Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Spending $8 on clothes

Where do your clothes tend to come from? Large department stores? Smaller local boutiques? Thrift shops? Or do you make them yourself? I'm guessing that many crafty types would have a mix of all of these, as I do.

Lately I've been thinking a bit about the clothing industry and 'disposable fashion'. This was prompted by the recent tragic Bangladesh factory collapse. Prior to hearing about it I had been patting myself on the back for finding a pair of jeans that I loved in a large store for just $8 (they're the purple ones in my Me Made May pics). But then I heard the story and had to look on the tag to see where they were made... Bangladesh. And those cheap kids leggings? Bangladesh. Kids skivvies for school? Bangladesh. I know this is a complex topic, exploitation happens in many countries, and those countries need the source of income, it would just be a lot better if conditions were safe and fair. I'm no expert... but it did make me think that I'd like to be more mindful of where and how I acquire my clothing. Then I read this post that made me think, loved the ideas & pledge behind the Handmakers Factory and participated in Me Made May. All food for thought.

Jeans Flares from Sass & Bide. Fix broken back belt loop and wear as they are.
Skirt Gorgeous double layer voile in green and pink poppy print. Repurpose into top.
Dress Silk overlay and cotton voile under-dress. Repurpose into Wiksten tank.
T-shirt Monster print Mambo t-shirt. Repurpose into a Skinny Tee for my son.

The purple jeans were a bit of a rarity, I almost always buy my jeans second hand at my favourite thrift shop, which I've written about several times. They charge by weight, 1 kg is $8. So the other day, after I'd had to throw out a pair of threadbare jeans I dropped in to see if I could find a 'new' pair. And not only did I find a pair but also 3 other gems, and it came in at 1 kg. So again I spent $8 but this time I got 4 things! That's not always the case - sometimes I go and find nothing. But when I do I leave feeling good... now that feels like money well spent.

I'm not saying that I'll only buy second-hand or make my own clothes from now on but I think a mix of those with just the basics from stores (underwear, socks & shoes) should be achievable for me. I have already re-purposed that green skirt above. Show you later this week ;-)


  1. Very inspiring. My 7 yr old girl has lately been asking to go Op-Shopping like her friends, and we've found lots of great items for both of us. And we both get so much joy from it - it's our girly think to do, and always followed by a hot chocolate!

    1. That sounds lovely Bek! And for me there's definitely an excitement in unearthing a great find that I don't get in a store with new clothing. Enjoy your outings :-)

  2. I haven't bought anything (clothing) in a store since was one of my New Years resolutions, but the Bangladesh tragedy definitely solidified it for me. I have been sewing a lot to try to fill holes in my wardrobe that I would have otherwise just gone out and bought. I really need some jeans but haven't got to that yet. I think the thrift store shopping is great, my husband is weirded out by it though and so I tend not to do it. He thinks I will bring home bed bugs, haha. I humor him.

  3. I've really been enjoying doing some thrifting and repurposing lately. It's a great way to find knit fabrics (fabric stores have such a boring selection) and the linen section usually has something good - I made a fun circle skirt for myself using a thrifted sheet with a green retro print. It's easy to buy those cheap clothes but I often wonder, if they can sell a t-shirt for $4, how much did they pay the person who made it?

  4. the post and to whomever may read your comment and decide to add on to it further Designer lehenga

  5. I'm in the same camp. I think December was the last store bought clothing, well sans two cardis (which one is now too large). I'm still buying bras, as I'm not entirely ready to try the making one thing.

    Read _Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion_ and your stomach will turn . . .

    I've re-purposed some things too. A skirt into a shirt and now a dress will become another Briar. Though, that dress was sold as a skirt and I've never understood how someone is tall enough . . . anywho, I got bleach specks on it and there is enough to make a shirt.

  6. I know this is an older post but I just found your blog (yay!!!!)

    The ABC did a story on Bangladesh factories not too long ago. It was on 4 corners or 7.30 report or something like that. Quiet interesting if you are able to watch on iview or some other modern technological wonder way :-)


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