“I have always tended to think of mending as a chore, which is never complete. My mending box (boxes, actually) are a rather stagnant area. Items are put there, full of good intentions, and rediscovered with a sense of horror years later – especially if only a button was needed. Perhaps my lack of passion for mending is because I have preferred to make something new, to be able to follow an idea on a journey from an image in my mind to material reality.”
…And how many of us take this a step further and simply buy something new? How much do we properly engage with any of these processes? Amy Holroyd, who both theorises and practices knitting and making, also has a fairly astute view of ‘fashion’ and its definition: “I consider ‘fashion’ to be the way people express themselves and connect with others through clothing, and use the term to refer to both physical objects and fashion culture. While some would make a distinction between fashion and clothing, I argue that the majority of clothing is now engaged with fashion, and fashion choices – whether positive, negative, indifferent or unconscious – are an intractable part of dressing.” All this has been sourced from Amy’s fascinating Keep & Share blog and website, which is full of thought provoking and timely writing around this subject.
So, how much is being dictated to us? What frames our fashion choices? How much do we play with the “inherent tinkerability,” as Ms Holroyd describes it, of the threads that clothe us? Really, the way we buy, the choices we make and the repercussions these decisions have could all be owned by us to a far greater extent.
As consumers or producers, or a mixture of both, we have the power to effect change on a variety of scales. Whether it is changing our relationship with how we project our visible identity or trying to inform others about the unreasonable poverty and hardship found in the garment industry’s supply chain, experimenting with need and creativity in the way that the Six Items Challenge invites us to is a valuable step towards rethinking our place in the fashion cycle.
Find knit projects by Amy Twigger Holroyd here.