As much as I hate to say it, and know that I’ve contributed to it, we all know that fashion is one of the most polluted sectors out there. Fast fashion especially is something that is a drain on the environment, a problem for the carbon footprint and one of the most polluting industries. And yet we all need clothes.
We all like to shop. We all like to choose fashion items that look good without really thinking about whether they are as eco-friendly or as sustainable as they could be. This is something I have made the conscious effort to change in the past few months though – sustainability has become very important to me. It’s an eye opener when you learn how damaging clothing production can be.
There is a solution to this. Learning how to make your own clothing is a good option. You might not have considered this beyond patterns and fabrics but making your own clothing is the way to go when you consider the impact the buying habits of fashionistas have on the world. You should think about whether you need a sewing class or two before you get going, but making your own clothing is going to be a gamechanger if you want to change the world – even a little bit.
So, with this in mind I’ve got some reasons and tips for you to start making your own clothing. I’ve made my own pieces in the past and I took textiles at school for five years, so I’m no stranger to alterations and basic construction, but for those of you with a wide array of sewing skills, this couldn’t be more perfect! So check out the reasons why making your own clothes is a good idea.
- It’s good for the environment. We’re seeing throwaway and fast fashion as a drain on the world and that’s because it is. Landfills are being filled up high with clothing items that aren’t going to break down any time soon. Fast fashion is made quickly with cheap fabrics that are often flammable, and they’re also going to fall apart easily. You may not want to spend the money it takes to buy organic materials and fabrics but it’s so worth it if you know you’re going to be doing the environment a favour. Talk to friends and family to see what kind of clothing they like to buy and where from. You can also look to upcycle what you have to stop things from going into landfill.
- Recycling can help you learn to make them. If you’ve never had experience with a sewing machine or the needles and thread, you can recycle the clothing you do have and use it to learn just how. You want to make your own clothing, right? Well, recycling the old and creating the new as a result is going to get you making your own things and you’ll feel good about it when you do.
- You’ll save some money. When you choose to make your own clothing, you will save a lot of cash. Rather than splurging on big names and big brands, you could see how little you can spend on high quality fabric. When you’re not having to pay enough money to cover taxes and salaries, shipping and manufacturing, you’re literally only paying for the price of fabric and that’s it. When you do this, you are going to save a lot of money. Having the know-how to make those repairs and create the pieces at the same time is going to be a good reason to start making your own clothing.
- Believe it or not, you’ll save time. While it sounds like it’s a long-winded thing to do to make your own clothing, it’s actually not! No more browsing the racks trying to find something to your taste. No one will be in your way or snatching the last pair of good boots. You’re going to find that you’ll save a lot of time just sitting to make the item of clothing you want and not browsing stores. Sewing takes time, yes, but once the item of clothing is made, it’s done and you can wear it. From underwear to a coat, you can make your entire wardrobe should you want to.
- You know the people doing the work. One of the biggest problems with fast fashion is that companies often use children to create their items. This alone means that you could be buying clothing pieces that are a product of child slavery. When you make your own or you have a team of friends helping you, you are in charge of who is doing the work and when. This means that you know how your workers are treated, what you are paying them and where your fabrics come from. This alone gives you the piece of mind that you need to know that making your own clothing is a winner.
- You have the chance to declutter. Making your own clothing gives you a chance to get rid of the excess in your closets and start either using them for scraps or sending them to charity stores. By creating your own wardrobe at home, you are going to own fewer things but love each of them individually. This will mean that every single clothing item is worth a place in the wardrobe and you’ll actually wear it all.
- You don’t have to fight the designers. Are you as sick of the lack of sizing consistency and quality control as me? You’re not the only one so you should think about the fact you’re going to have clothing that fits for a change. All of us have – at some time or another – felt annoyed by a store not having the right fit with their items despite other stores’ clothing fitting just fine. When you sew your own clothing you can sew items that suit your unique shape.
- You get the chance to express yourself properly. Some clothing items don’t have exactly the result you hope for, which means that you need to think about how to make clothing that expresses who you truly are. When you create your own clothing, you can choose every single detail and know that they fit you the way that they’re supposed to.
- There’s a sense of pride in creating. Being able to design and make your own clothing comes with a sense of pride you may not have originally had. The amount of self-confidence that will skyrocket because of the fact that you are going to be modeling and wearing your own clothing that YOU made? It’s incredible. You should take the time to feel proud of the proficiency and skill that you demonstrate, and you should think about how you can really boost your continued happiness as a result.
- It can be a boost to your mental health. Knowing you are creating something from patterns and fabric that you’ve selected, with thread you have chosen, is a huge game changer. You already know that your mental health will be helped with a new hobby or two and it’s evident in the fact that you will notice a huge difference in your health as a result. Your mental health will improve and you will reduce both stress and anxiety purely by crafting your own clothing. This is something you need if you want your mental health to improve, and you’ll feel the difference in your mind!
It’s fun. Really, the best and biggest reason to make your own clothing is because it’s fun to do it. It’s a rewarding hobby, fabulous to do when you need down time and as sewing is a craft, you’re going to get so much out of it. You should think about where your talents could take you, too. You could create a business out of this super fun hobby of yours and you can watch other people walking around in your designs. This alone is a great reason to start making your own clothing and you should think about whether or not that’s a viable option for you in the end.
If making your own clothes really doesn’t work for you though and you want to be more sustainable and eco-friendly, there are many different brands out there that do all of this and don’t have a huge impact on the environment. The best thing you can do is only shop from those that give back and limit their impact on the Earth, or don’t shop for hardly anything and really make use of what you have.