The idea for Paper Scissors Cloth was born shortly after two keen sewists, Kathryn and Ainsley, met at a kids birthday party and connected over a shared passion for slow fashion, making clothes and sustainability. The first coffee date planted the seed of an idea that has grown and evolved over the past three years along with a partnership that seemed destined to be.
I grew up in a family of casual makers (shout out to Dad for sewing my Halloween and ballet costumes). I really dove into sewing during my post uni years while managing an eco fashion boutique in Victoria, Canada. It was there that inspired me to become professionally trained in fashion design. My graduation collection was entirely made of cutting edge eco-fabrics and it felt like a shift was on the horizon to better, fairer and more sustainable practices in the fashion industry…the very distant horizon I came to realise.
Soon after, I bought a small tailoring and custom clothing design business which I ran for five years. It was wonderful, challenging and one of my proudest achievements. But it was also gruelling, eye-opening and disheartening pushing against fast fashion, the lack of progress and constantly justifying my work to people who had no real understanding or appreciation of the hands and skill involved in the garments I was altering or custom pieces I was designing.
Then life brought me to New Zealand where I continued to work in fashion but with a slightly jaded attitude towards designing and making. When I met Ainsley I was at a crossroads, about ready to throw in the towel, but for what? Well luckily I didn’t have to figure that out. The passion and drive came flooding back and away we went on this incredible journey together and I’ve never looked back.
I was taught to knit and sew by my mother. My first completed project was a 30cm scarf for my brother. Never worn.
Years of frustration and failed projects ensued. I have always enjoyed the process of making but often felt disappointed by the end result. Many years later I returned to craft with the wisdom of age i.e. a lot less time, but much more patience and a clearer view as to what I like to wear and why I love to make. I took the time to develop my skills, learn how to pick better patterns and invested in quality materials. The results spoke for themselves. I realised I could actually make the types of garments that I couldn’t afford to buy. I was hooked, or re-hooked.
At the same time I was also learning about the hidden costs of the fashion industry. The pollution, the resource depletion, the human exploitation and the animal cruelty. This gave me even more motivation to make my own clothing however I quickly discovered that it actually wasn’t that easy to find out where or how my fabrics, yarn and haberdashery were made and this didn’t sit comfortably with me.
I was fortunate to then meet Kathryn, who shared my interests and frustration (but possessed significantly more skill) and we decided to turn our passion into a business.
Through Paper Scissors Cloth we aspire to further our education into sustainable fashion and to find new and exciting products, resources and techniques to share with our fellow makers and slow fashionistas, aka ‘the P.S.C Posse’. We hope you will join us on this exciting journey of knowledge and creativity and in the process be inspired to challenge ourselves to make better and be better fashion lovers for the planet and its inhabitants. How that might look, well that’s the fun part!