There was one big thing that I learned while on my journey to purposeful fashion — it does not come cheap. While I did save tons of money not buying as much clothing, sustainable and eco-friendly clothing brands do not come cheap. One glance at a $58 white t-shirt or a $200 pair of black boots is enough to make you want to give up.
That is, until you start making your own clothing. I recently made two knit scarves, and they completely changed my perspective on how I buy my clothing.
My goal for this upcoming year is to create more. I started that off with a new hobby — knitting. There was no big, well-thought out reason for why I wanted to knit. My editor asked me to write an article about knitting tutorials for beginners. The more I watched them, the more I realized that I could do it.
So I went to JoAnn Fabric, bought a pair of needles and some yarn, and decided to knit scarves. After a few of those knitting tutorials were watched, I jumped into it. And guess what? I loved it.
Knitting is relaxing for me. It’s fun to create me own piece of clothing and follow a pattern. It also gives me yet another reason to binge watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix. But the real reason that I love it is even bigger than that — it opened my mind to how clothing is made.
I now know why handmade clothing costs so much. Making things with your hands is hard. It takes a lot of time and a lot of “mother-effing” inanimate objects. The biggest reason is that everyone is paid for their work, from the yarn makers to the people who who rung me out at the store. Except me, of course. I like to think that I’m being paid in insight.
After a year of living purposefully, I thought that I had it down. I shop at thrift store, recycle my clothing, and research brands that I buy from. It turns out that I only had the foundation.
I had learned how to make a difference with my closet. I didn’t know that I could physically make the difference in my wardrobe.
Some people will just take a look at the photo and see knit scarves. It’s much more than that for me. It’s me taking control of my own wardrobe. I thought that fashion was what you buy or bring to an outfits, when really it’s about how you contribute to the fashion world that matters.
I’m not saying that everyone should start making their own clothing, but I am saying that it’s an eye opener. I didn’t realize how much work goes into one article of clothing until I tried it for myself. If you’ve been following along on my journey for a while, you’ll know that I talked about how clothing is made before.
The documentary The True Cost opened my eyes to the story behind the clothing. Not everyone is paid fair for the items that they make, which means that what you buy and where you buy it makes a difference. I highly recommend watching it. It’s available on Netflix, and it will completely change your life.
There is something therapeutic about sitting down and using your own hands to create something.
After watching the documentary, I highly recommend diving in an trying to create your own clothing for yourself. Try it out, whether it’s diving into knit scarves like I did or sew your own dress. I promise you that it will change the way you see your closet.
So far I have learned how to do two different stitches, and I plan to learn so much more. I’m two knit scarves down with a half of one on the loom. I’m also planning to dive in to hats and mittens as well. Because life is too short to stop doing something you love.
I’d love to hear what you think of my new hobby. This is just the start of all the incredible things that I plan to create this year, but I’m really proud of the start that it is.