These days, it seems like we can’t turn around without having fallen ‘off’ trend and out of style! The fashion industry is enormous, with one report estimating as much as $250 Billion spent in the United States alone! Furthermore, big companies now imaging 52 ‘mini-seasons’ a year. How can we possibly keep up? Not only is it expensive to keep up with the demands of ‘fast’ fashion, but it’s also harmful for our planet. Choosing to craft ‘slow’ off-sets the speed and waste of the industry.
Read on to learn more about the downsides of ‘fast’ fashion, and the beauty of crafting ‘slow’.
In the bygone days of ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, the fashion world anticipated Fashion Week. With seasons rolling out as ‘Spring/Summer’ and ‘Fall/Winter’, designers had one chance to make a splash. Notable ideas filtered down into ready-made clothing, influencing our style for the next year (at least!). These days, big companies (like Zara and H&M) plan for between a dozen and 52 individual fashion weeks. Stores receive shipments each with with new items! Clothes are made quickly, worn quickly, and finally tossed just as quickly, as we shop the next ‘look’.
Not surprisingly, this is an expensive way to keep our closets looking fresh! From an NPR report, the average household spent over $1700 on fashion in 2014. Consequently, since fast fashion isn’t made to last, between 13-15 million tons of textile waste is discarded each year. Because these items are made from less sustainable materials, as a result they will take decades to break down in landfills. Even if you donate your no-longer-wanted items, it’s sad to learn that only 10% of items donated in the US end up being resold. The rest find their way to a landfill, too.
If that news is making your head spin, you’re not alone! But do not despair, crafters. Whether we do it purposely or not, those who take time to engage in the process of hand-making are part of a meaningful movement to upset this global industry. By investing in the art of hand-making, we’re putting our time & our money where our values lie. Crafting ‘slow’ expresses the elevated beauty of pieces made mindfully, and the intent to wear them beyond this ‘season’.
By investing our time & energy in unique, hand-crafted pieces, we embrace the reality of time. We choose conscientiously how to spend it, and we celebrate what we can accomplish in the hours (days, weeks) it takes to finish a project. There’s a deeper appreciation for items made this way, and woven into the fiber is our dedication to mindful, meaningful engagement with the true art of fashion.
Purchasing hand-made pieces ‘off-the-rack’ can be wildly expensive! We pay significantly more for items tagged ‘hand-made’ or ‘hand-embroidered’, and the retailer cannot truly guarantee that it was. If it was, we know the artisans were not paid accordingly. By taking matters into our own hands, we take over the business model. We select the pattern, purchase the materials, oversee the crafting, and become the artisans ourselves. We invest in the garment in a whole new way, upending the cycle and placing enormous value on the creator.
If you’re new to crafting, we have some resources to help you craft ‘slow’.
Click here for detailed steps to get started with crochet – you’ll see videos and illustrations, so you can choose what’s best for you! And here’s a simple pattern to try, our One Hour Crochet Cowl. It’s a Level 1 – Beginner pattern, worked up in our Wow! Yarn, which is a blast to craft with, especially for beginners. You’ll finish this statement cowl in no time, and you’ll be – pardon the pun – hooked!
Think you’d rather pick up needles? Click here for our ‘How to Knit’ guide. And you might love this pattern, our Neck’s Best Thing Knit Scarf! It’s another Level 1 – Beginner pattern, also working up in our Wow! Yarn. This jumbo yarn is so fun, you’ll be ‘wowed’ by how quickly you’ve got a finished product in your hands.
At Lion Brand, we collaborate daily to take the best of the high fashion world and realize it in patterns, colors, and styling for our crafters. Hand-making is an investment, but one that guarantees that pieces will be worn & cherished for years to come. We’ll meditate on what it means to craft ‘slow’ this year, and we hope you’ll join us. Please share in the comments any thoughts or feelings you have about fast fashion v. crafting ‘slow’, and show us your artistry on social media with the hashtag #LionBrand! Can’t wait to slow down with you.