This is the story of how I developed my garment for a:dress.
I first heard about a: dress when I attended a talk chaired by Leah Thorn called 'Fashion To Die For' at the Quarterhouse, here in Folkestone, last year. I hadn't considered how I would get involved myself, but listening to guests speaking about the devastating impact of fast fashion both on the environment and on women's lives globally, I knew that I wanted to get involved somehow.
As the project developed Leah (read about her here) sent out a list of the issues and areas that fast fashion impacts to interested local women to develop garments for a subversive fashion show. After reading through I thought I'd focus on the issue of over production. I came up with the idea of making a garment using waste from my own business- which, of course, is already a waste product.
My initial idea was to use an old t-shirt as a base and tie lots and lots of t -shirt yarn scraps to it (making a sort of hairy monster) and then cover it with a second t-shirt, which would be ill-fitting and hardly contain the scraps. It was titled 'bursting at the seams' and designed to highlight over production & the attempts at hiding this through 'green washing' - such as recycling schemes. I was also considering printing a slogan saying 'Nothing to see here' or similar.
However once lockdown began I was unable to visit a charity shop to buy the t-shirts, so my idea had to evolve. I decided to make the entire garment from fashion industry waste. Made completely by hand from t-shirt yarn. The base is made from 1 1/2 bobbins of yarn, approx 120-180meters. Then scraps from my business cover the garments. There are approximately 40 different yarns used.