I was lucky to find out about this ‘Local Wisdom‘ global project and the Vancouver photo shoot not long before it took place the other weekend. There were special items of clothing I could have taken along to wear but having very little time I wore a trusty pair of hand-me-down jeans that I’m rarely out of and have repaired many times.
Happily I also got to meet Kate Fletcher who had spoken at a Textiles Environmental Network event in the UK several years ago. Yeah! We had a quick chat about what’s happening now and how there are lots of collectives in the UK which I wish I could be a part of … I’ve got to get with the Vancouver folks instead!
What is the Local Wisdom project all about? From what I’ve read and heard, it’s about collecting stories about specific pieces of clothing and their use; ‘the craft of use’. The website says:
The sorts of stories we’re looking for include, among other things, a garment that:
- Is easily repairable
- Is shared between people
- Is enjoying a third, fourth or fifth life
- Surprises you each time you wear it
- Shows or tells the story of how it has been used
- Is worn in ways that defy the producer’s values
- Is worn regularly and has never been washed (and isn’t leather!)
- Is made up of interchangeable pieces that can be worn in different ways
- Connect you to others
- Is worn in response to changing economic and environmental concerns
- Is adapted over and again in order to meet changing needs
I love it; these are things I think about a lot with clothing and want lots of other people to as well. Which people are – I’ve just had a friend ask me to repair an ace wool jumper with a few holes. I can be as creative as I like so I’ll post the results soon.