gather and grow

Homegrown, hand-spun living in the city

One Facebook post from one of my favorite organizations of all time, the Fibershed, and I’m already researching organic cotton grown in the Carolinas and thinking about sewing patterns and planning a trip to local alpaca farms this spring… Welcome to an ordinary Sunday evening here at the Gather and Grow urban homestead.

Here’s the challenge:

Do you knit, sew, or dye your own clothing? If you’re following Fibershed, you’re probably already very interested in knowing the source of your clothes, and the materials, supply chains, and people who make them. January has passed, but it’s not too late to set a new goal for yourself: join the One Year One Outfit challenge, as proposed by Australian sewing blogger This is Moonlight. We are excited to announce that One Year One Outfit is an official Fibershed Affiliate, and you can participate from anywhere in the world — the premise is simple: create one outfit in 2015 that is entirely sourced from your fibershed. You can also pledge to purchase no other new fabric throughout the year, as a commitment to sustainability.

OYOOAs you’ve guessed by now, I’m joining the One Year One Outfit challenge, and invite you to join in as well. You can do so from anywhere in the world. At the end of the year, you will have not only a locally sourced outfit, but also a more intimate understanding of the sources of raw materials for clothing in your region, the existing textile supply chains and the gaps (or, more likely, thousands-mile-long, fossil-fueled digressions) in them, and what might be possible if regional textile cultures and networks are revived.

I’ll be writing about the progress of my locally sourced outfit — if only because it’ll keep me accountable. Stay tuned for more updates!

5 thoughts on “One Year One Outfit challenge

  1. Hi Mari, welcome on board, do you mind if I add your name to the list with a link to your blog?

    1. Mari says:

      Hi, not at all! Thanks for getting in touch!

  2. Great idea! Often I think the difficulty in returning to a time when we made our own clothes can be budgeting the time to make them. As a knitter, spinner, and sewer, I can always find patterns and designs that I want to make…….oh but time!, But what a great exercise for all those traditional skills that are often forgotten……including making your own clothes. Understanding where the resources come from and the energy used in the entire process . People do often ask us if the choices in our own life here, on this sustainable farm, is actually simpler. I’m not sure simple is the best word for what we do or our choice in living this way, but it is happy, rewarding, gratifying, challenging, exciting, sometimes hard, and hardly ever without thought, consideration, and intention. This year we have been learning how to wax canvas for some outer garments we have made. A fairly easy and neat process and I had a lot of canvas given to me from my grandmother years and years ago. Applauds for taking on this challenge, I’ll be looking forward to seeing a new locally sourced, homemade, wardrobe on your site ! Enjoying you site very much and the good work you are doing in your life.

    1. Mari says:

      Thank you, Denise! You really nailed it… the best word is not necessarily “simple” — it’s richer, more challenging, and more rewarding than what that word evokes. I hope one day I’ll learn how to wax canvas too!

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