(Throw Back Thursday)
This morning as I was breakfasting on my “Facebook-feed” I was graced with a picture of my grandpa’s brother, Harold and his wife, Beryl. My dad’s cousin’s wife (got that?) posted how she still missed her mother-in-law who had passed on 12 years ago today. Wow, how time flies! Yes, my great Aunt Beryl was one of those “Elders” during my childhood that was just someone you thought would always be there. She lived just a mile down the road, next to the home my great-grandparents had lived in and just a quarter-mile from my grandparents. I grew up in a rural area close to many of my extended family.
So as tomorrow is Earth Day 2016 I reflect on the strong female farm wives that I was influenced by during my childhood. Women like Beryl and my grandma Lilas lived with their hands in our Mother Earth. They were both women with amazing flowers beds and vegetable gardens. They got their hands dirty, but always while wearing a dress (and apron!) So, that brings me to the point of this story. I went to the farm “auction sale” for the estate of my Uncle Harold and Aunt Beryl where they sold off tools, furniture and other household items to liquidate the property shortly after Harold passed away. And I was struck by one thing in particular. My Aunt Beryl had a large “tin” container with all of the hang tags from the garments that she had purchased. They included sometimes a note with a description of the item, a receipt perhaps and always the extra buttons or matching yarns required to repair the item, should it be needed. Yes, I too sometimes keep these items for garments I purchase. But, never in this organized a manner. And frankly things I buy don’t come with these items as frequently as they used to. And to my ultimate point, we now live in a “throw away” society. Most people purchase items never intending to repair them. They are either just not that “special” or worth that much of an “investment” of our time. That just wasn’t the way it was for our grandparent’s generation. I believe that we must return (throw back – everyday) to these habits of our Elders in order to heal and save our Mother Earth. There is an on-line effort to raise awareness of the “True Cost” of the First World’s Garment Industry (check out the True Cost documentary film if you haven’t already!). Recent efforts like the #30wears campaign and the Eco-Age Green Carpet Challenge are starting to raise awareness in the (Fast) Fashion industry and changes are starting to be made. And I intend to use A Stitch In Time Saves as a platform for Fashion Reform as well. And most of all, I intend to break grandma’s sock darning egg out of the shadow box and start using it again! What do you plan to do to change the cost of fashion to us and to our planet? Please comment below with your #30wears, your #mindfulmending or your #StitchInTimeSaves.