I took a good look at my t-shirts last week. The truth? I started to wish I had done that a week earlier so I would have been able to run to the store and stock up… But no, that would have been cheating. I need new t-shirts, unsurprisingly my cheap “Made in Bangladesh” shirts have lasted for one summer and have no life left.
So today I stopped at my friendly neighbourhood (well, downtown) fabric shop Dressew. I picked up some jersey knits. The lady who was cutting my fabric asked me what I was making. T-shirts? Great, they’ll last so much longer than the store bough ones, she said. So I told her about my project, and she was excited. She had done a similar one a few years ago, for six months, and said it’s surprisingly hard. We talked for a while about the garment industry, then about reliable fabric sources. They’re all machine made, she said. But someone uses those machines. Someone takes the bolts and packs them up. There’s labour involved. She nodded, and said there are so many facets to this. What about fabric dyes? Sure, I bough organic cotton blend for my t-shirts, but where do the dyes come from? So many things to consider.
Baby steps. I’ll make some t-shirts first. I got enough fabric for two or three shirts, depending on what I’ll make. The price for the two pieces of fabric was $16 – I don’t think I’d get an organic cotton t-shirt anywhere for that price.