Brand values and ethics
When I began the process of outsourcing production, I wanted to ensure that the whichever group I worked with, aligned with my values. Those of fairness, treating people with respect and kindness, support and empowerment and being happy! Many ethically run businesses employ skilled artisans and indigenous communities who work to offer solutions to some of the most problematic issues in the industry. By encouraging slow fashion, groups like the ones I am working with are not only helping to sustain the life of the planet but also the livelihoods of skilled artisans. Slow production produces a lower volume of clothes and therefore requires less fossil fuel for production as well as emitting lower carbon dioxide. Using the skill of crochet, is truly a slow craft itself as it can only be produced by hand, there are no machines which can create crocheted items. So whenever you consider purchasing something which has been crocheted, look at the price, and if it is too cheap, it is likely that the artisan has not been paid fairly for its production.
An artisan develops a special relationship with their tools. This is then translated into each handmade garment, providing character and individuality. Each product tells a story. What can be produced with a ball of yarn and a crochet hook is something of beauty, unique to that crafter.
Female empowerment is good for economies. The United Nations states that 'when women work, economies grow.' Ensuring that the rights and interests of women are respected and upheld was crucial in finding a group to work with. I wanted to ensure that the women feel valued and empowered, that we can develop a collaborative way of working so that their voices, opinions and ideas could be heard and listened to.