The Importance of Accessibility

By Crispina ffrench

Today I got to share my story at Selvedge Magazine’s Wardrobe Revolution Weekend among a group of textile-centric activists doing creative, forward-thinking work for our future.

Being a part of such an engaged, like-minded group is just delightful - especially having been pretty isolated since the start of Covid.  After the day wound down, what resonates is inventive ingenuity.  Scientists, fashion brands, artists, makers and historians working toward a common goal to bring textiles into balance in our ecosystem.

The power of one person making creative changes grows exponentially when there is a room full of those people - a passionate community nurturing, and sharing ideas enhances creative changes in textile consumption.  

Got me thinking about the essential elements, the underpinnings, of my textile recycling/upcycling business.... Textile upcycling:

  • Reduces demand for new manufacturing
  • Removes waste from the landfill stream
  • Adds value to materials considered to be trash
  • Teaches by example
  • Adds a level of meaning
  • Is always creative
  • Allows for self-expression
  • Is accessible - not elitist

How can we build awareness of the textile waste crisis and empower people to take part in creative solutions?

The accessibility piece is especially important here.  It is actually true that anyone with a creative mind, pair of good sharp scissors, simple sewing tools, and a minimal financial investment has the ability to build a sustainable textile upcycling business.

Even limited workspace works for the process.  Remembering back to the feeling of freedom that came with the realization that I could sell my work created wholly from discarded materials still thrills me.

For the last few years I have been developing an online presence to share inspiration, knowledge and experience with a larger audience.  My desired outcome is to live my ideal gentle-living lifestyle while delighting in a creative, uplifting impact on our global textile waste crisis.  

Today it became clear that open-source textile upcycling is integral to carrying out my mission - to impact our global textile waste crisis with creativity and delight it is important that to have 'buy-in' from a majority.  

The simple act of textile upcycling replaces powerlessness with empowerment.  Entrepreneurial textile upcycling parents teach future generations to see value where others see waste.  Heirloom quality upcycled products made with love teach by example, inspiring unmeasured ripples of environmental awareness, kindness, community, and creative ingenuity. 

Using available technology, experience, and like-minded textile-centric paradigm shifters we have an opportunity to shift this movement that addresses textile waste, toward center and watch those ripples fill the world with possibility.  

Are you ready? 
Stick around here for ways you can participate.  We got this.

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