Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Refashioning Roundup

Every now and then, refashioning is rediscovered by the mainstream media.

The great fashion detox
follows several women who have downsized their fashion spending. Several mention mending, shopping their closets, clothing swaps and a couple even practice refashioning. They all look terrific.

Tokyo hones its vintage clothing market introduces a new (to me) label:
Some vintage enthusiasts say it's not enough anymore merely to hunt and purchase. Professional buyers like Shinichi Kotani, who travels Europe and South America for five vintage shops, said, "The problem has always been with size. The fact is, clothes made overseas are just too large for the Japanese body."

This is where the "remake" comes in.

The successful pioneer company in this field is called Taos, which collaborates with a vintage wholesale retailer. Taos remakes and refashions old clothes in a way that makes them undistinguishable from new. Shirts are taken apart and sewn together again, re-emerging with a tighter, more fashionable silhouette. A pair of woolen pants may turn into a vest, a chef's shirt into a sleeveless summer blouse. A linen bed sheet becomes a button-down shirt. Almost all the work is done by hand. The end-product bears the Taos tag and is sold for a higher price than what people expect to pay for vintage clothing, but as Kotani points out, it would be "unfair and inaccurate to call Taos products vintage or recycled products. What they're creating is something completely new."
Alabama Studio Style also featured Upcycled Embroidery and linked to the tutorial at How to Finish the Trendy Tunic.

Find tons of inspiration at Wardrobe Refashion.

The Thoughful Dresser also links to My fashion footprint: Is your wardrobe bad for the planet? In Britain, "a woman buys 34 new items of clothes a year, a figure that has nearly doubled in the past decade." That makes the average American woman, at 48 items, positively gluttonous.

(I re-upped for a 9 month Wardrobe Refashion pledge starting in April. However, like some who are about to embark upon a diet, I did some spring/summer shopping before taking the pledge. Work clothes also don't count against the 1 item every two months. Plus, I got to Maui and discovered that one of the two swimsuits I brought had disintegrated to the point of indecency. That said, I have bought 20 items in 2008 with 4 months to go.)

The fashion footprint article introduced the Environmental Damage Unit, or EDU. The author eschews tumble drying and buys much less than typical women.
Our household EDUs is 1,282. A breakdown shows that our actual clothing EDUs is quite low at 558. But then there's the laundry, which at 724 EDUs is slightly alarming. It includes 324 from washing and a whopping 400 from ironing.
I knew there was a good reason I gave up ironing. The environmental impact of laundry and ironing is also discussed in How 'Green' is Your T-shirt? and Waste Couture and Made in LA.


  1. Oh, I absolutely love the idea of wearing unironed clothes as an act of environmentalism.

    My clothing purchases have decreased dramatically since the baby was born. I don't have time to shop! We went out shopping about a month ago, on one of our nights away (courtesy of my parents) and did some shopping. I think I bought 12 items, which would be just about all I've bought for me since Pumpkin was born 16 months ago.

    Of course, the number of things I buy (or actually, Pumpkin's doting grandparents buy or make) for Pumpkin probably balances that out.....

  2. I've also given up ironing. I may start telling people it's for the sake of the environment...