Featured Pledger: Sonja Beck Gingerich (Ginger Makes)

The Seamless pledge is nothing without its pledgers! Every week I’ll feature a new pledger on the site. Today, allow me to introduce you to Sonja of Ginger Makes:

Sonja in her Mello Yello vintage McCall’s 5995 dress

Name: Sonja Beck Gingerich

 Website: http://gingermakes.wordpress.com

Pledged for six months, now coming to the end of it.

Why did you take the Seamless Pledge? 

I’ve long felt guilty about relying on mass-made clothing, but I felt helpless when faced with the task of sourcing clothes responsibly.  So I was really excited to find a group of people who believe that it’s possible to walk away from unethically-made clothes.  I’m so grateful for the support and encouragement this group provides!

What impact has the pledge had on your day-to-day life?

I’m not much of a shopper and I don’t have that many clothes, but I tend to make all my clothing purchases impulsively and unwisely.  I often won’t buy something I actually need, but I’ll pick up a novelty item on a whim without thinking twice!  I find myself more thoughtful about what I wear when I have to make something myself or source it secondhand– it takes a lot of work to add something to my wardrobe, so I want to make sure I’ll really wear it!  I’ve also found it’s really cool to slow down and appreciate the meditative process of making a garment.  I find so much joy and community in sewing, things I’ve never experienced while shopping!

Any tips for someone wanting to give up mass-made clothing? 

Learn how to sew!  It can be tough to find exactly what you need for in thrift shops or on eBay, so it’s great to be able to make wardrobe basics that fit you and your personal style perfectly!

Make sure you check out Sonja’s blog for more on her creations. Want to be a featured pledger? Get in touch. 

The end of my Seamless pledge

As of June 13, my Seamless Pledge was officially over. The minute I was released from my final NCTJ Media Law exam, I was able to run out and buy all of the clothes I wanted.

I’ll be honest, the pub was my first port of call…

Anyway! The end of the course and the pledge has been pretty bittersweet for me. As far as I’m concerned, the past nine months have been utterly fantastic. No matter how little I saw of my hobbies and life outside of journalism, I wouldn’t change my experiences on the course for the world.

Not to mention, if it weren’t for the course, I probably wouldn’t have started this whole pledge to begin with.  Honestly, I didn’t think I’d actually ‘make it through’, which seems daft now. After all, it’s only clothes.

Now, if I walk into a high street store, I don’t automatically rifle through the rails for bargains to add to my already swelling wardrobe. In fact, I’ll keep an eye out for sewing inspiration, but I’m more than happy to leave empty-handed.

But more than this, I’ve been honoured to be joined by a truly talented bunch. Your projects are amazing and your blogs are regular reads of mine. Honestly, if it weren’t for the rest of the pledgers, I’m not sure I’d find the pledge half as fun.

So! I’ve decided, I’m not giving up just yet:

I, Elena Cresci, take the Seamless pledge until December 31st 2012 (when I may well decide to extend it once more…) I will abstain from buying any new clothes until the end of my pledge. I will find ways to be fashionable without breaking the bank and without contributing to the cycle of fast fashion consuming the high street. I will trawl through charity shops, I will attend clothes swaps, I will look for second-hand items on eBay and I will craft my own clothes with my own two hands. This time, I’m officially exempting underwear and tights, but I will hunt down ethical and sustainable alternatives to the easier, mass-made options. Additionally, I will support and sustain the Seamless community as long as there are people willing to say bye-bye to the high street. 

You’re not rid of me just yet! Keep your eyes peeled for more on the site. There’ll be featured pledgers, some interesting interviews and I’ll even get a Seamless Pledge FAQ on the go.

Anyone else come to the end of their pledge? How have you found it?

The end is nigh…

The past nine months have gone by in the blink of an eye.

Back at the very beginning

On Wednesday, I am no longer a trainee journalist at Cardiff University. Providing I pass my exams, I’ll actually be qualified to work on a local paper, can you believe it?

As you probably know, Wednesday also marks the official end of my Seamless pledge. Perhaps it’s all the furious revision I’m doing for my final exams, but it’s not quite hit me just yet!

I’m not the first to complete my pledge – over at Thread Carefully, Julia finished her pledge and reflected on it here. What’s really nice to see is she’s not wanting to give up on it and has decided to pledge for another year. Then there’s Juliet, who commented a few days ago that she’s planning to take her pledge until the end of 2012.

I’m definitely leaning towards taking my pledge onwards and upwards, but what I’d really like to do is cultivate the community we have here. Speaking about Me Made May ’12, I mentioned how much I’ve loved the community aspect of these challenges and with the end of my course, I’m going to have far more time on my hands to be able to make more of this aspect of the pledge.

You might not know, but Seamless already has a Flickr group and a Facebook page going, but I’d like to take this community aspect a lot further. I’ve got a couple of ideas in mind, such as featured pledgers and the refashioning me-mades challenge, but I’d love to hear what you guys would like to do.

Whether it’s some more challenges, giveaways, or spotlights on other pledgers, I’d love to know what kind of posts you’d love to see on the blog. If there’s anything you’ve particularly liked about Seamless so far, then I’d love to hear about it, equally if there’s anything you think I should work on.

In a way, I’d like the blog to be a focal point for pledgers to come, with groups on Flickr or Facebook acting as “support” networks while you’re pledging or even if you’re thinking of it.

Anyway, it’s time for me to get back to the revision! I shall see you all after exam hell is done…