Inspired by the One Year, One Outfit challenge, I am challenging myself to create a locally sourced and made outfit over the next year, and I invite you to join too!
The challenge is to create a 3 pieces from local materials and skills. Your “outfit” can be garments and/or accessories and it doesn’t have to be a complete outfit, just 3 pieces that you would love to have in your wardrobe. So for example your “outfit” could be a sweater, scarf, and hat, or a skirt, cardigan, and socks – pick items you know you will love and get a lot of use from!
I also want to add that if 3 items feels intimidating or is too much for you, just start with one, you can still take part!
Ideally the goal is to source everything from fibres to finished garment locally, but depending where you live that might not be possible and that’s okay, it’s about trying your best! Certain things might just not be available in your region and in that case expand your area, look in nearby regions or your country.
If you can’t find something, for example things like buttons, thread or zippers are likely not manufactured locally, you can get it elsewhere, but try to support small, local businesses (like a independent fabric shop) for supplies where possible.
Overall the idea is to learn about and support textile producers and makers in your area, and get some beautiful special pieces from your region and community.
Where to Start
Check and see if you have a local Fibershed this is a great to way to find local farms, producers, and makers in your area! But if it doesn’t show up on the map, also search “fibershed” and your region/province/state because many (like mine) have started up without being official affiliates.
(I also highly recommend reading the book Fibershed by Rebecca Burgess for some information and inspiration)
The best place to start is figuring out what types of fibres are available to you and if there are any local mills or spinners selling yarn or fabrics – if there aren’t any commercial mills, look into local weavers and spinners guilds to connect with.
Figuring out the type of material you have to work with is a huge step and you can then plan what to make!
Let’s do this Together
I’ve set up a “Local Outfit” challenge board in the MGC community forum as a place to connect, share updates, and resources for anyone wanting to take part.
You can also use the hashtags #OneYearOneOutfit and #MyLocalOutfit (created for this particular challenge) on Instagram to share updates!
I don’t sew or knit/crochet, can I still take part?
Yes! This challenge isn’t only for DIYers. You can connect with local designers, sewers, knitters, or textile artists to have your piece(s) made – it’s an incredible way to get a unique garment and support your local makers.
What about dyeing?
It’s your choice if you want dyed materials or not, many natural fibres are beautiful undyed!
You can look into getting dyed materials or dye them yourself. Ideally you can also use local, natural dyes.
It’s important to know going into this challenge that sourcing and making local garments is almost certainly going to be more expensive than your average mass-produced clothes, however try to view this as an opportunity to invest in an incredibly special and unique heirloom garment.
I would recommend deciding on a budget that works for you and letting that guide your project. So your budget might influence if you make 1, 2, or 3 pieces, what kind of materials you use and where you get them from, what types of garments you go with, etc.
After you find local suppliers and makers, get quotes from them so you know approximately what the costs will be before moving forward with your garment creation.
Any other questions? Let’s chat!