Sewing clothes from scratch, refashioning existing garments and buying second-hand items means that you are free from the clutches of the clothing industry. You are not responsible for the inhumane working conditions of the thousands of sweatshops and factories, or for the waste and damage caused by clothing production and transportation. I know that is quite a simplified statement, and that undeniably we are all responsible for the mal-treatment of other people and the world which we share, but I'm pretty convinced that removing my role in a particularly damaging and exploitative manufacturing industry I am not making it any worse (incidentally, this is why I gave up my 'career' in the clothing industry). From this 'vantage' point, I can research into the practices of this industry easier without being compromised by personally being part of it's chain.
Another related realisation came to me yesterday. All the thousands (millions?) of euros/pounds/dollars what-have-you that are spent every year on advertising clothing brands and retailers? To me and other committed sewers and refashioners: irrelevant. Nothing more than pretty, or often boring, pictures. I haven't touched a fashion magazine in weeks, but when I do chose to, the most that can happen is that I'll be inspired by the silhouette or detail of a garment that I may try to sew in the future. I cannot be pursuaded to part with my cash in any particular store on any particular aspirational line of clothing. To the ad-man, I may as well not exist. That's quite liberating.
I hope the Me-Made-March challenge, like the Makeshift project that inspired it, will encourage sewers and refashioners to rely on their creations to perform the function they are intended for: to clothe you. You know that rush that you get when someone compliments you on something you're wearing that you happened to have made yourself? Well, what if you gave yourself the chance to experience that everyday? I'm not saying it's going to be easy: I might fail or resort to wearing the same three things for a month when the rest falls apart, but I think it's an endeavour worth attempting. Oh, and to celebrate the Me-Made-March challenge, I will be having a Me-Made/sewing based giveaway each week throughout March, so make sure you pop back during that time.
Seeing as I don't have any new completed garment at the moment to show you, I have illustrated this post with recent uploadeds to Burdastyle that I have found particularly inspirational. Click on each image to see the full garment, details and talented creator.