In 2016, I am going to again seek to make an outfit from local sources and document my learning. I aim to collect stories from around the globe from other participants to form a record of these grass roots experiences.
Inspired by Rebecca Burgess of Fibershed, who used a 150 mile radius to source the fibre, dyes and labour for a years worth of clothing, I set about about finding out if it was possible in Australia. As making clothes is a hobby, I set a more realistic goal for myself in 2015 and aimed to make just one outfit in a year.
The project became an official Fibreshed affiliate and a few intrepid participants from around the globe joined in and their final outfits will be launched on this blog in January 2016. My final outfit and supporting posts can all be seen here.
The Ground Rules
In 2016, I am keen to expand the concept a little wider to include other elements that I consider important to the sustainability of textiles. You can aim to make an outfit that meet any of the categories below.
Meet the Fibreshed requirements:
– the fibre must be farmed and processed wholly in southwest Western Australia (a generous 500km radius). Note that Fibreshed does allow some remote manufacturing where it is not available locally.
– all fibres must be natural
– any dyeing must use local non synthetic materials
– all fabric and clothing made must be of quality construction so as to ensure the life of the clothing is long, and not need excessive ironing or washing.
Your outfit can include second hand components or notions where local options are not available. Your main fibre must be from your Fibreshed.
Use any fibre or notions you like, but you must investigate the entire supply chain and tell the story of why you chose it. You can use secondhand components, but again, tell the story of where it was made, what it was made of, as far as you can discover.
One of the most important aspects of this project is to document the challenges.
In addition to making an outfit that meets these categories, I will again commit to only buying new fabrics or fibres that fit into the categories above. In 2015, I did buy a couple of lengths of fabric, but aside from that found it easy enough to buy second-hand or do stash swaps when needed. The addition of the investigator category should make it even easier to buy new if needed.
I ask that you use the tag #1year1outfit to share information on the project. An outline of this project and its participants is available through my main menu bar, I hope this will be a useful link when referring people to the project.
I have started a One Year One Outfit Facebook page and also collect posts onto the One Year One Outfit pinterest board. I have been using Instagram to connect with participants in 2015 but am open to other options in 2016 that make it easier to keep in touch.
I am looking for one or two people to help me administer these outreach sites, so if you are a Pinterest or Facebook lover please let me know.
This is all an adventure, one that you are welcome to actively join in at your own pace. Sign up below with your name and a link to follow your progress (blog, instagram, Facebook or emailing me updates all welcome).
Have you been inspired by this years participants to give it a go? Do you like the new categories, and which do you think you will aim for?