When we think of ‘make-do-and-mend’ and being thrifty we usually think about being resourceful with our personal resources, in that many of these approaches are about repair, restoration, maintenance and remodelling of our own clothing. At Antiform we encourage many of these approaches through workshops, upskilling people to make the most of their clothing.
However, we’ve also started to explore what being resourceful can mean when we go beyond personal actions and consider the resources of the community. In fashion terms, that means as a community collectively being resourceful with our clothes. This led to Antiform founding the Leeds Community Clothes Exchange in 2008, a monthly event where people come together to exchange clothing they no longer wear using a token system. All those who attend the event get something ‘new’ using only the resources already in the local area. By opening up these resources to a more collective activity the possibilities extend – there is more choice and chance for experimentation, new opportunities for social interactions and a renewed excitement about clothing, re-positioning it back into an active, personal and community context (rather than an impersonal, passive one).
Watch the video commissioned by the Leeds Community Clothes Exchange volunteer team to learn more about this great event in Leeds. The Exchange has been featured by the Guardian as one of 17 inspiring community projects around the UK up for their Live Better Challenge Community Project Award – vote for the Clothes Exchange before midnight on 30 September 2014 and if they have the most votes they could win £1,000 of funding – with the projects with the second and third largest number of votes receiving £500 each. Click here to vote!
As part of Be Resourceful Week, in association with Love Your Clothes, we’ll be joining in with a tweetchat hosted by Centre for Sustainable Fashion discussing resourcefulness in fashion (#ResourcefulFash!) and sharing tips from the Antiform team on how to make the most of your own and other people’s clothing. Join us on twitter @antiformonline!