The global slow food movement has been making inroads since 1989, but have you heard of slow clothing? Last weekend the Parkes Library’s Curiosity + Wonder 2018 started with a community talk on rethinking our clothing culture.
Australian social entrepreneur and author Jane Milburn presented a compelling case for why we need to change the way we dress through everyday practice. “Slow Clothing is a holistic approach – it starts with: think, natural, quality, local, few and moves through to: care, make, revive, adapt and salvage for those who have time and energy for these more engaged actions” said Jane.
Jane challenged those who attended the talk to pay more for quality local natural garments and have fewer of them.
Woolerina, a local business based in Forbes, provided a wonderful example of slow clothing – their garments are simple styles made from local wool that will last for years or until they literally wear out.
The two workshops held by Jane over the weekend continued with the themes of reviving, adapting and salvaging.
Participants spent Saturday exploring the art and creativity of using everyday items to dye natural fibre materials and clothing.
Rusty tools, horseshoes, strawberries, gum leaves, passionfruit skins and tea were used to transform old items ready for a new life. Many of the participants enjoyed the unrestrained nature of eco dyeing – trying something and seeing how it turned out.
Many participants returned on Sunday for the snip, stitch and upcycling workshop turning their dyed items into new wearable pieces of clothing. They also created a new piece of clothing from something old, including pinnies, t-shirts, jackets and skirts, while some made a functional piece such as a phone bag.
The aim was to revive and adapt wardrobe and op shop surpluses to suit themselves, while exploring their unique style.
Participant Mirella found the workshop great. “It gave me lots of ideas to use and inspired me to have greater confidence and just try things,” said Mirella.
Parkes Library’s Curiosity + Wonder opening weekend encouraged the community to be part of the change to consciously live lightly, buying less (or nothing) and making more.
By Shellie Buckle