An international fashion research project exploring the 'craft of use'

Skills of resourcefulness

Creative activists contribute greatly to society through innovation and experiment, taking on projects that fail to hit the radar of conventional industry. Their work is a training ground for new practices, for trialling novel approaches and reviving old skills that promote alternative ideas about fashion provision and consumption.

Skills trialed in Kleenex

"These are things that my mother made for herself that she passed on to me. I have this skirt, it’s tweed I think and it has a matching coat. And I don’t know, I don’t really remember her wearing it but I like to wear it together. Because it so unexpected now! There is also this vest, that’s reversible. So the inside is made from an old mole fur coat that belong to my grandmother and then it started getting a bit thread bared, so my mom cut it apart and made it into this reversible vest. And this sort of woven fabric, I don’t know where she got it, she was always just buying things. They had to be cheap. She never wanted to spend any money and at some point she decided that fabrics stores were just too expensive and so instead buying at thrift stores and re-fashioning.
My Mom taught herself to sew. She said that she taught herself by making clothes with Kleenexes [paper handkerchiefs] for her dolls when she was a little, like really small. And then she started sewing. She tried to teach me but she was so good at it that she couldn’t break it down enough to show me… When I was 14 I took a course… but I broke every sewing machine…"

Vancouver - January 2013
Photograph by Jeremy Calhoun

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