Knitting Traditions From Around The World

I learned early on in my textile education the importance of clothing and the value of craft in every culture. In most developing countries, the economy is initially supported by some facet of the textile industry unique to the region. Knitting is no exception. Traditional knitting describes garments and other items produced in various regions…

Investment Dressing Does Matter

(This lovely image of two stylish Parisian women put a smile on my face. They are women who definitely have a sense of who they are in their clothes. This image comes from the unique instagrammer,  thesartorialist, a photographer of stylish people around the world. What I love is that his photos are real and…

“Faking” Fashion – A Sad Truth

Copying the fashion of designers is not a recent phenomena. “Knock-offs” or copies and “counterfeits” have been happening as far back as the 18th century. In the early 1900s, department stores sent employees to Paris Fashion Week to covertly sketch the designs walking the runway, eventually these designs were manufactured as “Paris Originals”. Designers went…

“Sustainable” Suffers From Ambiguity

“Sustainability is the means to maintain change in a balanced environment without compromising future needs. It’s a combination of social, economic, and environmental needs.” This UN definition means that true sustainability literally covers everything, the social, economic, and environmental needs of humans. Sustainability is not a new concept, and people have always applied sustainable principles…

Is Recycled Polyester Better Than Virgin Polyester?

Polyester fabrics have been around since the early 1940s; invented by a couple of British scientists because of the difficulty in obtaining cotton during World War 11. Polyester fabric was never really considered an ideal or sustainable textile option. Polyester is made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate), and the raw materials for PET come from crude…

What makes for a fine piece of clothing?

I’m lucky to have grown up at a time when it was easy to find quality clothing at all price points. My mother’s best friend was a skilled seamstress, a German woman who was taught by the best in her home country. She could whip up leather shorts for her boys, and sew an Astrakhan…

Mending is Cool Again

  During my junior high school days, sewing was part of the home economics curriculum. I learned how to hand stitch, but not how to mend my well-loved clothes. I was lucky enough to have aunts and a mother who repaired their clothing. Recently, I purchased Mending Matters, a book that offers mending solutions as…

The Real Goods About Cleaning Clothes

A new mantra has permeated the web of late; not sure if it was instigated by Stella McCartney, but she is quoted by The Telegraph as saying “Don’t wash clothes, just brush the dirt off…”. I respect Stella McCartney for her environmental stance and her high quality, sustainable fashions. She’s not just talking the talk…

Fashion’s Future

The fashion industry has reached a critical point in its history, where it is one of the largest polluting industries. The “fast fashion” business model is the root cause of our sustainability challenges. People have begun to understand that if we continue to produce cheap clothing and consume it at an excessive rate, things won’t…

Mountains of Clothing Waste

Living in Canada, you may be familiar with the CBC show Marketplace. Marketplace investigates wrongdoings in the marketplace, much like a consumer watchdog. There’s an eye opening episode entitled “Clothing Waste”, episode 14 of season 45. This show investigates the clothing recycling programs at fast fashion chains, and reveals that their marketing may not live…