Clo.Chat: Seam Allowance and Fashion Sustainability

A blouse (from my Engagement saree)
Two days back, I wore a blouse as a top to create a new look. I also mentioned that this blouse was 6 years old! That's right, SIX YEARS OLD! Now, If I had read this post elsewhere,  one of my first reactions/thoughts would've been this: How did she fit into it!?  Well, there are those of us who don't seem to put on any weight (maybe they workout like hell!) and then there are those of us who do and I fall into the second category (not that there are only 2 categories, but that's besides the point). So how do you think I fit into that teeny-tiny blouse?

SEAM ALLOWANCES!!!!! Thank GOD for those (well in this case, Thank MUM!)

When my mum used to sew our (Sis and my) clothes, she would always leave 2 inches of seam allowance at a minimum; the costlier the fabric, the more the seam allowance. The purpose: That we fit into those clothes even after excessive gluttony during festivals

Fashion LCA:
Material lifecycle assessment is big in the building industry, but this should be applied to the fashion industry. Though, selecting eco-friendly materials like hemp or bamboo or choosing less toxic materials is a great start, it is only one part of the equation. Longevity and 'growability' is the key. Garments should be designed to keep up with changing times (and bodies) and should aim to last a life time or more. I would love for my daughter to wear some of my clothes (she'd toot them as vintage!) :)

One way of achieving growability is increasing the seam allowance; this practice is an excellent way of making garments less disposable as they can (to an extent) cope with the wearer's bodily changes and helps reduce fabric wastage. The caveat: the fabric/color/dye should be of high quality so that there is no color bleeding. It might not be possible to leave additional seam allowance in some fitted garments, as it affects the shape and may not yield a perfect fit (The tailor would need some serious skill to overcome it). The standard seam allowance is 5/8 th of an inch but by increasing this to ~ 1 inch, there would be less wastage and more fabric can be diverted from landfills. 

Wishful thinking? 

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