This post feels hard to write. (They all have, lately). Sometimes it seems like these posts sit in my chest for weeks, like a lump in my throat, until they finally burst forth in a spew of (hopefully relatable) writing.
Have you ever been compelled to pour enormous amounts of work into something for no gain? There is only a hope, here, that other people care as much as I do, that they will listen and not judge me for caring for people, for wanting my friends small local businesses to succeed, for wanting to leave the earth a better place than I found it for the generation that inherits it from us. There is also a hope that people who care will share my work and maybe I will reach more people and that together we can make such a bigger impact than I can achieve alone.
I started a new website. It's name is 'Carefully Worn'. It's goal is to help people make better choices about their clothing. By mending what we have, buying things second-hand, making our own clothes and purchasing new items from sustainable and ethical companies, we can be the voice of change and cause governments and companies to listen and adapt. We can also BE the change, by treating our garments as treasures, not as disposable discount items, and reducing our own carbon footprints as well.
There are many other fantastic sites out there with similar goals. Some are causing change by making themselves shining examples of what a company should be and setting new standards for supply chain transparency, some blogs discuss new manufacturing and environmental fashion news, some are eco clothing bloggers who show how great responsible style can be.
But I didn't need that. What I needed was a place that was more like a resource book for consumers than a news site for activists. When I need to mend my jeans, or look for a new Canadian made and environmentally friendly shirt for Molly, or know what it means when I read that a dress is made of organic cotton... I want to have an encyclopedia of how to fix things, where to find clothes, and what to look for.
So this is me... researching it all, because I have to, because I want to make responsible choices for our family, and sharing it with you the best way that I know how.
And this is also me, not knowing everything. Not even CLOSE to knowing everything I need to know to be able to do this. Probably making lots of mistakes. I am no scientist. No environmental expert. I haven't been to see the factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I have no magic words that can force companies to be honest with me about their practices. I am not even a perfect consumer, I have weak moments and regrets as much as any other person.
Of the limited articles I have completed so far, I re-wrote each of them probably 5 or more times, and some more times since pressing publish on each one. I spent hours googling cotton farm irrigation practices just to understand one paragraph in one research journal. This is going to be a constantly evolving knowledge base, and I am okay with that.
On the bright side, I am happy doing this! I love blogging, and sewing, and photography, and organizing information (ask anyone who has seen one of my spreadsheets), and researching stuff. I have a lot of sewing and garment knowledge that will do much better helping the environment and garment workers than living in my head.
It feels like I am well suited to do this. (See what I did there? Ah? Ah?)
So, please... if you check it out and approve, share it! The more people that are interested, the better.