This year we’re getting involved in the Fashion Revolution Week! And in this blog post, we’d like to introduce you to some of the creative minds and hands behind the production of our clothes.
For us, working sustainably has a lot to do with simply caring about each other. It also has to do with solving problems together and finding solutions that work for everybody. By creating a long term partnership with our producers and suppliers, and through the encouragement of transparent communication, we are able to bring affordable and ethical fashion to you.
Meet Cecilia Flores Crisostomo, our production partner.
She and her mother run a family textile and clothing business in San Gabriel Chilac Puebla (Mexico). They’ve been in this industry for a little over thirty years. Together they direct a cooperative of artisans who design, embroider, cut, and sew the majority of our Puebla Dresses (also known as the Mexican channel or Fiesta dress).
It all starts with drawing the embroidery designs and turning them into stencils. Most of the time they choose to make nature elements like floral designs, birds, or butterflies. From there, they stamp the designs onto the fabric. Gregario and Melina are in charge of doing the stamping with the help of Jonathan, their son.
After the dresses have been stencilled, they’re given to a group of bordadoras (embroiderers) who embroider each of the design elements by hand. Isabel and Hermelinda are two of the many lovely women who take care of this part of the process.
Finally, Olivia cuts, sews, and assembles all the embroidered pieces to create one-of-a-kind Mexican garments.
Something important to notice is that they don’t mass produce. Our artisans honor the process and work in batches of 50 to 300 pieces maximum. The creation of these many pieces could take approximately two to four months.
That said, the time it takes to make a single piece varies. A Julia Dress for instance, takes between four to six days to be made. This is because the dress is totally hand embroidered.
The Tehuacan Dress takes approximately two days to be completed. The embroidery on this dress takes less time because it is made on a “máquina de pedal” (pedal sewing machine). However, this is still considered to be a slow process compared to the hundreds of dresses that are made daily by big manufacturers.
Making choices based on looks and feels is a good thing. But you can now too make conscious decisions when shopping for clothes. You can choose clothes that have been both paid for properly and made slowly in a friendly and safe environment. Perhaps you’ll have to do a little bit of research, and it might take more time. But in the end, it will all be worth it.
Let’s celebrate the creative power of the people behind our clothes, and start asking simple questions such as “Who is making them?”
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