Fashion... make do and mend year 2018

"Buy less, choose well, make it last." --Vivienne Westwood

Now into April, and another month to continue our Make Do and Mend Year. We're still using the Make Do and Mend Year Sustainable Planner (from My Make Do and Mend Life), and the topic for this month-- FASHION.

Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry, after oil production? Most of us have maybe come across the term fast fashion, where trends drive manufacturing of clothing to high levels and shops can offer multiple, inexpensive clothing collections per year. Being trend-driven, this cheap clothing often results in use-and-throw-away fashion--clothing hardly being used/worn and then tossed. Fast fashion, sadly, also often means that cotton/fiber growers, garment workers, and the environment suffer and are exploited as a result...This is part of the "price tag" on most of the clothing that is available. 

Like with re-evaluating plastic use, along with things/stuff in life, reconsidering clothing and where it comes from is another important step in living a more sustainable life. Questions like what we wear, why we buy it, where we buy it, brand ethics and more are good to keep in mind when making the next clothing purchase. 

My/Our FASHION Goals and Actions for April:

1. NO NEW CLOTHES for the month of April.

2. CAPSULE WARDROBE... do a wardrobe edit and revive a minimal clothing challenge like Project 333, which I have done times before, and does help with re-examining one's wardrobe and clothing needs, function, etc... 

3. EDUCATION... learn more about better choices for clothing purchases, research brand ethics, what shops are offering--basically reconsidering everything about shopping and clothing use, buying, etc. Think slow fashion!

4. HANDMADE WARDROBE... developing plans for my own handmade wardrobe--make it myself! This will go way beyond the month of April, probably even the year, but I am excited about this and carrying it into the future... see below!

5. NEED vs WANT... continue to examine the differences of need vs want, where desires come from, impulses, learn to want less, and be happy with less... This one seems the key of much of our make do and mend year.

We only did so-so during last month's challenge, which included less shopping... Some expenses turned up... And I was naughty and did indulge in purchasing a couple of crochet patterns and yarn... So must try harder! :/ 

I've began learning how to go about creating a handmade wardrobe--gathering ideas, reading, making sketches, shuffling through some clothing patterns I already have, what fabrics I have in my stash already (not much for dressmaking currently, but I do have this "greige" cotton-linen and indigo chambray), what might be needed, etc. This is going to be a looong project... 

Do you have a special project or focus for this month, or for the year?  Do you have any tips or ideas to share?! 


  1. No tips, no plans (apart from learning to paint better!), just admiration. Don't be hard on yourself for things like yarn and patterns. Those are very positive purchases. My only clothing purchases might be summer sandals/shoes (on sale if I order by tomorrow) and watercolor paper on the fun side. Hopefully I can stick to that but you know I can't!

    1. Thanks, Jeanie! Yarn always fells like a positive purchase, even if I shouldn't be... haha! ;) I'm hoping to make smarter yarn choices for the environment, but also toward the whole handmade wardrobe thing. I'm really enjoying creating things that are both functional as well as beautiful. Good luck with you sandals hunt--and hope you snag that sale! I find summer sandals hard find, as my feet are small and often sandals just seem big, especially the strappy ones... but I still look... LOL... :/

  2. I've had a capsule wardrobe for years now. actually had it the last years I was working.
    just didn't have any cool name for it. lol! it became so much simpler to dress in the mornings. minimalist for sure. and it's amazing how much less stressful it is.
    I love Courtney's take on it. and now it's a trend that I hope just keeps growing!
    I had no idea it's the 2nd largest polluter. just knew of the terrible working conditions for so many people who do the actual work. even unhealthy and dangerous!
    I love your idea of handmade clothes Tracy. and if I had your wonderful sewing talents I'd be doing that. even if only for the fun and sheer creativity of it!
    am now retired of course and so happy. I buy very few clothes. just don't need them.
    and the thought that we had to wear panty hose everyday ... AAAGGGHHH!
    thank heaven those days are OVER. things are changing for women working now I hope.

    1. WOW--you were the original Capsule Wardrobe'r! :) Having a smaller set of clothes to work with and wear, is so much easier. A couple of year ago, I cut my wardrobe in half, and it was one of the best things I ever did... LOL! I still think I have too much, so it will be fun to try the capsule wardrobe again. I was meant to start it a the top of the month, but was getting over that Easter cold, so I'm slow with that. The handmade wardrobe will really come more into play, I think as things from my existing wardrobe wear out. I just don't want to keep buying the inexpensive things that don't last long, especially even for basics, as the just don't have a long wear life. And given the environmental impact of clothing, well, that's enough for me to keep thinking twice about what I purchase, etc. Pantyhose and tights are are VERY uncomfortable, but necessary sometime necessary. I prefer skirts and dresses, but I don't like going around in bare legs, and can't in winter, so... LOL...

  3. I haven't bought any new clothing in quite a few years now, at least 10. No money, so I am really making do and wearing out! I cannot go bare legged when I am wearing any sort of dress, no matter the season. Generally I only wear a dress about once a week, so my pantyhose last me forever! And then when they get snags I try to use them for something else. They are great for storing onions etc. Love all of your ideas and plans! Can't wait to see how you implement them! xo

  4. I have very much enjoyed reading your posts on the make do and mend year of 2018. I have been learning a lot. I love that you did this one on fashion. I just changed out my spring for winter and gave a way quite a few articles of clothing. It was hard because I tend to hang onto things for a long time in hopes to fit into it again.
    Regretfully, I don't sew much any more; but the truth is I don't need any more clothes at all. I made a promise not to buy any clothes for a long time.
    Growing up my mother made all of my clothes and I treasured them. There were a few times that I would have loved something store bought. I did encourage my daughters to sew more and they do. We all learned to thrift shop and that has been fun.
    As a culture we do spend way too much on fashion and it needs to stop. I liked all your ideas on this one.
    Blessings and hugs for helping us learn to do with what we have and use it well.
    Love and extra big hugs for you!


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