Very little, I hope.
When my sister and I were growing up, our mum sewed all our clothes. Right up until we were 15 or so. We had party and church and everyday clothes. We shopped at stores for jeans and shorts and tees and chuddies. But everything else, pretty much everything we wore, was made with her trusty Singer sewing machine. Quirky, singular clothes that had that unmistakable homemade stamp on them. I had this hot Fuschia pink number that I loved with all my being and cried buckets over its eventual demise. When our party and church clothes became less sparkly or saintly or too small for us, they either became home wear or were lovingly refreshed and sent to someone else.
My story, I think, is the story of most children growing up in the ’80s India. Clothes were not meant to be worn for a season and then discarded with hardly any wear for something new. Clothes, even store-bought ones, were patched and repaired and handed down.
When I started shopping for myself, I looked for function over form. A lack of pockets was always a deal breaker. When fast fashion became a thing, for a while, I jumped on, but quickly tired of the same-same-ness of the clothes. None of the quirky homemade weirdness of the Teresa Margaret fashion line of my growing years. As I grew older, thanks to my friend, the Internet, I learned of the unspoken cost of fast fashion. On our environment, on communities, and on people it became a thrice bitter pill.
This brings me to my thing for today – the worn wear movement, brought back into fashion by Patagonia. Worn wear could mean buying second-hand clothing, repairing or altering items that need it, and taking care of the clothes you have to make them last longer.
But this isn’t about Patagonia or how wonderful I think they are. This is about the stories. Of clothes, worn, loved, patched or repaired so they can be worn some more. Clothes that find a new home and a new someone to love them.
Do you have a story to tell me about your clothes? I can’t wait to read it.
P.S. Send this to a friend who loves new things. Two birds felled with a single Thing.