I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed with Project Runway last night. Since Bravo put a summary blurb of each episode on the site already, I was excited to see that episode 2 was going to be a “green” challenge. After seeing it, though, I’m having some mixed feelings.
On the one hand, PR should definitely be commended on even bringing it up. It’s a major exposure into the fashion world that a lot of people tune into, even average Janes like me who tend to not follow the runways too closely because I’d rather make my own style than follow trends. So the cocktail dress challenge did do a good job in showing that eco-friendly can be really classy and fashionable, too. And I forget which of the girls said it, but I did appreciate her comment about liking the challenge because the fashion industry does horrible things to the environment and she wants to do what she can.
On the other hand, I was a little unhappy with how they chose to do a “green” challenge. My first thought on it was that it might have more of a recycling twist to it, rather than purchasing new materials. So I was kind of disappointed that it was just another buy-fabric-and-make-this-dress challenge. The other thing that saddened me (which I know PR had no control over) was how limited the selection was. I know Mood is one of the big suppliers of the NYC design world. Even BurdaStyle uses it for their pattern sample garments. I know it’s hard for home sewers like me to get access to good, eco-friendly fabric. I guess I’d kind of hoped that, especially as awareness of the issue has been growing, NYC would be a little more on top of this and have a better supply.
I know I’m probably in no position to criticize. I’m obviously not the greenest fashionista around– I still have an awful time trying to figure out what to do with scraps, especially those pieces that are too small to cut anything new out of. I still use polyester and other synthetics–I feel a little guilty for it, but a lot of times that’s all I can manage to get my hands on, in the way of sheers and such. Plus I just like the texture of a lot of it. I’m a big texture girl when it comes to fabric. And, let’s face it, I’m a musician, which means money is a constant consideration, and I live in Delaware, which means that for a clothes-focused sewing girl, Joann’s is the only game in town. So until they get with the program and start stocking organic fabric, I’m limited to the choices of a) not using it, or b) buying it mail-order, paying a lot of money per yard, and getting it mailed from places that would probably offset all the good of organic fabric by the carbon footprint the shipping would leave. And, well, I like my crazy prints, and organic fabric is often rather solid-colored. Yesterday’s challenge being case in point. But still, I try to do what I can. And PR is obviously a huge influence on the number of people my age and younger that have come to realize that sewing isn’t just for their grannies. So they could have made this huge statement, and I can’t help feeling like they dropped the ball a bit on it.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot today (when you have hardly any customers to deal with and spend your entire morning pulling dying leaves off of daylilies and daisies, you have a lot of time to do this), and have decided that this is the PR challenge I would love to see: take the designers on a field trip. To Goodwill. And tell them that they have $20 and all their fabric/notions/etc have to come from the old clothes. And then watch them all squirm uncomfortably while I cackle in glee at how much ahead of them I am. Either that, or a challenge where old bridesmaid dresses are turned into something that actually can be worn more than once. I would really enjoy that. But since I have no say, I guess I’ll just keep eyeing Crafting a Green World for affordable fabric that strikes my fancy, raiding my own local Goodwills, and pondering what can be done with a tea-length cobalt blue spaghetti strap dress.
Oh, and Suede really needs to stop talking about himself in the third person.
(P.S. I will give an update about my own craftiness from yesterday…but in a different post. Whether it’s before or after the return of Friday Favorites remains to be seen.)