I can’t download today’s and yesterday’s pictures – probably because I made a video and something or other has to be installed first. Does this stuff get easier, I wonder?
So, in spite of the fact that I am reading “Platform” by Michael Hyatt and thinking my blog SHOULD be more fiber-focused, today I offer this photo. It is a Michael Mazur drawing, hung with five others… all of trees. Very free, powerful lines and shading. But what captivated me on the way in to the Regatta Bar to hear a friend’s son play jazz, was the way the reflection of hotel curtains and rug and inset lamps made an overlay design on the glass. This was MORE interesting to me, I’ll admit, than the nine remarkable blue and white antique quilts hanging not thirty feet away in the stairwell.
Should I be paying attention to this preference, somehow?
Also, I offer a long but compelling On Point interview. The interview is with Elizabeth Cline, who has written a book relevant to many of the things I have been thinking about lately. It is called, “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion“. The blog link, “The Good Closet” further addresses some of the issues raised, chief among them – low, low wages for garment workers overseas; pollution; low quality clothing; the lost art of caring for our clothing.
Thanks for sharing the link, interesting read… one consideration though, having visited asia and met families who work in these factories or sew on zillions of sequins and beads at home. Their labour might be cheap, but often this type of work is preferable to them, the alternatives are quite awful, trash picking is very common, many families prefer to work with textiles. I realise there are extreme cases, where people are genuinely taken advantage of, but certainly in many cases, its relative to what they would earn in other jobs in their own country.
More of a concern, is our society’s “throw away” attitude, what happenned to make do and mend? It saddens me. As a family we buy mostly second hand, and re-use all our home textiles, but we are a minority, and many people I know feel very squeamish about buying second hand, or repairing holes in clothes or bed linens, like it somehow degrades them as people. Ignorant, and so very sad.
…and what a beautiful photo, the colours are so peaceful, I wish I could work with neutrals, but I always end up with a kaleidoscope of colour, no matter how hard I try and restrain myself.
to buy, or not to buy….that seems to be the question a lot of people are asking themselves these days; clothes-wise I’m very lucky because I have several ‘sources’ who give me second-hand clothing, for the entire family, we buy new underwear, socks and shoes and our eldest son is growing so fast, you cannot not buy new stuff for him; none of us is fashion-struck so we wear (transformed) basics……but even though we wear second hand, it was once new and even though we recycle/seperate our waste and re-use as much materials as possible without becoming a bore to our surroundings, we are still consuming (food, water, energy and so on) it is very hard not to, finding the right balance…..for us, the entire planet, it is difficult.
btw, I like your two pieces on the last post, and yes, I too am experiencing a transformation in aesthetics (sounds big) appreciating less colour, also thanks to the natural plant dyes and a greater awareness of the importance of the stitching, which doesn’t need loads of colour. am I making sense?
Saskia – Yes, you are making lots of sense. the high moral ground with clothing and food does not correspond (here in the US and I suspect, there in Holland) with economy… I LOVE Target… I do!! And, I made the decision EARLY on that I wasn’t going to buy organic produce in the market, because it cost too much (though I have been a member of a CSA-farm for six out of the last ten years… ) (and, OMG, how kids change you – I just bought Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes for Son #2 and didn’t flinch!! ME??!! Who worked at Earth Foods in the 70’s!)
Over the years I have purchased quite a lot of the boys’ clothing at Salvation Army and KMart or Target… when they are growing fast, it is hard to spend a lot. Neighbors and I do share things around, which is good – during the Bar Mitzvah years, for example, it was possible to get by without purchasing a navy blazer (thank goodness!!)… or if you did, at least you knew others would get their year of wear out of it.
and as someone who has shopped in Good Will since I was 15, the thrifting craze is not a trend, but part of who I am. I do think buying second-hand cuts down on pollution, because those clothes will eventually end up in landfill… but the key seems to be to do with less…. that’s what we keep coming to, isn’t it? to do with less. even less washing.
