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thoughts about the garment

Updated: Jan 26

thoughts about the garment before we part with the money ……

Today I received a new email from People Tree.  After having a look, I was invited to see Safia Minney’s new spring summer collection, filmed in India.

This video is ultra cool.  I like it as she has made a constant choice to film the machinists, the film crew, the helpers.  I simply love this!  In fact, I loved it so much, it inspired me to share it on this blog post.

Buying a dress or an item of clothing can be such a quick hit, a quick gratification, suddenly we have managed to spend our hard savings on a fast blast.  It ‘could’ of even been put onto a credit card with those sky high interest rates that keeps you paying it off until you are much older and perhaps wiser! (For me, I am still learning wisdom and self control in this area – my husband is far better at it then i, but its great he is always encouraging me to get better!).

We look great in our new purchases, but have we really thought about all the hard work that actually goes in to creating that garment?  All those long hours slaving away at our, or their, trustworthy sewing machine.

Those people hard at work constructing each item in some factory that no one even knows their name or what issues they are facing.  Simple questions like can they afford to eat, can they afford to buy their own luxury garments or is their minimum wage so minimal that they are barely surviving.

Sewing the collar on to the shirt, putting the pockets in the correct position, changing the shape of the lapel so we are meeting the needs of the clients wishes.  Sewing all of the pretty little beads one by one, these are all very time consuming tasks at hand.


(image found here:

Quite recently I went to a very fun event organised through ‘the good wardrobe’ called ‘SEW IT FORWARD’.  A collaboration between themselves, Divine Fairtrade Chocolate and Oxfam.  The day was 7th March and it was ‘International Womens Day’.  It was a good old fashioned get together where lots of women sat around tables and began customising garments by hand as well as knitting and crochet.  A photographer went around to each of us and photographed our ‘before and after’.  The amazing thing was, at the end of the 2 hours, we each realised how long the item took to complete.

The fact that we hadn’t really managed to achieve a whole lot in those 2 hours because of the length of time it takes to darn something.

Ok, so we were given a free glass of vino and a lovely bar of ‘Divine’ chocolate to nibble on.  But the fact is, creating anything by hand takes time.  As we know we are not robotic, it makes a simple equation that certain items need to cost more than ‘just a few pennies’ and that it is actually worth saving those little coppers to buy something we totally and utterly love and adore.

Perhaps we begin thinking that we can just throw it away as is ‘just as cheap to buy another’.  But then another question arises, what happens to the item that because it was so cheap, lasted a few weeks rather than a good few years?  Perhaps land fill?  Then it leaves me thinking, what a pity … if something is going to be made and take time, loving time to craft it together, then why not CRAFT it together with excellence? – a link if you are just a little bit curious and want to know more about looking after that wardrobe of yours a little longer.

The higher the detail, in theory, the higher the price.  However with the influx of imported goods and items made in china, we all think that its ok that everything should cost the same as Primark.

Well, not necessarily.


(image found here:

Its all down to the value of the actual garment.  How much do we value the ethos behind People Tree?  How much do we value the ethos behind Primark, for instance?  How much do we value the contribution of small ultra hip designer boutiques with small up and coming labels adorning the walls?  Because ultimately, where ever we choose to shop and keep on choosing to shop, this is where those shops will thrive and blossom.

So the real question is, which shops do we want to blossom and which shops do we not mind if they fade away?  Just think of the ever so quirky Carnaby Street back in the 1960’s, or Camden Town, before the influx of chain stores.  Starbucks and MacDonalds or Monmouth Coffee and Arancini Bros?

Our characters are built around uber cool and hip places to hang out with our fashionably stylish friends, or even just sitting and pondering about life, jotting down thoughts of the day with little doodles and prayers for loved ones.  What are our new taste sensations?  Do we dare to explore tastes of the orient or are we sticking to what we know because its the safest bet.

Online shopping is becoming a big boom however you won’t get to meet the friendly faced retail adviser who might assist you to find that perfect little present at birthday time.

Life is always changing at such an alarming rate.  Technology is ever expanding and developing.  We spend more and more time on these boxes called computers with our blogs, twitter and facebook pages.    All the time communicating the way we see life from our eyes but at the same time becoming too busy to go and enjoy a walk in the park with the people we love most.

Life is always about choice.

As I am sitting here choosing to write this blog, my reasons are because I am one of those people who slave away at a sewing machine.  I am in that company of people who create and sew and construct.  But these issues sit and tug at my little heart – if we really began to place high value on handmade, on real beauty, on great ethics.  That if we wanted to, we could sweep a big wave through the industry of ‘fast cheap fashion’ and shake it up.  Instead we might actually find some amazing treats being hand crafted just down the road from you and not necessarily shipped half way around the world.  Or find more products with beautiful value crafted into the label, such as ‘Solitary Pearl’ and ‘Izzy Lane’.

here are a few direct links if you are curious …. – search under ‘oxfam-unwrapped’

Not that treating ourselves to the amazing vastness of choice from all over the world isn’t truly wonderful, as it is. However in reality, some things are just helping the local community to grow a little more.  Buying from the local greengrocers or the local butchers.  The local printers.  The local bakers.  The local cobblers.The local …. well I will leave that part for you to fill in.

Hope you enjoyed the read and it left you pondering.

Many thanks for stopping by!  😉

#community #women #London #customise #sewitforward #excellence #Fairtrade #goodsoil #byhand #buyresponsible #oxfam #madebyhand #internationalwomensday #fastfashion #ethicalfashion #goodwardrobe #divinechocolate

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