STORY: 3 reasons for doing what you love

 

  1. passion teaches perseverance
  2. you get deeper
  3. it keeps challenging you

When I first started learning to make clothes, I learnt in a factory on the outskirts of London. They were re-building the manufacturing industry into the UK, and the factory was making clothes for giants like ASOS, Marks & Spencers and others. I would come out of there exhausted with terrible migraines from the buzz, dust and noise, and felt it was an oppressive and bad place to work.

I have always loved clothes, and I was distraught at seeing this process. I vowed to never buy from fast fashion companies like this again! This was something I loved so much, and to see how the industry had really destroyed the pleasure of making. It has turned people into machines that working on deliveries at a pace that was unbearable. 

I deeply questioned my own value in the midst of this, of how I could possibly find alternatives. What were the options? How can we build value back into production and manufacturing?

It seemed like a long-shot. Everywhere I would turn, people would discard my idealism, fending it with “that’s not how the industry works” or “you’re so full of enthusiasm now; wait a few years.” It has been a few years since and I’ve been led down many blind alleys and dark corridors, where there have been few alternatives. Many alternatives I once thought good come out as not completely fulfilling my criteria for a healthy alternative.

After much searching, I came up with a way that works for me. I start with the materials - if the materials don’t have value, then why would I use them? I have laid a lot of groundwork into finding exquisite materials that have a deeper story. I believe in building in value of the supply chain from the bottom up. 

It’s a fact - the textiles I use don’t exist in the West. India has a 26,000 year old history of hand looming fabrics.

Hand-loomed fabrics are made by Hindi weavers. They work on the principle of ahimsa, or non-violence. This means even the silk worms they work with are allowed to eat themselves out of the cocoon, before the silk is spun. It’s then spun and “loomed” or woven on ancient looms. It is the slowest process, but the result is incredible. 

It is literally the purest intention woven into the cloth; over 26,000 years of history, passed down through generation, to create clothing that feels good, looks good and is exquisitely created.

I create in small batches to retain this intention; I drape and hand-make throughout the whole process. The touch of the human hand is present in everything; small variations, minor differences in weave. 

So; why do I do what I love? My own practice has taught me so much about value - and that doesn’t mean money. Through finding viable alternatives, I stay true to love in every area of my life, and it keeps challenging me to get deeper and stay truer to what I really believe in.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting about every aspect of making, the story of cloth, insight into factories and manufacturing as well as interviews with my favorite authentic makers and movers every few weeks. I’m excited to share my world with you!