Hoola – you remind me and the other readers that these issues are rarely simple! I remember hearing a show that examined the pros and cons of genetic engineering – which, I thought would be straightforward – and it was not. If your choice is between starving and eating modified crops, it’s obvious what you would choose…
oh and i forgot to mention, I love the image-with-refections
I really love that photo, and I can appreciate the tug-of-attention between that and the quilts! I like the contrast of the reflected image briefly captured and the long slow time the quilts represent all layered together; it’s also lovely and charcoaley-looking!
Thanks for writing such a thoughtful post, I rarely have time to write what I think so clearly what with baby 3 here so I really enjoyed reading your words today, they echo how I’m feeling more and more these days. It seems to me that the more information we are given about how we’re wrecking the planet, the more aggressively our over-consumption and wastefulness seems to increase, and it’s all down to greed, vanity, laziness and ignorance. As Hoola Tallulah says, people would rather donate a perfectly usable item of clothing to charity rather than sew a button back on, for example! Crazy.
As well as buying all our household requirements (bar foodstuffs!) from charity (thrift) and car boot sales, I’ve recently been going into charity shops to ask for salvage material (ie stuff they can’t sell) for patchworking, and it amazes me that so often the answer is No: they can’t sell this waste fabric to me to re-use, because it gets ‘collected’ – they don’t seem to care where it goes, they’re just obeying orders: so it will goes into landfill even if it’s in perfectly good condition, just because the person who was sorting it didn’t think it would sell!
What scares and depresses me so much, is that even if every person who cares about the environment and welfare of others does everything they can to minimise their impact, it is tiny chips compared to the waste and pollution of greedy big businesses all over the world: at the end of the day all our efforts are negligible compared to the world as a whole. Profit comes before principles every time. Why else are plastic bags and containers not all compostible by now, when the technology exists?
I’m off to have a cup of tea now I’ve made myself all gloomy, though I won’t go as far as some and use a recycled teabag 😉
Ooh that was a long essay, sorry if I went on a bit!!
Chloe – writing when the spirit moves, is my belief, and with three little ones, I imagine you rarely get a chance to string two thoughts together (despite what I see on your blog!) – so no, I don’t mind the long comment at all. Yesterday I learned that about 3/4’s of the clothes that we GIVE to Good Will get rejected! So if we are busy feeling that we’re doing our small part to recycle stuff by bagging it up for charity, we need to think again. A friend of mine yesterday mentioned that she tries to find someone who travels to Africa to take old clothes with them – that way she knows her things are going directly to someone in need.
That’s kind of unbelievable about the scraps.
In Cambridge MA we have a place where Salvation Army sends its stuff after it doesn’t sell in their stores. Clothes are in heaps on the floor, and stuff is sold by the pound and not by the piece. But after that? Where does it go?
One of the biggest boons in MY life having two contacts in the upscale design business who now and then let me pick through their remnants… I come home with the most exquisite silks, upholstery weight cottons, tapestries, and linens – Not only is it cloth that I could never afford, it is material that is wonderful to work with.
Ooh, I’m so jealous! 🙂 We had a similar kind of thing in our town called the ScrapStore which, for a nominal annual membership fee GAVE away scrap of all kinds donated to them by businesses: this was how I managed to create my first ever quilt, material for which I could never afford to buy new. This year however the town council in it’s wisdom decided to withdraw their funding so a valuable recycling resource has been lost through complete lack of vision. I was so cross about it I even went in to voice my opinion to the local MP (something I’ve NEVER done before!!) but I got little response.
Good idea about sending donations directly to people in need: I wonder if there is any online bodies organising such things? Another avenue to look up…
(…and I’ve realised the photo is charcoaley because it’s charcoal – duh – my baby brain was so entranced by the reflections I didn’t even look at the actual drawing!!)
I’m amazed, Chloe, by what I miss on a day-to-day basis…. THIS comment makes me want to look into the chain of garbage EVEN more! Perhaps I’ll add it to my google-time some time soon…
rich, rich post and comments — much to think about and consider, too travel weary to write more now