Sunday 14 June 2020

Small Acts, Big Change

Last year I was asked by our local shire council, Scone, to join my home town campaign for a Tidy Town Award. Most Australians reading this will be aware of the decades old Tidy Towns movement.

With the support of council community coordinator Heather Ranclaud I joined 3 others in the sustainability category to make a submission about how we make a difference by recycling. When the judges visited my studio in November 2019 I showed them the garments I making for my "Thirty Coats" exhibition. They saw my collection of used clothes and textiles, all sourced inexpensively from thrift shops and garage sales and I showed them how I altered the fabrics with stenciling, applique and patchwork.

In late 2019 it was announced that Murrurundi won an award for our contribution to sustainability!

Keep Australia Beautiful - NSW Sustainable Communities.

As part of the recognition for that award I was asked to show my work for this small video

Small Acts, Big Change. Pearl Moon

Going forward, these are my ongoing commitments to sustainability and ethical making for the years 2020 & 2021 and into the forseeable future:

 1) Every garment I make will comprise at least 90%+ used clothes and fabrics. 
 2) Every garment I sell will be made completely by my own labours. I cut, embellish with paint and stitching and sew every garment. To date I've never employed outworker sewists and would acknowledge if I started to do so.
3) Every garment I make is unique, I don't do any sort of mass manufacture - small or (heaven forbid!) large scale.

"Hie Coat" 2019, by Pearl Red Moon. Made from thrifted remnants of cotton canvas, brushed cotton and cotton broadcloth. The garment was stenciled with my hand cut stencils, and the sewing techniques were primarily patchwork and applique.

In the book Thirty Coats that I published about the garments in the exhibition this is the statement on the poster....

" Using only second hand and discarded fabrics each coat is an example of how skill and re-imagining can transform and make valuable what was destined for landfill. Following in the tradition of re-make and make-do, such as Boro and patchwork, the artist has applied a wide range of technique to transform the mundane salvaged materials into beautiful and intriguing garments that transcend fast fashion and have the potential to be worn for decades"

Currently a lot makers and independent sewing pattern businesses are falling over themselves to get on lists identifying the good ally anti-racist people to buy from. I hope it fulfills the idealistic aspiration to raise the profile and sales of BIPOC owned and run businesses. Personally I'm ideologically opposed to getting myself on such a list. I am white and privileged (though also poor and autistic!) and in the current heightened consciousness over BLM issues I'm more comfortable staying out of the room and letting BIPOC have the mic. 

Though, quite honestly I suspect my stand on kimono has firmly branded me a racist white supremacist in some peoples estimation. I cannot help but notice I'm still blocked by various IG influencers I offended during that period when I disagreed that using kimono was an unacceptable cultural appropriation. That is list I never volunteered to be on and will most likely never get off for some people...! It's frustrating that I continue to be disdained over that issue when I believe my advocacy and activism for an ethical and sustainable clothing industry is far more relevant. 

I recommend following my slow fashion season journey to keep up with the political activism.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you are interested in buying an artwork or booking a commission, please email me at