Tuesday, November 8, 2016

About the future, your great-grandkids... Sustainability

Yesterday, during the church sermon, seated next to my daughter, our Rev. used this passage...

Luke 12:33 
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

She happened to be carrying a purse I made years before she was born, which we still giggle about whenever someone says to her, "Nice purse!" because it simply refuses to age.  While the meaning of that passage is bigger than a simple purse, it really resonated with us.

Should you choose to watch the video above, it describes a labor-intensive task that no one unfamiliar with its cultural relevance or history would likely undertake, but the meaning and future-oriented perspective of this process remains strikingly profound.

As sewing has become a genuine love, habit, and talent I nourish ceaselessly, it has found a new meaning for me, as I do far less of it professionally than I once did.  It isn't just clothing and accessories; it really is part of life-building.  Like a farmer farms and grows livestock to sustain himself, his family, and his business, the endeavor is is productive as it is eucharistic. (Side note: use of the word "eucharistic", inspired by an episode of "My Mother's Ravioli" with Mo Rocca, that really touched me deeply.)

So, what lasts? If I look around at things I made long ago, that seem to NEVER die, and I can tell you what I've learned from experience:

Rosen & Chadick - the wools, the pant weight twills, washed linens and fantastic shirtings have lived a million lives as clothing in my house.  I've made coats from their fantastic wools, and have never been at all disappointed with the quality.  Never. Someone may say to me "Nice pants", and I start my answer with... "You will never believe this, but I made these 15 years ago..." 

NY Elegant - Their stretch knits, jerseys, and soft, drapey knits have some kinda magical powers that they wash and last so well.  I have been amazed by how long even my most abused tops and comfort clothes made from their fabrics have lasted.

Metro Textiles - Not only does he have a good eye for beautiful fabrics, Kashi has a great eye for quality fabrics. I've got many older pieces in my closet, made from goods purchased with him.

This is not to say that other things don't last, but these are the three places that amaze me with the quality of their goods. I don't know that many people set out to make a shirt with a 15 year life span, but what fun when it happens accidentally!

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