I didn’t experience a rapid U-turn. Rather, it was fusion of many elements that put me into my current headspace. As I dug deeper into the world of sewing, I slowly realized the craftsmanship that goes into making a garment. Holy shit, it takes an apt artist to put together a shirt or pair of pants that fits well and looks good. Also, leading ladies I considered fashion’s mightiest didn’t have a bulging wardrobe, but a refined closet composed of a select number of silhouettes and colors. Also, the rate of fashion trends is exhausting to keep up with, and eventually, I was pleading for a slower pace. Finally, in January, Colette’s Wardrobe Architect, gave me the tools to finally do exactly what I always wanted, which was to create a unique and effective wardrobe.

But many people replace one addiction with another, and as the percentage of my wardrobe becomes more handmade, I have to be careful that I don’t become ravenous for fabric, notions and patterns the way I was for Forever 21 clothes. I don’t want to replace a fast fashion addiction with a fast sewing addiction. A mid-century, well-dressed woman thought about what she wore as much as she thought about her husband because she knew it was a representation of herself and her values. You are what you eat? You are what you wear. There’s something unique and cool about a “considered” your daily attire.  But consideration takes time and planning. I can’t be eaten in one serving, so don’t become gluttonous.

Fast fashion and fast sewing. Don’t replace one with the other. That’s all I have to say about that.

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