A DIY Conundrum and Consumption in General

Several things you may need to know about me:

1. I've been crafting/making DIY projects since I was a wee child.
2. Most of my hobbies (and my job) entail producing things with my hands, along with a dash of creativity.
3. I was not, and still not, loaded.

I started with making home-made cards for the holidays and then I learned sewing in the second grade, which sparked a desire to make clothes. For a long time I was satisfied with sewing clothes for my Barbie dolls, which irked my mother to no end because I used my actual clothing as material.

My childhood is closely tied with crafting. My mom is a very creative person and as such, she sought to make us creative too. Various DIY books lined our shelves. We had books on soap-making, perfumery, origami on almost all types. I read all of them with the same fervor as I did with my storybooks even though I couldn't make them. Just the thought that all of these things can be made yourself was enough.

When I got older I made things that I wanted but could not afford. If I wanted a new pair of shorts I just made one from old jeans. I made my own accessories. Until now I try reuse my old clothing.

Nowadays I'm trying to be a more conscientious consumer, not just pertaining to clothes but to everything else I use. This leads to a disconnect with my DIY habits, as I enjoy the process more than the final product. Sometimes I start new projects without regards to the purpose of the outcome and whether it fits my style and aesthetics. This leads to waste, which I'm trying to lessen. There are tons of how-tos out there and it's so easy to be lured by cheap, quick and easy projects, but does it fill a need in my life? Oftentimes, the answer is no.

I'm trying to lessen my impulse DIY stuff the way I do with my impulse shopping. I already have a lot of things lined up in my DIY list that never gets done, so why add to it? I want to acquire and create things for the long haul. Make things that last and things that fit in my vision of what I want my wardrobe (and by extension, my life) to be.

I'll always be making something with my hands. I'd probably still make a lot of things that I have no use for. Maybe I'll just give those away or sell them. The urge to create will always be present, but becoming aware of the mindless consumption and striving to do something to lessen it is a start. I cannot afford to be wasteful. It's still bad economics to get something for cheap but remains unused.

Conclusion: Less waste, better life.

1 comment:

  1. You perfectly identify the issues I have with the current fascination with DIY. I love creating things with my hands but even more, I love creating things I will use. It's lovely to see people inspired to have a go but DIY needs to be about more than cutting (destroying?) a $5 t-shirt to mimic the latest designer piece.


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