There is this short, but brilliant, online course I did. It is called: “Who made my clothes“. The course is still online but it is supposed to take three weeks and it will not be online for that long anymore. It is still worth a look though. It is made by the university of Exeter and the brilliant people behind fashion-revolution.
The course mainly helps channelling your worries about the current fashion-system into action or words. In this light I hope to share some information on where I got the fabrics from that will form the collection, later. This I cannot do without picture, hence a sneak preview!
I will firstly show you the entire colour palette, than cut the fabrics in different categories to show the different backgrounds. First up will be the printed fabrics, after that the background of the organic cottons.
The colour palette is going to be greens combined with different tones of grey. The print I designed myself. These leave patterns were selected after a tedious process of trying out different kind of techniques and ideas. I wanted the pattern and colour to work for both boy and girl. That was the most important thing the design of the print had to comply with. The inspiration for this came from nature clashing with the hand of mankind. The shapes of the leaves are controlled by sharp boundaries in the print itself, or by sharp seams in the garments itself.
Now Spoonflower has a clear page about its ethical responsibility which looks reasonablly good. It explaines the benefits of digital printing over “normal” printing. But it takes this as a main benefit as if Spoonflower cooked this up all by itself. The truth is, if it was not for the option of digital printing, ordering per meter for the individual would be pretty much impossible.
I asked them for more information than the strict communication on their wesbiste and they gave a great reply, although the reply was mainly about the dyes used. These were things I mostly knew unlike detail on the the fabrics and their origins. Find the spoonflower communication here. The lady added a link to a nice page about the many ways Spoonflower works to reduce their impact on the planet. My communication hasn’t ended yet, but last thing I got was an automated reply because they are on vacation.
Spoonflower used to offer 2, now 3 organic fabrics that can be printed. I didn’t use these though. Only one of them is jersey and this one is a bit yellow. It means my print will be too yellow. It is not weird for organics to be a bit more yellow though. Bleaching is in general very harmful for our environment. I was sure not to use the organic because of this yellowish tint. But the who-made-my-clothes course will make sure that in the future I will give the organic more chance. As with all these choices the garment will be more pricey if it’s organic too.
Next up are my beautyfull organics from Lebenskleidung. As the name might suggest it is a German company, so I had the fabrics shipped in from Berlin. A few years ago I tried to make most of my outfits in organics as I think it is a must for designers to explore these avenues. But it was much more difficult than it is now to make an entire collection of organic certified fabrics so I was incredible happy with these people making it easy.
Now, Lebenskleidung has all its fabrics certified with GOTS certification. It leaves me very little to condemn.
The fabrics I selected have the perfect weight, and Lebenskleidung makes sure there is always a matching rib that goes with a flat jersey.
I have asked them if they know where I can find trimmings that are made with the same environmental and social standards but they were unable to refer me.
Apart from my fabrics I have thread, elastic waistband, and push-buttons. I havent been able to find the right place to order these, my thread comes from a local store, here in Sofia. It is Cacadou, a great place to find any kind of fabric that you might need. It also has the biggest selection of trimmings that I could find in Sofia. But nothing is certified or anything like that, as far as I know or were able to check because of the language barrier.
My push-buttons I got the last time from a small, you cant even call it a store, near my home. The man was sitting underneath a staircase at the ground floor of an apartment block. He had to look inside a glass yarr and found a few matching buttons for me. They way he was looking trough all of his jarrs means I doubt he knows where he got them or even how. But it was definitely an interesting place that I would otherwise have never been. Doubt I will go again as the seamstress around the corner even dismissed a few of them.
So this is the story of the fabrics that I will be using. And a pledge to work to find the right trimmings in the future. Hopefully in a week or so I will have sorted out the right way to produce this collection, so that it can be online in a few weeks/months.