Are you sewing a handmade wardrobe? Learn how you can incorporate the core values of Fashion Revolution with Emily Hundt, the designer behind pattern company In the Folds and creator of Makers for Fashion Revolution.
What is Makers for Fashion Revolution?
ItF: Makers for Fashion Revolution is a movement that I started to promote the much bigger movement, Fashion Revolution.
Makers for Fashion Revolution takes place at the same time as Fashion Revolution Week (April 20 – 26, 2020) and deals with issues specific to people making their own clothes. As a maker, you probably don’t buy many of your clothes from retailers, but there is still a lot you can do and think about to encourage change in your own making practice and beyond.
What inspired you to start Makers for Fashion Revolution?
ItF: It’s a bit of a long story! It began when I was at university, when I first learned about the ethical and sustainable impacts of the fashion industry. I was surprised and disgusted to learn all the dirty little secrets of the industry. In short, the planet is suffering because of the amount of clothing we buy and then dispose of, and the production processes that are used. Workers in factories are suffering because conditions are unsafe, they are paid poorly and have very few rights. I knew these issues would be a focus of my practice from there on in.
After I graduated, I moved to London, with the dream of interning in the fashion industry. I was lucky enough to do an internship with The Good Wardrobe – an online hub for sharing information on ethical and sustainable fashion. The founder, Zoe Robinson, introduced me to countless inspiring business owners and advocates of a more sustainable fashion industry.
In 2016, soon after I had moved back home to Sydney, I was questioning how I could be a part of Fashion Revolution from afar. I had not yet connected with a community in Sydney that was passionate about these issues like me. My direction had changed from the fashion space to the home sewing space and it got me thinking about how this movement impacts the sewing community too. As makers we are already taking a huge step towards a more sustainable relationship with clothing by making it ourselves, but I realised that there were other issues that were not being talked about in the community very often (such as where our fabrics come from, who is making our fabrics, where our handmade garments are going when we are done with them and the quantity of clothing we are producing, to name a few). I considered hosting a workshop or event and then I realised that I could make more of an impact by hosting an event online so that I could connect with people all over the world and start or continue the conversation with as many makers as possible.
How can someone participate in Makers for Fashion Revolution?
ItF: Each day during Fashion Revolution Week I post a prompt on Instagram to promote thoughts, discussion and inspiration related to a particular aspect of the revolution. If you would like to take part, simply use the hashtag #makersforfashrev, as well as the official Fashion Revolution hashtags – #FashRev and #WhoMadeMyClothes – this way we will all be able to find each other. The vision behind Makers for Fashion Revolution is about starting a conversation that will keep people thinking about it all year round – long after the “challenge” is complete.
How has Makers for Fashion Revolution grown since it was first launched in 2016?
ItF: When I decided to start Makers for Fashion Revolution, I hadn’t put much thought into how much interest there would be in it or how I would spread the word about it. I just knew it was something I had to do. Thankfully though, with the power and reach of Instagram at our fingertips, I put up a post and the rest is history. I was blown away when so many makers and influencers in the community shared the post and encouraged others to take part. I could quickly tell that a lot of people had been thinking about these issues, but just weren’t sure where (or how) to get started. At this point there are over 6000 photos tagged with #makesforfashrev and it is a treasure trove of inspiring and thought-provoking posts.
How do the sewing patterns you design reflect the ethos of Fashion Revolution?
ItF: The design aesthetic embedded in In the Folds patterns leans heavily towards the everyday. They’re pieces that will fit comfortably into your wardrobe, but will stand out with their interesting and refined details – timeless, yet modern – beautiful, yet understated. It is my belief that if garments are made well, we take better care of them, forming stronger bonds and ties with them, cherishing them long into the future. I don’t start (or continue) working on a design without this concept at the forefront of my mind. I aim to create patterns that are ‘work-horses’ that will be made and worn over and over.
By making garments that fit well and make us feel great, we will require less. Through my patterns, I dream of helping makers create a small curated wardrobe of garments that they can be proud of and feel comfortable to wear daily.
8 Tips for Building a Sustainable Wardrobe with In the Folds
- Think about where your fabric is coming from and who is making it.
- Stick to natural fibers where possible
- Sew from your stash.
- Slow down!
- Make do and mend.
- Go to clothing and fabric swaps.
- Make for others when you have enough in your wardrobe.
- Make plans. Don’t buy things impulsively.
Join the Spoonflower team and help spread the word during Fashion Revolution Week, April 20-26, 2020, by downloading your free Who Made / I Made My Clothes posters and sharing your pictures on social media.