Wardrobe Lineage.

A much shorter exposition for Week Four of Slow Fashion October. This week is a bit hectic but I so want to complete the thought process of this month long meditation.

This week’s theme is Known Origins:

Good (especially good and affordable) sources of yarn and fabric with traceable origins. And for the things we buy, favorite sources: from small-batch designer-producers to fashion companies trying to do the right thing in a transparent way.

I have talked a lot about second-hand fabric. I like the challenge of thinking about what I might make and then seeing what I have on hand or heading down to the local op-shop to see what’s there. And I like finding a use for something people have thrown out.

Very occasionally I buy from The Fabric Store or Spotlight and sometimes they have their fabric origins labelled. I have a stash of zips, cotton and other bits too, so I don’t tend to need to buy too much. And I stock up when I can.

As regards favorite sources for bought items, here are a three I like (each title is linked and there is a quote from each that shares their philosophy):

Kowtow

Striped Tee, Grey Singlet, White Tee

For a long time, many of our consumer habits have appeared to have no consequence. It is now quite apparent that there is an imbalance in standards of living throughout the world which is fuelled by the Wests’ continuing short changing and exploitation of labour markets in the so called third world.

We don’t believe anyone who is truly aware of what is going on in the world would want to turn their backs and support a slave trade economy.

Being into clothes we decided to do something about it. Certified organic, fair trade clothing that is ethically and sustainably made from seed to garment.

Thank you for believing in what we do.

Thunderpants

hipster-bootoms.gif

Underpants! (not my bum)

One of the things we do take seriously is the exceptional quality of our clothing and we are pretty uncompromising when it comes to this. That’s why all Thunderpants clothing is made from certified organic cotton and all of the production process is as local as we can feasibly make it.

The organic cotton we use in our fabric is grown in Indonesia without the use of chemicals or pesticides and processed to strict SKAL standards (International Standards for Sustainable Textile Production) and most of our fabric is knitted in nearby Levin. We hand-print our bold designs onto fabric onsite in Martinborough and for larger runs, the fabric is printed in Auckland or occasionally Australia. Organic inks and dyes are used for printing and dying our fabric so only the best quality materials are used to make Thunderpants clothing. The fabric is sewn into undies or other items of clothing in nearby Carterton.

Take pride in your undies.

Soul Shoes

Jandals and red sandals. I’ve been wearing these shoes since I was about 15. They are indestructible!

We source only the best quality cow hides; our NZ leather comes from Tasman Tanneries in Whanganui, New Zealand and our genuine vegetable tanned leather comes from Tuscany, Italy. We go personally to the tanneries (even in Italy!) and select the best and most interesting hides for our products because we care about every step of the process.

The first pairs of Soul Shoes were made with recycled car tyre soles and we have stayed mindful of the environment. We offer the option of 100% recycled conveyor belt soles and support sustainability by creating products that will last. We also use recycled shoe boxes for our orders, donated by the Raglan community.

We promise that every pair of shoes, bag, belt, wallet and purse is made by hand, from start to finish with care and attention by one our experienced craftsmen.

I love that these three companies all share a commitment to quality, sustainability and care in their manufacture. And that they are all local. Pay more, buy less.

I’ll finish off (as I started) with a picture of my wedding dress, which was bought off the rack in NZ but designed and made in the USA.

5484573204_d06b0d4338_o.jpg

(There’s a basketball hoop above our heads as we got married four days after the BigOne here in Christchurch NZ. 5 years later, the church we were to be married in is just beginning its restoration. That also may account for some of the more exhausted and sombre faces.)

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16 thoughts on “Wardrobe Lineage.

  1. I liked your pieces on sustainable & fair clothing. It has given me a lot to think about.
    Shoes in particular are a problem. Most of my shoes ( well boots really! ) come from Celtic Clothing or Green Shoes – both with really good credentials but it means there aren’t many & I’m sometimes tempted by other types. I’ve resolved this instant to stop & it feels good.
    Lovely wedding dress! I got married 30 years ago & wedding dresses were just made here along with lots of other clothes. Things have changed a lot.
    Thanks for a thought provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words Norma. Shoes are the hardest – apart from brassieres I find! But aside from these local ones, I’ve discovered there are companies making in china or other locations who are committed to trading ethically and who have great relationships with their manufactures and are doing their level best to ensure fair and sustainable practices.
      However I have also found that there is a stigma in ‘marketing’ this. High end customers tend not to want to think about manufacture and working conditions it seems and so you only find this out by asking.
      But it’s a great commitment to make and the more of us doing it, asking the hard questions and going without things that aren’t necessary, the more likely we are to effect change. I really believe that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really lovely choices, Naomi. I love your wedding dress and would wear something similar if G and I ever get married. I looked through Kowtow’s site and want to copy a pair of pants for SWAP. The mission statements are great, too. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great last post. I loved reading all of them. It’s hard to find good and honest fabrics, shoes and underwear. Like you said: ‘Pay more, buy less’ is a good way to start. Besides concerning about what my family and I are wearing we buy as much honest produced food as we can and try to travel less by car. Buying local is a good way to start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much.
      It is hard but a good commitment to make where you can. Sometimes it’s not the cost but the selection we need to compromise on also.
      I agree with food and transport too. When we lived in NL we did not have a car and it was so wonderful! In NZ we have 1 car between us but 3 bicycles including 2 vintage Gazelles that were brought over from NL to NZ! I love my Oma Fiets and I often have other cyclists yelling “Great bike!” as I ride past!
      And buying local is fantastic, and a lot easier to do in Europe than in NZ. But regardless, it’s a good thing to aim for.

      Like

    1. Thanks Linda!
      The man looked lovely too (fun fact: his outfit cost more than mine!) and when given the opportunity likes to dress up and has pretty solid ideas about style.
      I’m also glad that more and more companies are finding a market in sustainable fashion – a very heartwarming sign I think.
      And thanks for the props on the skirt. I love it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 1) Your wedding dress is sublime.
    2) I want some Soul Shoes. My shoe cupboard is a disgrace of chinese manufactured sandals which did not last 1 season and which are piling up because I can not bear to chuck them out. Nothing wrong with the uppers, but all the soles cracked right through after not many wears.I wish I could find someone to fix them, but everywhere I asked, shoe-fixers just shook their heads. I have been thinking there MUST be an eco-entrepreneurial opportunity here…
    3) You live in Christchurch? I was there 5 years ago…a few months after ‘The Big One’. Very special town!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to buy shoes and clothes like a crazy person. Then I started with a Ready to Wear fast a couple of years ago and have been making everything since then – except shoes, socks/nylons, and underwear. I wish it was easier to find out how my fabric is made, but at least I am a step closer. I’ve drastically cut down on shoe shopping now too. I did buy a couple of good quality shoes at the start of my fast and they have lasted all this time. I’m feeling less like a crazy person everyday! By the way, your wedding dress is just DEVINE!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The longest journey begins with a single step. And it’s wonderful to start on this journey n’cest pas? I think just buying less is such a good start!
      And thanks for the compliment on my wedding dress. I love it too!

      Liked by 1 person

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