The clothes you wear are statements about your personality, values and perspective. Every day you make choices in what to wear – and unless you or your connections are empowered with simple sewing and design skills, you are a slave to current fashion in-store and online.
Constantly seeking new clothes can be time-consuming, expensive and overwhelming. The alternative is to become more inventive and refashion, repurpose, and recreate existing pieces in your wardrobe.
Jane Milburn is following the heart on a creative journey by upcycling the natural fibres which she grew up to love on a sheep farm in South Otago, New Zealand. This attachment continued through agricultural science study and work as a rural reporter and communications consultant.
Now a fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, in 2013 Jane undertook a Graduate Certificate in Australian Rural Leadership which included research into textile consumption trends.
This research revealed global fibre consumption growing at three times the rate of global population growth. Fast fashion, cheap clothes make in developing nations by people paid very low wages, is driving excessive consumption that is wasteful of resources and increasing waste.
The human toll highlighted by the Rana Plaza Fire in April 2013 brought this problem to world attention, as highlighted in the ABC’s Four Corners program FASHION VICTIMS and was the spark for an international campaign “Who made your clothes” that will mark Fashion Revolution Day on 24 April 2014. Find out more here
Jane’s response is the 2014 Sew it Again campaign by Textile Beat to inspire local upcycling of pre-loved natural fibre garments as a way of reviving home sewing, improving creativity and wellbeing, as well as ecological health.