what it means to care

Have you heard of Slow Fashion October? 

The term was coined in 2015 by Karen Templer of Fringe Association.

Slow Fashion October: A celebration of the small-batch, handmade, second-hand, well-loved, long-worn, known-origins wardrobe.
— https://www.instagram.com/slowfashionoctober/

How does that strike you, I wonder?  Reactions are understandably broad, from "why" to "of course," from "how" to "no thanks."  It's all about perspective.  And exposure. 


I've been reading and thinking about political/economic issues a lot this year, more than usual.  About Climate change.  Sustainability.  Unfair labor practices.  Offshore production.  And from where I stand they're all tied together.  


Offshore production drives down cost in US dollars, often by taking advantage of unfair labor practices or deregulated manufacturing that can hurt the environment.  Thus, offshore production increases US consumerism, while simultaneously removing jobs from the US economy.  That's not a very sustainable equation.  And meanwhile we use obscene amounts of fossil fuels to move those cheap goods around the world. 

What if I bought clothes made in America?  And paid more.

What if I bought fabrics made in America?  And paid more.

What if I just bought less?

Actually, we already "buy less."  That's part of our family culture.  I often go over a year between shoe purchases.  Rora wears just as many thrift store finds as anything else, and at this moment Liam owns all of 5 pairs of paints. 

I don't think buying less need be my mantra, but I'm finally ready to take my mama's advice to care where our products come from.  To care enough that it informs my decisions, because that's what it means to care.  At last I get that Made in America is not about national pride.  Instead, it might just be about prioritizing people over corporations or my convenience.


So, what about my hobbyjob?  What about my favorite fabrics and other quilting supplies?  Does it make any sense to champion handmade if the fabrics are also imported?  Is my blog supporting a sustainable creative culture or a hoarding consumerism?  How can I inspire others to grow in compassion and mindfulness for our neighbors, our world?

These are the questions I am asking myself today as I make another Rosie block.  I wonder if you share any of the same?