Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When A Pinterest Pin Makes You Over Think

I love Pinterest, you probably love Pinterest, I think we all may love Pinterest. For the most part, it only serves as a digital scrapbook of all the sewing ideas we have, or the recipes we want to make, or tutorials teaching you how to make a your own space ship from some pipe cleaners, an empty 2 liter bottle, and some white vinegar. However, being the over analyzer and general over thinker that I am, I can't just let a pin be a pin. Oh no! A pin must make me ponder the deep questions of the universe, or in this case what we have come to expect of the clothing industry and why mending skills are not seen as necessary anymore.

If I haven't lost you yet, I welcome you, fellow over thinkers of the world to a pin inspired group think tank, also known as the comments section. It all started innocently enough, I was scrolling through Pinterest when a saw a pin, originally credited to a Real Simple magazine article. Real Simple suggested that their readers apply clean nail polish over the buttons of their clothing in order to stop the button threads from unraveling. Who comes up with this stuff?

This now brings me to my next point. Have we as a society come to expect, and accept, that most RTW clothing is so shoddily made that we have to apply nail polish to our clothing in order to keep it from falling apart? Go into any department store and I guarantee you will find an abundance of clothing with buttons where loose threads abound. It is not a random thing to buy a new garment and have the button fall off. This seems to be a pretty common occurrence. Why do we, as consumers, accept shoddy workmanship so easily? Do we want a bargain so badly we are willing to slap some nail polish on our newest Forever 21 outfit in order for it to stay together for a few wears?

Personally, I think it is a combination of two things. First, we as a consumer society have a desire for clothing to be a cheap and disposable resource. If you're only wearing an outfit a handful of times, who cares if it takes some nail polish to hold it together? Secondly, I think we have a generation of consumers who don't know what quality is. When less than stellar workmanship abounds, we tend to slowly accept that as the norm.  Had I not become interested in vintage and sewing, I too would have no idea how well clothing could be made.

This brings me to my last point. Why would anyone think that applying nail polish to a button would be a better solution than simply sewing the button back on? Is it laziness? Sewing a button on requires minimal effort, and a needle and thread are not expensive or hard to acquire tools. Mending is simply not a skill that many people view as important or necessary for a self sufficient lifestyle. If clothing is seen as a disposable resource, I can understand why someone wouldn't feel that sewing a button back on was worth their time or attention.

So, readers and fellow over analyzers, what is your take on this? Would you ever slather a  button with a dollop of clean nail polish or do you find that idea to be absurd?