'We The Makers Create' is for you to be inspired, learn new skills and help reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry.
Earlier this year, an online exhibition exploring fashion’s sustainable future was launched at the National Wool Museum. Running online until November 22, the ‘We the Makers Design Festival’ saw 21 emerging and professional designers from around the world create clothing that’s not just aesthetically beautiful or useful, but is also ethically produced, guided by the theme ‘Design for the Future: Sustainable and Ethical Textiles and Fashion’.
Amidst the success of the designer showcase so far, the National Wool Museum has introduced ‘We The Makers Create’, a new digital experience spawned from the ethos of the Designer Showcase.
Building on the core foundations of We The Makers – celebrating creativity and ingenuity in sustainable and ethical fashion design – the ‘We The Makers Create’ provides a platform for artists and craftspeople to share their skills and inspire others to start making through a range of free (yes, FREE) online fashion courses.
From mending garments to refashioning a T-shirt, the detailed step-by-step guides can help anyone within the community build technical skills and confidence to experiment with sustainable fashion concepts – not just professional fashion designers and makers. With the ability to complete the course at your own pace, Victorians are given the chance to enhance their wardrobe, reduce their impact and try something new.
There are four main courses currently on offer:
‘Creative Mending’ sees Ruth Woods from Craft School Oz guide audiences through a range of creative mending techniques. Designed to help creatives give their clothes longevity and a touch of personality, this free course will teach the skills to mend and patch for both functionality and style.
‘Refashioning a T-Shirt’ is with Designer Showcase finalist, Ana Fernanda Covarrubias, who will make you fall in love with your old t-shirts again, reducing your fashion waste and diversify your wardrobe. Creatives can follow her step-by-step guide to learn how to turn a t-shirt into a funky neck-piece, reducing your fashion waste and diversifying your wardrobe.
‘Electrical Wire Jewellery’ is a course that’s all about thinking outside of the box and creatively repurposing electrical wire into bespoke jewellery. Learn fundamental jewellery making techniques from artist Vivian Qiu and discover ways to be more creative about jewellery design.
The final course, ‘Natural Dyeing’, will see Tamara Leacock, the designer and stylist behind fashion studio REMUSE, brings her skills and creativity to this course that explores natural, ethical and low-impact dyes. Learn techniques to colour your textiles in a sustainable way – using items from your garden to your waste bin.
Not only encouraging creatives to make, mend, refashion and re-purpose from home, but the fashion courses also inspire reflection on the challenges to our health, communities and economies, alongside a new perspective to our fast lives and fast fashion. One where we can be slower, thrifty and creative with how we consume fashion.
Within We The Makers Create platform, you’ll also find a range of short videos and tutorials from local artists, makers and custodians of cultural arts. Giving viewers an insight into techniques and crafts they may not have seen before, the videos introduce new skills and ideas to try at home, from fabric gift wrapping to Iraqi embroidery and Karen weaving. One of the videos we would recommend checking out is the one with Regional Victorian Artist and maker, Megan Anderson, who guides you through the steps to make a simple three-layered face mask with ties.
There’s also a dedicated section just for the mini makers, aimed at encouraging kids and families to get creative using yarn. You’ll find guides on how to create pom-poms, woven clouds, finger-knitting, and woven rainbows, as well as StoryCraft videos to combine fun craft activities and stories.
Pulling it all together, the platform includes a public gallery for everyone to explore and share their creations. Emerging artists can even promote themselves by adding links to their websites and social media accounts. Everyone can be inspired by the breadth of ideas and skills.
Whether you’re needing a heavy injection of creative inspiration or you’re just looking to learn a new skill, We The Makers Create is here to remind you that all of us can be makers, and it’s one way we can engage in sustainable practices.
Recognising the impact of the pandemic on artists and the broader community, all content in the website is available free through support from the National Wool Museum and the City of Greater Geelong. The We the Makers Design festival is also still available to view online until November 22.