Who made your clothes? This is the central question around Fashion Revolution Day. But how many times can we answer it? The tags tell us that they were made in China or Bangladesh or Vietnam, but we don't know if the factories they were sewed in have safe working conditions or pay fair wages.
Raven + Lily aims to change this by partnering with marginalized female artisans throughout the world to provide a safe job, sustainable income, and access to health care and education. In turn, the artisans create quality products and preserve skills that are being lost as people move away from traditional craftsmanship. Raven + Lily shares how each of their collections are made, in some cases even gives the name of the artisan who made it and the story behind the product. Even better, the artisans have committed to using local, eco-friendly materials as much as possible.
In a recent article, CEO Kirsten Dickerson explains four reasons why Raven + Lily produces with artisans instead of factories, and why she thinks this is not only more favorable, but also scalable.
1. It provides sustainable income opportunities for at-risk women through fair trade practices.
2. It preserves traditional culture and craftsmanship.
3. It ensures high quality products.
4. It helps companies practice accountability.
Though artisanal production may not be a reality for every company, her assertions and explanations (read them here) for Raven + Lily's model brings to light a larger question: How can we reform existing production models and utilize alternative production models to make the industry more worker and environmentally friendly?
Have ideas? Share them with us below!