In today’s (5th January, 2013) Guardian there is an article by Rebecca Smithers as she comes to the end of her year without buying new clothes. This is not an original endeavour, and there are several blogs not to mention books by others who have undertaken similar challenges.
What struck me about this piece is how Rebecca’s relationship with her existing clothes has made this a positive experience. Her article at the beginning of the challenge is full of statistics and references to fashion. A year on she speaks of links to her mother through stored clothes, how her friends have adopted a more mindful approach to their wardrobes and the pleasure taken in good clothes keeping practice, including mending and darning.
Also telling are the comments, seizing on the price of a pair of gifted boots, and bitterly reminding us how many people live this way through necessity. When I speak to people about sewing and mending, those with basic skills in this area are often people who have been to boarding school or in the military. The real challenge is to bring these practices into every household’s routine, and spread them beyond the well educated and hip craftsters.