Just read a very thought-provoking article about the “S” word; some of you may have seen in on the FB page. Need to write about it, because it’s something that’s on my mind a lot.
Firstly, I’m an avid stasher; I have a lot of fabric. I’m not the kind who buys for a specific project, makes the project then thinks about the next before buying any fabric. No no no no no no. I’m in love with fabric; that obsessive, glinty-eyed, drooling, heart-racing, sleepless night passion that I know some of us suffer from. Being in a fabric shop makes me both joyful and guilty. I KNOW I’m going to buy but I also KNOW I absolutely don’t need to and absolutely can’t afford to, both money-wise and space-wise.
Secondly, I look at my stash and my heart sinks: I’m never going to use it all, I don’t even like some of it and I have no idea what to do with most of it. But I can’t get rid of it, because I spent so much money on it. How I’m going to solve this is an ongoing question. I have joined many, many groups and watched hundreds of Youtube videos to try and get ideas and inspiration on how to tackle this mountain, but it seems the more I watch and follow the more stuck I get.
So why? What is it that creates this sometimes vicious cycle? The writer of the article mentioned the quick turnover of fabric ranges and this is my major downfall, I think. There are so many incredible, fabulous, wonderful, magnificent, splendiferous, out-of-this-world fabric ranges released ALL THE TIME, that I’m in a constantly spiralling trap of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) because we all know that that magical, gleaming, beautiful fabric won’t be there next time we visit. But there’s the attendant problem of buying some and when you get around to making something with it, you don’t have enough and you can’t get it any more. If fabric ranges were around for two or three years and the relentless launching of new lines was slowed down, I’d be less tempted and happier to start something I know I can finish because the fabric is still available.
But there are other things at work here, more pernicious and pervasive than my little addiction. The first is that instant gratification monster that has been controlling our buying habits for decades. The latest phone, the latest car, the latest TV, the latest sewing machine, the latest gizmo, gadget and game. They may not be and probably aren’t better; they’re just glitzier, shinier and ‘in’ and we have to have them. No more waiting until we need a new one, or until we have saved up. Gotta have and gotta have it NOW.
The second is the growing and increasingly damaging ‘fast fashion’ buzz. Gone are the days when we had a suit that lasted ten years, or an evening outfit that saw many, many formal occasions: it’s a new thing for every event and every day. People are buying holiday wardrobes and suitcases full of Primark jeans and tops for a girlie weekend away. The clothes are worn once, if that, and then binned to landfill.
Has our hobby, our craft, our passion fallen to this level? Are we buying the newest, the latest, the trendiest because it’s ‘in’ and we have bought into that instant gratification thing? Does our old one really not work any more, or does it just not have 5,000 stitch options and a jazzy foot pedal? Are we really really really going to use that fabric in a project that we have lined up? Or are we just falling into the commercial trap? The LAST thing I want for my hobby is that is becomes a slave to fashion and a victim of commercialisation, but I fear it may have done just that.