Day 252 / 365
I find myself uniquely inspired by revitalized or consciously commercialized artisan skills from the past. Perhaps it comes from my own frustrations at the lack of authentic souvenirs I find when traveling - or perhaps I have an over romanticized idea of the loving and creative output by those who create products in ways traditional to them. But I genuinely react with a start of excitement which seems to pop from my chest when I'm presented with or discover something produced slowly with skills that have been passed down through the generations.
The fast fashion industry has come close to eradicating artisan products altogether. Offering instead unsafe working conditions and slave wages to create meaningless clothing as quickly as possible. For point of comparison, in factories for H&M, Topshop, Zara, Forever 21 and other such gluttonous giants, production time is reduced to less than 5-15 minutes per garment, in a 12-hour work day, under stressful and unsafe conditions in which output very much dictates ones already lower than a living wage.
Our western call for cheaper faster goods has created a situation where quantity is valued over quality and the meaning in our clothes comes from the ability to personifying the style of a celebrity or influencer, rather than the story behind the clothing itself.
Nokshi Crafts is one of the few (but growing) number of ethical fashion brands committed to social and environmental sustainability who is working to provide artisans with meaningful income through their crafts, taking skilled workers in Bangladesh out of the fast fashion factories and offering them sustainable income which utilizes their craft, back to their craft with ethically sourced hand dyed and hand painted silk scarves. Creating one-of-a-kind, timeless and elegant pieces of art.
What initiatives like Nokshi Crafts does is provide artisans who don't have the ability or accessibility to sell online, a platform to showcase their talents to a global marketplace.
You can encourage and support the growth and continuation of this heritage skill by voting with your dollar and supporting their skills through product sales. They're currently doing a Kickstarter to get this beautiful company up and running, so you can pre-order a scarf in support by clicking HERE and it will arrive with you in April (just in time for Mother's Day in North America!), ready to wear.
PHOTOS: Shane Woodward