The weekend is almost over and I did not sew a single item from scratch. But, I did clear my mending pile.
The purple T was a hot pink T in a former life. I think I bought it at the Gap on the corner of Bancroft and University avenues, when I was an undergrad (?!?). It's probably from the late 1980s because the tag says that it was made in the US, and the construction was done without shortcuts. If you've read Sew Fast, Faster, Fastest (SFFF), then you know what I mean.
I wore that shirt a lot, and it held up very well. One day, it encountered a pen. Can you see the pen ink stain? Scrunch dyed in a plastic shoebox with cobalt blue Procion MX. My basic recipe.
This left a scratchy lump at the left neckline that caused red welts on my skin every time I wore it. A snowy night, binge Netflix, and I ripped out the neckline and redid the neckline the right way. I also shortened the unisex shirt and curved the side hip as shown here.
They are in the outbound box.
As I went though my mending and refashion pile, I noticed a progression. I could see the increase in construction short-cuts as manufacturers tried to produce in the US, then MX, then central America. But, China could beat them on quality for the price because Chinese wages allowed them to take the extra time.
Now China is too expensive and clothing manufacturing has moved on to the next low-wage haven. I don't want my clothing's country of origin tags to be an atlas of human misery and ecological destruction. That leaves welts on the soul.
We can't compete on price. We have to compete on quality in a broad sense. That means taking into account the external costs of our economy, ecology and fairness.
Fashion Revolution Day is actually the week of April 18-24 this year. Be curious about #whomademyclothes.
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