Caring, Sharing, Repairing
Hands up if you have heard of E! People's Choice Awards?
Well, you are ahead of us when it comes to celebrity culture. We had to look it up, but we now know that is an American Awards show recognising people in entertainment. It has been held annually since 1975 and the votes are cast by the general public.
Not much to do with climate change you may think? Well, actually, something very pertinent did come out of it this year.
The Fashion Icon Award was won this year by comedian and actor, Tracee Ellis Ross. In her acceptance speech she thanked her mother, the legendary Diana Ross "for her style and glamour" and then went on to give thanks to the Salvation Army and the Rose Bowl Flea Market for showing her that "style has nothing to do with money. It's the way you put things together - style is the how not the what".
Style, not fashion - you're talking our language, Tracee. Clearly, if you are dressed ultra fashionably today, you will be out of fashion very soon. Style does not go out of fashion. Style is also ageless and it doesn't need to cost the earth.
We understand how looking good can make you feel good but we also know that doing good can make you feel (and look) even better. How great to have a celebrated fashion icon singing the praises of second hand clothing. I wish she could come and see our Community Wardrobe!
Mind you, our Wardrobe is about more than second hand clothes.
Have you noticed that our tagline is
Reuse REPAIR Share
Those of you who came to our Clothes Swaps before the pandemic will know that we had a repair corner and it was great seeing so many of you bringing cherished items that just needed a little bit of time and attention to keep them in the wardrobe and out of the bag destined the charity shop. We are assuming that you would never, ever just chuck your clothes in the bin :)
Repairing our clothes is so important, as is passing on the skills to do it, so if we can find space and a safe way of doing it, we will definitely be bringing back the repair corner. Our Community Wardrobe is still very much a work in progress, with us trying new things each week. In our dreams we have our sewing machines and their associated box of tricks out, ready for use, with our volunteer 'experts' - they don't like to be called that, but in our opinion they are! - on hand to pass on their skills.
It's not just repairs. A little imagination can lift something relatively ordinary into something quite extraordinary.
We found a great example of this type of alteration at our Community Wardrobe recently.
Someone - and we don't know who - has sewn a couple of fabulous patch pockets on to a basic cardigan. We love it! Now, that's style over fashion.
Example No 2: We picked up a coat at the Wardrobe recently and wore it very happily up until a few weeks ago when winter began to creep in and the lack of buttons make is quite an impractical coat.
As it happens, we just love buttons and keep a collection at home - we have adorned many things with one or two jazzy buttons, but no way are we up to the task of making buttonholes. Especially in a coat!
But we can plait embroidery thread to make friendship bracelets , so that's what we did. They became loops for our buttons and now we are as warm as toast.
Oh, the satisfaction of carrying out such a simple fix.
While we're here let's show you a couple of our buttons projects:
These ones were actually done when we were teaching a child how to sew on buttons.
They sewed them on to felt and we put their handiwork on display
Extending the life of your clothes results in a vast reduction in their carbon footprints (figures vary, but range from a 10% - 30% reduction), so it's a really important part of our journey towards a net zero carbon lifestyle. We really encourage you to get into the habit of looking after your clothes and, where necessary, or desirable, making small repairs and alterations.