My ears pricked up when I heard an article about Shwopping on Radio 4 today. (Here’s a link to an article in the Telegraph if it hasn’t appeared on your radar yet.) I was intrigued. Why? Well, I do sometimes ponder the life-cycle of the clothing that I wear and this connects to the sewing that I try to do. If there needs to be a reason other than the sense of pleasure and accomplishment attached to the internal drive that I have to sew for myself and my family it is this: To have a more considerate and considered approach to the clothing that we all wear. High street clothing brings with it ethical issues that perhaps lag a little behind those of other industries such as food. I find Fair Trade and organic comestibles a lot easier to find than Fair Trade or organic clothing. Do I really want to ask difficult questions of my clothing retailer – Where was this made? Were the workers fairly treated? Is the manufacturing process minimally polluting?
While this Scheme, which encourages you to hand in unwanted clothing before your purchase your new glad rags, doesn’t represents a revolution in the way that we shop for clothing, it is a step in the right direction. As with all of the three Rs (re-use, reduce, recycling) making it easy for folks to do is one of the keys to engagement. I look forward to seeing what the Scheme looks like at the store level.
In the meantime, sew on!