I was chatting recently with Tyger, my daughter, about the Handmaker's Factory pledge - basically, to minimise your clothing footprint, you choose to make as many of your clothes as possible. This lead to a great discussion about how little our clothing costs us now compared to other times in history, and how the back bone of our cheap clothes is often poor exploited workers with no rights in third world countries. It's a dreadful case of out of sight, out of mind, yet our desire for $8 t-shirts has a devastating effect on so many people every day.
I could see the Tyger chewing over this new information carefully for a while. She then announced that she'd like to take the pledge too.
Now, I'll admit - my first reaction was to panic. "For the love of mud, child!", I thought. "As if I don't have enough to do, without making all of your clothes as well!"
But then I thought, dammit Jorth - don't be such a hypocrite. Why shouldn't me and my girl get together to make her new clothes as needed? This is what I figure - if we can teach them young to avoid the consumer culture that has such a damaging effect - not only on people, but on communities, the environment and even the loss of once-common skills - then it really doesn't matter that I might feel too busy to do this. My girl wants to make a difference, and by gee - I'm going to help her do it, even if it means burning the midnight oil.
So we devised her a winter wardrobe plan, and one most excellent shopping trip later, came home with these:
The fabric will be made into a couple of shirts and three dresses. I'm quite excited about the prospect of an elephant dress. How cute is that going to be?!?
The yarn will be made up into a Sea Princess Cardigan and this Sirdar cardigan, using one of my all time favourite yarns, the Amy Butler Belle Organic. You should have seen me race over to Sunspun to snaffle up as much as I could when I heard it was being discontinued. Noooooooooo! It's such a blimming awesome yarn - warm, brilliant stitch definition, great colours. I feel I'm losing a reliable friend to a far off destination, ne'er to be seen again. Sniff! Anyway, it's heavily discounted at Sunspun, which made these two cardigans absolute bargains, so if you love it as much as I do, get yourself some pronto!
So that's me kept busy for the next few weeks, err, months. Busy fingers and clear conscience. Just the way I like it!