Two weeks ago I visited an exhibition at the “Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg” called FastFashion. We all heard about the collapsed factory buildings with hundreds of dead and the awful working conditions of the seamstresses. But there is a lot more. Farmes literally bathing in pesticides while spraying the cotton plants with the capsules already open. Many of the workers have contaminations and some die on the way to the hospital. The farmers can not read and depend on what the dealers tell them who, for their part try to sell as much as possible else the big companies stop using them as dealers. The cotton is soaked with the pesticides so the women who work with it later on also have health problems. And so it goes on. Rivers changing their color several times a day due to the dye factory…I never realised that shearing of sheeps or angora rabbits often goes along with cruelty to animals. It was really depressing.
But there is also hope, as the second part of the exhibition “Slow fashion” showed. There are companies that try to manufacture environmetally sound and under fair working conditions. Fibers that are fast growing as bamboo or do not need as much water as cotton (there is an incredible amount of water needed for one single T-shirt) like linen or hemp. I will try in the future to be more thoughtful with my fabric purchases.
But we tend to forget again during everyday life.
With all that still going on in my mind I stumbled over the campaign from Susanne from mamimade, a German sewing blog. Susanne is going to make a catalog with entries from sewing bloggers to show the world that we did not forget and still care about the fate of the seamstresses in the factories. I did not have to think twice about joining!
Unfortunately, I did not have the time to make a photo especially for the campaign so I have to use old ones that fulfill the specifications: all garments shown have to be selfmade or fair wear, also the shoes. That is why I am barefooted.
Shirt: Simplicity 1849
Shorts: Angelia Shorts from Itch to Stitch
Edit: I just read that bamboo is always made to viskose/rayon as the natural bamboo fiber can not be used as it is. This means that a chemical process is necessary to manufacture the fabric. So bamboo may not be the first choice if looking for environmentally sound fibers.