Where do your clothes come from?

Do you know where your clothes come from?

Click on the image to see the interactive version

As sewers, generally the answer is a resounding yes. You’re not likely to forget after hours of stitching now are you? But if you’re anything like me, your wardrobe is probably mostly made up of mass-made and high-street clothing – and this is where the answer becomes less clear.

I tuned into new documentary Mary’s Bottom Line the other day, featuring high-street guru Mary Portas’s attempts to bring clothing manufacturing back to Britain. As you know, this isn’t the first time Portas has featured on this blog – this time, I wanted to see how my own wardrobe measured up to the issues she faces in her programme.

It was simple really, I just checked the labels to see where my clothes were made, jotting up the totals. I left out underwear, but counted garments I’d bought in charity shops. Obviously self-made garments came under their own category.

To be honest, the first thing which struck me was the sheer amount of clothing I own! I counted about 70 garments – who really needs 70 items of clothing?

As for where they came from – in terms of where I bought them, the vast majority come from high-street names like New Look, H&M and Topshop. With the exception of clothing I bought while living in Germany, the majority of it was bought here in the U.K.

But my clothes come from parts of the globe I’ve never even been to. Truth be told, I wasn’t overly surprised. After all, in the UK, 90% of our clothing is manufactured abroad. There just aren’t a great deal of British companies making clothing at home anymore.

When you actually break down the contents of my wardrobe, no less than 18 countries are represented. One blouse bought from New Look came from Bangladesh while another garment hailed from Turkey. The only British garments in my wardrobe came from small clothing labels Rare, Love Label and Quiz. Ironically, a dress I own from Lipsy London was made in China.

As I said, it’s not particularly surprising, yet it wasn’t anything I’d really considered before. Generally I don’t have a problem with buying something made abroad if it was made by people being paid a fair wage (and that’s a topic which deserves its own blog), but I didn’t quite realise how little I own is actually made in the U.K.

On the plus side, the self-made portion of my wardrobe is growing, slowly but surely. Progress!

What do you think? Does it matter if most of my clothes weren’t made in the U.K? Where do your clothes come from?

Mapping the Seamless Pledge

According to Facebook, 39 people are talking about The Seamless Pledge. How crazy is that?

Faceyb used to let you see what was being said, but that’s not the case anymore – it would have made compiling the list of pledgers a little easier! So going from comments on the Pledge page, here are the people taking the Seamless pledge so far:

Emily Bater – http://lightscameracardiff.wordpress.com– June 2012

Sarah – http://www.zenzeroni.blogspot.com – November 2012

Trice – http://sewtell.wordpress.com – For the rest of the year

Jennifer (and her 16 month old baby!) – http://madetofit-jenn.blogspot.com – June 2012

Sarah – http://www.rhinestonesandtelephones.blogspot.com – August 31 2012

Vicki Kate – http://vickikatemakes.wordpress.com – November 2012

Far – http://farsland.blogspot.com – May 2012

Andrea – http://www.stitchparade.com – January 1 – December  31 2012

Rozann – http://rozyhomemaker.blogspot.com – June 25, 2012

Elise – http://elusivereveries.blogspot.com – Nov 19, 2012

Ursula – Dec 31 2011

Kirsty – http://www.leopardanchor.typepad.com – March 8 2012

Tabatha and Julia – http://threadcarefully.wordpress.com/ – April 30 2012

James – http://soundmindsoundmedia.wordpress.com – March 2012

If I’ve missed you, give me a shout and I’ll add you to the list!

As you probably know by now, I love to play with interwebular and multimedia toys, so it’s not really a surprise I fancied doing this list in a more dynamic way…

The pledgers come from all over, so I thought Google Maps would be a fun, visual way to see where everyone’s coming from. I’ve already popped my marker up there in Cardiff, albeit not at my actual address. Saying that, if you zoom in, Google Maps has put me awfully close to the Doctor Who tour… I now wish this was my actual address.

If you fancy taking part in mapping the pledge, then shoot me an email and I’ll add you to the map with a link to your blog! Tah dah!

How’s everyone coping with the pledge so far? I haven’t had any high street cravings… yet!