Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Sustainable Fashion in the Forest

I have been away from this space for a few days and from the internet. Little I and I went to Devon to visit my family for four days. Now home with an aching back from the drive. We went to a great place and if you ever find yourself driving to Plymouth or Cornwall on the A38, this would be a great stop off. We went to Haldon Forest, there is a cafe (hurray for food cooked by other people), there are some lovely walks and great views, Little I loved the sand-basd play area. But best of all for me? There is an exhibition space there (CCANW) and we saw,

Fashion Footprints, an exhibition looking at sustainable fashion. This exhibition was curated by a group of MA graduates from the London College of fashion. I did't get enough photos - apologies. Little I is doing some fabric weaving in the top picture.
There were display panels full of information and clothes on display. We liked the map of the world where visitors were invited to pin the labels from their clothes on the map to show where they came from. There was a coat and dress from Alabama Chanin whose work have seen in the blogosphere before but I have to say I like it more since seeing it in real life! It was a fitted long coat with applique and glass bead flowers and a dress underneath with appliqued flowers. Both were made in cotton jersey I think. There was a coat from a Leeds based collective Remade inLeeds.

There was a beautiful embroidered black kimono from 1910 that was a family heirloom, illustrating the idea of passing a special and cherished piece of clothing down through the family.

One thing that caught my interest was a display case with a lace collar and gloves in from the early twentieth century. Women would have used a range of different collars to make one dress look different. What a good idea - and one that made me think of the Uniform Project dress which comes with a detachable collar. What wasn't clear from the display was how they fixed the collar on. This exhibition is only on until 21st November but if you check the website the next one looks interesting too.

My sister was with me and we left with her thinking and discussing how to make our own lives more sustainable. I now think maybe she no longer thinks I am weird with my not buying new clothes.

I have not done any sewing of clothes since September now as I am having troubles with my machine, and I am having serious withdrawals now! Last night I ordered some grey cotton jersey on Ebay to try to make a jersey dress. I am not sure exactly what shape to make it...I am playing with several ideas. Meanwhile I am frantically handsewing little birds from felt to sell at a Christmas market and knitting Christmas scarves. I will share pictures soon.


  1. That sounds a great place to visit! Hope your Christmas sewing is going well xx

  2. How wonderful to be inspired - both by the exhibition and by fashions & practices from the past. Sounds perfect!