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Alternatives to Black Friday

At Antiform we stand up against joining the Black Friday mayhem because we believe this type of mindless consumption is not part of the future we want. All of the products we consume, whether that is a mobile phone or a party dress, represent a significant amount of materials resources and embodied water and energy. This is perhaps not what we think about as our new things are rung through the checkout, and it is certainly not something at the forefront of discussion on Black Friday.

We are not saying that no-one should enjoy clothes or fashion, never have something ‘new’ – but there are alternative ways to achieved this that don’t rely on buying more and more new items each and every time. This might include loving what we already own more, and reinventing or repurposing that which we don’t; Restyling clothes from last year or last decade (as well as reinventing heritage skills) to make them relevant today; Swapping and sharing pieces so we can enjoy a collective wardrobe.

So here are our top recommendations for an alternative to Black Friday… have fun and let us know what we’ve missed!

 

Swapping

Swishing: ‘To rustle clothes from friends’. It’s easy to see how Black Friday is so tempting, especially in the fashion world – the feeling of having new clothes is fabulous. So imagine having great new stuff and parting with only a tiny amount of money (or even no money) whilst also avoiding any new resources being used?

Swishing or clothes-swapping is shopping without the hangovers. Everyone brings their unwanted clothes in good nick – and others fall in love with them and give them a good home!

Leeds Community Clothes Exchange
This weekend you can head down to the last Leeds Community Clothes Exchange  of the year – they are even specialising in party dresses this month!
28 Nov 2015 //12pm // Oblong Leeds

Or if you’re in London check out:

Hounslow Library Swish
28 Nov 2015 // 11am // Hounslow Library, Treaty Centre TW3 1ES

East London Fashion Exchange
28 Nov 2015 // 1pm // The Red Lion, 640 High Road, Leytonstone, London E11 3AA

You could even arrange your own swapping party over a glass of wine and exchange unloved clothes with friends or colleagues. For more info on how to organise one, visit swishing.com

 

Mending & Restyling

Perhaps some of the pieces in your wardrobe just need a bit of a nip and tuck to fit and look right. Or maybe even a more ambitious restyle?

Kate and I have just made a series of restyling videos for Love Your Clothes, who have got a great platform for ideas – check out their guides to altering, dyeing and personalising clothes.

What about the amazing knitwear you bought last year – is it looking a bit tired, bobbly and even maybe suffering from a few moth holes? Before you rush out and buy a replacement how about learning how to bring it back to its former glory? These events will show you how;

Make do and Mend Alterations // Saturdays & Sundays // London // £60 for a 3 hour session
What nicer way to spend Saturday than to take your loved but neglected clothing along to a sewing session. The friendly sewers will teach you hand and machine techniques to make your clothing fit and look fabulous whether it’s new or vintage.
Including sewing on buttons and other fastenings, unpicking, patching, hemming, learning how to fit and shape garments, creating something new from a pre-loved garment.
Everything’s provided but you can feel free to bring your own sewing machine.

Survive and Revive Hand Alterations // Saturdays/Sundays/Mondays // London // £40 for a 2 hour session
Join the London lot for 2 hours of sewing power. You’ll learn a range of essential hand alteration skills and up-cycling techniques. Get on the road to a self-sustaining wardrobe and ignite your creative flair while you learn all sorts of useful, minimal equipment, skills like: sewing on a button, mending holes, patching, hemming, mending holes in pockets, changing elastic, changing fasteners, unpicking and up-cycling techniques.
This is a hand sewing session, so join us for a brew or a glass of sparkly, isn’t it good to know that you don’t always need a sewing machine to mend garments back to loveliness?!
No experience necessary, equipment and materials are provided for this 2 hour session, the cost is £40.

All Sewn Up // 11th December 2015 // London // FREE , available to all adults (18+) with low income and an interest in sewing!
You’ll only need basic sewing skills to join in the free session run by All Sewn Up, they will help with upcycling as well as mending garments to have you back in your well loved clothes in no time.

Brighton Repair Café
Brighton Repair Café regularly run mending events, keep up with them on social media to find out the fun workshops you can get involved in.

Keep up to date with upcycling tips, inspiration and details for local upcycling classes using these resources:

allfreesewing.com/Refashioning-and-Upcycling

upcyclist.co.uk/

mymakedoandmendyear.wordpress.com

recycled-fashion.com

thenewcraftsociety.com

alteredupcycling.com

remadeinbritain.com

bristol2015.co.uk/news/using-leftover-fabric

Buy Secondhand First

If you do really need something how about looking for it second hand things before sourcing them new? This week Traid have been running a national campaign #SecondHandFirst to get us thinking about how much we would commit to buying second hand. Fashion blogger Susie Bubble has jumped in at the deep end and pledged to buy second hand if she can! So take Susie’s lead and have a look at all the amazing offerings of vintage and second hand clothes in stores around the country (for our list of the best second hand shops in Bristol check out our recent post!)

We would also recommend Traid’s stores across London for well-edited collections of second hand clothes.

We hope this post will inspire you to think differently about how you can still enjoy ‘new clothes’ without consuming more! Happy Secondhand First Week!

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