What Happened to the Clothes you were making?

(WARNING: Ranting post from a jaded clothing designer. Continue at your own risk!)

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i love making clothes.

i love adorning the physical vessel with shapes cut from fibers woven from plant and animal particles and coloring them with my hands and with our gardens and with the symbols running deep through this earth like threads throughout time.

I do not love feeling like I need to convince people that they need more clothes. They do not.

I’d so much rather teach others how to fix what they already have, or transform that which they have found, or create anew from the fibers of our earth in a way that is thoughtful and needed.

We live in a society where, in the past year, Americans have purchased on average 66 garments per year (that is more than once a week).

16 million tons of textiles are thrown away PER YEAR and lest you think your donations to goodwill are not contributing to this, did you know that an estimated 15% of textiles donated actually make it to resale? That means 85% of donations probably end up in the landfill. (numbers from here ) 

This does not even begin to touch the amount of textiles wasted in the manufacturing process, which is probably equal to that. Unless a garment has been designed to be zero waste, the production of your average garment throws out between 10-30 percent of the fabric... this does not include product samples, which are regularly slashed and trashed to avoid resale of designer goods.  (read more here)

This is not to vilify you for buying a new jacket or a new pair of shoes, just to say that maybe the purchase of a new garment doesn’t need to be a weekly event. There is a supply because there is a demand - less demand will in time cause companies to lower the flow of supplies. 

It would be cool if we could comprehend all of this and just stop consuming as much, but unfortunately our brains are wired to feel rewarded by the new, the novelty. This wiring is what has created vast improvements in our society, and what is currently also creating giant landfills on our earth (and, in our oceans) .

Luckily for us, our grey matter is interested in problem solving (also same link above) so how about we sneak around this wiring and learn to, well, solve problems. learn to create new things with old things. 

So instead of rewarding our brains with more STUFF, I’m looking towards rewarding our brains with more KNOWLEDGE, which takes up much less physical space and also provides us with new tools to interact with our world in new ways (how novel!)

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all this to say.... I will no longer be focusing on manufacturing clothing.

I am forever grateful to those who have helped me to support this business, and your investment in handmade goods and the artists that make them.

Ive been slowly transitioning Mixed Color to focus on textile education for a few years now. While I wish I was able to create in a way that did no harm and had zero effect on our earths resources, the fact is i also need to eat food and keep the lights on and perhaps even save up a dollar or two hundred so i can get new tires so i can drive safely to get aforementioned food and some energy efficient LED lightbulbs (ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive) so I have created some physical products that you may buy that I hope will increase your creative activities and spark interest and reward and problem solving capabilities in your brain, and does not require a ton of materials.

I’ve re-designed my dye kits, so they are now packaged in a re-usable corked glass jar, and the up-and-coming embroidery kits include naturally dyed fabrics, packaged in recycled and biodegradable materials.

I’m also working on more books so you can continue to learn to use your own supplies.

So i can help you, and you can help me, and we can do so in a way that makes us both feel good.

Because there is nothing that lights me up more than seeing some new synapsis fire as someone learns something new and realizes that they are absolutely capable of creating what they dreamed. Even if they don’t yet fully know how, or didn’t previously think was possible.

And in truth, this is what I've always dreamed of creating but didn’t think I knew how, or maybe I never quite thought it to be possible.

This does not mean I’ll never make clothes again… but for now, it is not a priority.

On the bright side, I’m having my SAMPLE SALE next month!! If you’re on my newsletter list you’ll get FIRST DIBS on all the clothing I still have in stock!! Get it while you still can…

christi johnsonComment