Craft Core and Sustainable Fashion are a Match Made in Heaven
Prairie Core, GORP Core, there seems to be a new core every 3-6 months these days. In the age of the internet, it feels like everyone is constantly searching to change up their style, to pursue a new aesthetic, even though this constant change leads to constant consumption which is NOT so sustainable. However, the latest Core to spring up is the sustainable fashion girl's dream. A perfect marriage of Cottage Core and Kid Core (a term that never quite felt right IMO), a new style that we here at BADLANDS are dubbing ~Craft Core~ has entered the chat.
Ever since the western world drifted away from making our own clothes at home to buying pieces at big box stores in the late twentieth century (YES it wasn't that long ago that the average Jolene was hand making their own fits), there's been a strong intention to wear things that DON'T look homemade. After all, homemade clothing is for The Poors™. To flex your status as middle class, it is important, no, VITAL, to show your peers that someone else made this for you. Maybe that's not really our intention now, but back when people began transitioning out of making their own clothing, it really was key.
Today, however, we're removed from this perspective. Gone are the days of store-bought clothing signifying wealth, as is the idea that things which are handmade are cheap and low quality. In fact, the argument can be made that store-bought clothing is cheaper looking than ever compared to the wide array of handmade alternatives now available in e-shops. I mean... have you been to Zara lately? And with this change, comes the rise of Craft Core.
Craft Core seems to be everywhere you look these days. Between plastic, gum-inspired chunky rings that have invaded Instagram, hand-crocheted vests, and patchwork tops sewn together from multiple second-hand garments, the homemade look is trendier than ever. Maybe it's thanks to all the spare time quarantine has given us over this past (shudder) year that has inspired everyone to start proudly diy-ing their own fashion. Regardless of the reason, sustainable fashion lovers should be overjoyed to see this interest in making clothing on your own terms.
I think we've pretty-well established that any type of clothing is never going to be truly sustainable. In fact, it's impossible to live a truly sustainable life. As living, breathing beings, we take in resources and expel waste by design, and that includes the clothing that we need to keep us warm, to protect our bodies, and to look chic as hell. However, making your own clothing comes pretty damn close to being the ultimate mode of sustainable fashion, especially if it involves upcycled materials.
First and foremost, creating your own clothes obviously undercuts excessive fashion waste. I mean, considering what a labour sewing ANYTHING is, you're never going to make something that you won't wear, that you don't need. You're also FAR more likely to wear a piece that you made yourself to ensure that your time and effort didn't go to waste, and also because you're likely to be pretty proud. After all, with so few of us making clothing these days, sewing your own look is a bragging rights-worthy accomplishment.
On top of a higher appreciation of the effort that goes into making clothes, there's also the fact that as the garment maker, we have the opportunity to source circular materials that are actually good for the environment. It's absolutely sustainable to make a new piece out of some fabric you have laying around the house, serving no purpose, not to mention it's economical as hell. Oh, and speaking of economical, diy-ing a piece at home saves on shipping costs, and transit-related emissions, because the garment of your choice is born right here in your own backyard!
With Craft Core on the rise, making your own custom clothing is trendier than ever. And thank god! Fashion girls can rejoice that we can make the pieces of our dreams down to the exact details, and it doesn't matter if it's perfect! Rough-around-the-edges garments have truly never been cooler! In the internet age, where there's a free tutorial available at the ready for absolutely everything, whether it's knitting a chunky cardigan, or sewing a mini dress, it's also never been easier. Now, even with Craft Core taking centre stage on Instagram, not everyone has the time of day to whip up a new tailored blazer. And fret not! Another sustainability asset of Craft Core is the rise of small businesses! Even if you're not confident in your knitting or embroidery abilities, there's a small scale, circular, and sometimes even LOCAL shop for that!
Sustainable Craft Core-style online shops are popping up all over Instagram and elsewhere these days, making it incredibly easy to buy a responsible, handmade product that's en vogue, and supports a small time maker. We have to keep the economy going, capitalism, blah blah blah, so why not put your money in the pockets of a small business that you can trust to create ethical and trendy goods? Why enrich millionaires when you can help an indie artist or designer put food on the table?
Craft Core is fresh, new, and hopefully here to stay for a while, so we say welcome to a trend that aligns so well with sustainable fashion system. If you don't feel inspired or prepared to get out that sewing machine quite yet, we've got you covered with some Craft Core destinations that would make Art Attack proud. Connect with your inner Claudia Kishi from The Babysitters Club, and bravely enter society looking like you just got dressed in a Michaels, we promise you that it's the look.