As part of its Great Transition initiative, the New Economics Foundation (nef) recently held a panel discussion on how to survive financial crisis, climate change and soon-to-be-declining global oil production. One of the speakers was Dame Vivienne Westwood, who helpfully suggested that we stop buying clothes for six months and wear a towel instead of a coat. One of her shrewd observations was “It’s all about do-it-yourself at the moment.”
The DIY design trend has been gaining ground for quite a while now. I’ve participated in this myself, by creating a small range of unique accessories for ShopCurious, including these ‘curiosity clutch bags’, which are made from pieces of recycled vintage fabric, decorated with exotic ‘found’ curiosities - like old brooches, carved jade and unusual pieces of jewellery.
If there’s enough interest, I may create a larger collection – but only using materials that might otherwise be thrown away, or remain unusable unless re-fashioned into new items like these. Anyway, if you buy one of my DIY bags, at least you won't feel guilty about wasting valuable resources, plus you'll be helping to keep small craftspeople employed.
If your finances are a little over-stretched at the moment, but you don’t have time to make your own accessories, how about a curiously creative alternative that’s totally free of charge? Why not create your very own collection of digital DIY designs at Polyvore? You don’t have to be a digital artist, as the site is really user friendly. And you’re very welcome to enter our DIY dolls contest too – you’ll get to vote for the best sets and there’s a great prize for the winner. Here’s a set I made up as an example, along with another to show how a Polyvore doll is made using different items. Click on to view:
By the way, you can hear the podcast of Dame Viv’s speech on the nef website, although for some reason when I tried it didn’t seem to be working. I hope you have better luck than me.