Thursday, May 2, 2013

Locally Made Garments

First  project after the sampler by Laura deVrij. Materials alpaca silk. The shawl felt luxurious to the touch.
In the news recently is the disintegration of a building in Bangladesh injuring and killing hundreds of textile workers, notably for Joe Fresh/Loblaws. Certainly it was a shameful view of western entrepreneurship. Recently I read a blog post by a young woman whose work and intelligence I admire. Her name Meghan Price, a partner in the fashion accessory production company called String Theory String Theory produces trendy stylish jacquard woven textiles for its fashion line. This is what Meghan had to say about the event:
I am inspired to express some thoughts in light of the recent tragedy in Bangladesh. This will not be eloquent or conclusive and I am very hesitant to write confessionals on FB. That said, I thought it better that my voice be heard than to be complicit in my silence.
      The quick & cheap combo always raises a red flag for me – it is a sure sign that someone, somewhere is not being treated w...
ell. At the same time, I succumb to it’s temptation - I don’t have a lot of money (by local standards) but I do love fashion and hanker for new. Quick & cheap feeds my “need” - my drawers are full of $20 jeans and $30 blouses.  
       I can’t claim ignorance. The recent factory collapse in Bangladesh follows decades of similar stories. I remember when Nike got busted back in the 90’s. I am also a producer of textile goods and, when it comes to my business, am committed to using suppliers whose staff work for equitable pay in healthy conditions (hello Oriole Mill). So - I do feel like a dirty hypocrite entering most “high street” shops but my guilt serves no one.
         It’s a big, complicated situation and it’s too easy for me to feel helpless and apathetic about it. I do feel very sad for the people in that collapsed factory however and know that our lives are connected through the jeans I am wearing. Its time I made some new resolutions.
Your suggestions are welcome.
Woven tablecoths for card tables in 2/8 cotton by Marion Kirkwood.
Perhaps the Bangladesh tragedy is a reminder to us to review and revist our practices as consumers. Make some hard choices about what we are buying and from who. It' seems more sensible than ever to be purchasing from local craftspeople, weavers, potters, jewelry makers, fashion designers. Yes you'll pay fewer items if required. To those of you who continue to support your local artists, craftspeople, musicians etc....hats off to you.
Shibori dyed silk scarves by Maxime Gendron, Conrad Dueck, Dalia Farna.

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