Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

#FairFashApril – Fair Fashion April

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The Ethical blogger network is running an ethical styled challenge this month. The idea of the challenge is, that participants style an ethical outfit according to each daily theme, share it and discover others’ through the hashtag #FairFashApril. You can participate every day or just a few times in the month. It’s a shame I have managed to miss most of April, but I thought I’d join in today with the 24th challenge – Who Made My Clothes.

Two years ago today a tragic disaster unfolded at the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh. Over a 1000 garment workers died and many others were injured.  So today I’m reflecting on who made my clothes. I chose today’s clothes mostly as they have a story behind them and unlike many RTW clothes I do know something about the provenance of the items I’m wearing today. I wouldn’t say they are typical of my wardrobe at all, but are my most ethical clothes and in this way they represent an aspiration for my wardrobe.

Fashion Challenge Blue

First of all there is my skirt. I made this for the Weaving Destination Fashion Show last year. The fabric is hand-woven in India by a weaving collective, for more information see this post on My Happy Sewing Place.

This was taken last year before the fashion show….

Lido Skirt

…..a selfie taken today that didn’t turn out too well….



…taken today with the timer on my new camera.



The top is one of the last RTW items that I bought whilst on holiday in Italy in 2013. It is designed and made entirely in Italy. Sadly, I threw out the original label that came with it, which detailed all the information about its manufacture, however it was in Italian, so you’re probably not missing much! I suppose this top isn’t the norm as far as what we might call “ethical”, but since it was made in a country which adheres to European employment laws, I can rest assured that whoever made this item was treated fairly.


Indeed it is quite unusual with all the outsourcing that goes on these days for any clothing item to be made entirely in one country. There are, of course exceptions and I found this fantastic website that blogs about British-made products (not just clothing).

On another note, I will be joining Me Made May again this year. It is certainly going to be a different challenge for me this year. In the previous Me Made May, last year, I really struggled as I hadn’t been sewing my own clothes for very long. The weather was cold and most of my makes were optimistically summery; I shivered my way through May.

This year, I have so much more choice that I’m going to commit to wearing something me-made every day. Rather than keep taking photos like last year, which incidentally I found to be the most difficult part of the challenge, I’m going to just keep a tally of what I wear, both me-made and RTW. Hopefully, it will reveal what I love from my new me-made wardrobe and what I shun. Here’s my pledge:

I, Steely Seamstress of sign up a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2015. I will also endeavour to wear every single one of my self-made garments during the month of May.

Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

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