Brand names, high prices and trends aside, what I see that holds real value is the person behind each and every particular product. That person’s life is directly affected by their overarching company and how much money that company will provide to them. In most cases, those companies provide very little and these individuals and organizations of makers can’t provide for themselves, let alone their own family.
In India, a country of over 1.2 billion people, the handcrafting sector employs the second largest number of people after agriculture. What we need for this vast amount of people is economic sustainability and the ability to live happily from what they love to make. For many people around the world, making handcrafted goods such as clothing is something that they were born to do however when we take their opportunities away, they can’t maximize their utility.
As more companies convert from the imperfection of the human hand to theperfection of the machine, hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost. Many around the world lose the opportunity to be able to access these jobs not to mention a better education. When we take away these critical jobs for the lower class, we push and force them to remain in poverty. We make it impossible for these people to rise up from their harsh lifestyle and desperate pay.
To be a world of love and no poverty, we must allow people from all backgrounds to have an extensive access to jobs that they will both gain physical value ($) as well as emotional value (passion).
Now don’t get me wrong, I love machines and all things engineering however in the case of the apparel industry, they shouldn’t be as common. The clothing we wear every day, for example, should be pieces of art that hold a story in every thread. People tend to fall in love with inanimate objects that hold a personality and handmade, tailored clothing does the same for me. The unique, human aspect of handmade clothing reflects the skill of the artisan tailor, not the glorified machine.
Imagine yourself as a tailor in a small village of India. Let’s say you’re a woman at the age of 40 who sadly didn’t have access to higher education and grew up in poverty. Everything around you seems unattainable, all except for your love for sewing and creating clothing. Clothes, to you, are like songs to an artist. In particular, making clothing custom fit and perfectly tailored are things you would love to do however for the time period given, there is a severe lack of demand for tailors. Instead, people all around the world are unknowingly buying clothes shipped directly from underpaid workers that hate their pay and their way of life. The only thing that wins in this scenario is the big corporate businesses that earn most of the money for the work of all of these poor, desperate people.
Currently, this situation is very real. Many men and women that are interested in creating clothing for a living can’t find jobs and a reasonable pay. No matter where in the world, there is a lack of human in clothing.
You may feel as though there is no way to solve these growing problems however I believe it is attainable to live in a society in which we wear clothes that are:
a. farmed organically with love
b. processed, woven, etc with love
c. tailored and brought to life with love
d. shipped, handled and sold with love
e. and lastly worn with love
Having an optimistic mind is one thing, creating change and allowing for more to learn about what is really happening around us is critical. I myself love clothing and want to bring change to this topic as much as I can for the better. If you feel compelled as well, some major keys to take are to look more into this topic, buy and help companies that focus on love and philanthropy and visit third world countries to get a better understanding of how lives are for other people and maybe you or I can dramatically shift this industry.
On an ending note, love what is created by people that have a passion for what they are doing. I’ve heard countless times that someone is only successful if they do something that they truly love. If we can allow tailors and hand crafters around the world to have access to the jobs they would love to have for the rest of their life, give it to them and let them sew.