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):
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.
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.
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.
(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.)