Introducing “Slow Fashion Citizen”

Introducing "Slow Fashion Citizen"

At the turn of the year, I asked what you guys had enjoyed most last year or want to see more of this year, and what I heard loudest from you was more content relating to slow fashion. There were several requests for me to spread the subject out more, with comments that Slow Fashion October can be overwhelming and that obviously it’s a subject that’s of interest and relevance year-round. I couldn’t agree more! I’m definitely not saying Slotober is going away or anything, and obviously there’s a slow fashion aspect to every post I do about what I’m making (or even that I’m making my clothes in the first place), but I do want to address the subject in various and direct ways throughout the year. I was particularly happy to hear that feedback because I already had an idea for a series of interviews — discussions with slow fashion proponents and role models of all kinds, from sewers and knitters to thrifters, designers, manufacturers — and had that on my editorial calendar beginning in January.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the series launch: while falling immediately behind schedule, I also found out author/slow fashion advocate/mending teacher Katrina Rodabaugh had the exact same plan! I’m a fan of Katrina — we met in an “embroidermending” workshop in Oakland in 2014 (a workshop that had a major impact on me) and we’ve been social media friends ever since. (We also bonded at Rhinebeck ’15 over the difficulty of adjusting to life outside the Bay Area, both of us having moved away.) So when I heard what she had in mind, I got in touch. And I’m happy to report that instead of the two of us hoeing the same row, Katrina will be conducting the interviews and they’ll be published here on Fringe Association! We’re calling it “Slow Fashion Citizen” and it starts tomorrow. So welcome aboard, Katrina! I’m really looking forward to this.

I’ll have more to say about other slow fashion content coming up soon. Meanwhile, if you’re not familiar with Katrina — or even if you are — I hope you’ll go read her recent post where she talks about her background and what she hopes to accomplish with this interview series. Definitely check out her Instagram feed. And if you have kids, take a look at her book “The Paper Playhouse.”


24 thoughts on “Introducing “Slow Fashion Citizen”

  1. Your Slow Fashion October had a significant impact on my life. Beginning last November, I promised that I would go a year without purchasing clothes. I vowed to make or mend my clothes (except for underwear). In the sewing process, I am stitching my clothes by hand without a sewing machine. Not because I am against machine sewing, it is just too much time to set up/take down every time I want to use it. I’m enjoying this experiment/challenge so far. Thanks for the inspiration and I look forward to the discussions with Katrina.

  2. *steps away from the edge* one of those links links to a japanese textile etsy!!!!!!

    I just finished a five week boro/japanese quilting class and it was SO amazing. my instructor is a japanese textile artist and she brought in a boro’d kimono that was over 100 years old! it was so gorgeous, you could tell that every boro was hand stitched and every patched was hand seamed together.

    I am excited for my jeans to start ripping so I can mend them. is that silly?? I haven’t had any of my clothes long enough for them to be in disrepair and I’ve finally started to realize what kinds of clothing is most comfortable for me so I’m hoping to have these clothes for a long time!

  3. I am not experienced in embroidery, but recently I’ve been working on mending some longjohns for my brother. I’ve got a patch, and am trying to do the sort of stitching seen above. I can do the stitches, but making them evenly lined up – so hard! Of course, he won’t care – as long as I can extend their usefulness that will be good. But now I admire this stitching/mending technique even more than before!

    • the best part of boro is that it doesn’t have to be perfect!!! each stitch has its own personality and improvised, it’s about the process of sitting down and meditating for a few hours until your hole is gone!!

      • It’s very nice of you to remind me of that! But all the images I’ve saved to Pinterest are so even – I was imagining I could do it no problem. Nope. :)

  4. Please look at Karen Stevens amazing ” boro” mending on her jeans on IG! She is the consummate Slow Fashion stitcher year round as she sews, knits and mends her entire wardrobe. She’s such an inspiration…I definitely want to be her in my next life! And a nicer person you could never find!

  5. ok. i just scanned through her insta feed and she is my new fav human being. now i want to leave work and go attack my pile of worn out denim and do some hand mending/stitching!

  6. I’m so excited to hear about this new addition to your already amazing site! Thank you for helping to make mending and slow fashion the “norm.” Can’t wait to see this first entry.

  7. Honored to join you here, Karen. And hooray to all the folks who’ve commented here today. I look forward to connecting with you and growing this slow fashion community in the months to come. I’m thrilled to share these slow fashion interviews and stories from some of the most inspiring artists, makers, writers, and advocates too.

  8. Thank you so much for your hard work on this blog and project! I can’t wait to hear from Katrina and her interviewees.

  9. I am so stoked about this! Thank you Karen and Katrina – this work that you are doing to raise awareness, support makers, and to deliver it all with your incredibly inspiring warmth and style is making a difference in many, many lives.

  10. With Jess’s swatch of the month and now Katrina’s input, I feel that I have joined a great symposium of knowledge. Your site is more than just a show and tell.

  11. I have a beloved red hoodie that is holey. I want to visibly mend it but didn’t know how to go about it. Those close-up photos at the top tell me what I need to know. I can do that kind of mending of sweatshirt fabric, right?

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  13. Seeing the jeans patched with Sashiko reminded me that I did that with a pair of torn jeans myself and loved doing it! It’s rare when I get rid of my favorite clothes…

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