Friday, May 24, 2019

MeMadeMay and Sustainability Thoughts

One of my goals for this MeMadeMay was to look at what I'm wearing and why, and to think about how I can make my wardrobe more sustainable in terms of fabrics bought, patterns made, etc -- how to use the best fabrics I can for my budget and not make clothes I'm not going to wear.

I've found that I do like almost everything I've ever made, and the few things that I haven't wanted to wear this month are now in line for refashioning/reusing or donating. So it has been a useful practice to pay attention to my sewing and clothes wearing habits!

In addition to paying attention to my own habits, I also read and listen to many things in the area of sustainable fashion. Here are some of my recent favourites.


Wardrobe Crisis by Clare Press
This podcast by Vogue Australia's sustainability editor is so good! Clare Press interviews a wide range of guests from fashion designers to brands to sustainable makers to the founders of Fashion Revolution, to name just a few. It really expands the understanding of how wide the push for sustainability is getting.

Conscious Chatter
A podcast "where what we wear matters", this one is hosted by a young woman with a background in journalism and international affairs, and focuses on sustainable brands, consumer habits, and wider issues in the field like women's rights, recycling, international conditions in the fashion world and so on.

Trashmagination by Carla Brown
While this isn't focused on the fashion world, it is a series of very short podcasts on recycling, reusing, and remaking things that are often considered to be trash. There are many references to fashion uses of trash, including events like Trashion Weeks.

Dressed Unravel: a Fashion Podcast
Both of these fashion history podcasts are focused on designers, fashion movements and so on, but they've both looked at sustainability issues in some of their episodes. Plus just knowing how different fashion trends have come about sometimes helps to understand the background of massive fashion issues.


Wardrobe Crisis by Clare Press 
Rise & Resist by Clare Press
Both of these books by the author & presenter of the Wardrobe Crisis podcast follow on with the same themes -- a look at the fashion industry in the first one, and a collection of essays and interviews with changemakers in the second one.

Overdressed: the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline 
This classic looks at fast fashion and our consumer habits and talks about ways to counteract the rapid movement of trends and buying and trashing our clothes.


Fashion Revolution
This is the mother ship for questions of sustainable fashion and the call for transparency. Full of resources of all kinds, and best known for #FashRev week and the #WhoMadeMyClothes initiative.

Craftivist Collective
This movement uses craft and stitching as a protest delivery system; their Mini Fashion Statement project in particular looks at fast fashion and the fashion world overall

Do you have suggestions of titles of books or any podcasts that you love listening to that will help me along my learning journey? Is there a great website that you love that talks about this topic? Do you have any go-to tricks to help make your own sewing more sustainable? Please share!


  1. Hi Melanie, A topic very dear to me. Clare Press's book 'Wardrobe Crisis' was amazing! It was a huge turning point for me some time ago, as although I had read many similar books, this was a stand out.
    'Slow Clothing - finding meaning in what we wear' by Jane Milburn is very interesting.
    Through Future Learn there was a very interesting topic 'Fashion and Sustainability' by London College of Fashion. I am not sure if it is still available.
    My problem is, I keep (so so many) clothes which don't fit, with the really good intention of not adding to the landfill, over donation of goods to opportunity shops etc, but I really don't get around to taking them apart and upcycling them. I have a million plans in my head! I can buy a second hand garment and alter it considerably, but I still have these bags of clothes....
    It literally weighs me down. I see so much potential, but don't do it.

    I know this isn't sewing related, but if there are any knitters interested, there is a most amazing fortnightly videopodcast, 'Fruity Knitting'. It is no-nonsense but fun. They have a website and are on Ravelry. An Australian husband and wife living in Germany. They interview incredible people, indie designers, well known authors, and just really talk about the nuts and bolts of knitting. So inspiring!
    A similar sewing video podcast would be wonderful if I ever find one.
    Thank you for your recommendations, I look forward to trying them out.

    1. Oh, thank you Sara! I'll have to check out a few of those links that I didn't know about. As to the knitting show, I don't know of one exactly like it but you could check out That Sewing Blab on youtube -- they have interviewed & featured lots of sewing world people (including yours truly once) and have many episodes to catch up on.

      I hear you on the piles to refashion that just feel like weights pulling you down. I figure if I haven't touched them in a year it's time to either cut them up for fabric scraps or pass them on to charity shops or schools/groups that can use fabric for other things. But I have a hard time passing things on so have to work at it!


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!