The Trouser Project
A few months back I finished reading No Logo by Naomi Klein and decided to test the theory that one person can make a difference. I started making my own clothes.
I stopped buying certain products a few years ago when I got the sneaky suspicion the companies, while glossy on the outside, were somewhat putrid on the inside. It was about the same time I realised most sales people are simply on the Earth to lie to other people.
Armed with my newfound confirmation that a large number of the companies I bought clothes (and other goods) off are pretty shit I started looking at what I could do in my own little sphere of influence. Obviously we all need clothes...it gets cold without them and one person can only do so much without going insane so I decided to start small, learn some skills and make a pair of trousers...and didn't do too badly for a first attempt.
It turned out to be fairly simple. I unstitched an old, but servicable, pair of trousers to get a base pattern, bought some material and hauled out my girlfriend's sewing machine. She patiently demonstrated how to thread the beast and instructed me on the basics of not sewing my fingers to the material and away we went.
My original design was somewhat enthusiastic and even the cut down version took a bit of thinking but in the end they fit and cost about $30 of materials and about 5 days to make. I get the benefit of knowing how to sew, a pair of trousers that I made and knowing that I didn't support a company that makes a habit of ripping off skilled people because of where they live. I am now looking forward to the next design I have in mind which is, of course, slightly more ambitious.