Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Who Made Your Clothes?




Did you know it was Fashion Revolution Week and as consumers we're being urged to ask Who made our clothes? We dedicated secondhand shoppers are already doing our bit for the planet (& its inhabitants) by not buying into fast fashion, shunning the new and by recycling other people's cast-offs. I'm proud that the proceeds from the clothes I buy either go to charity or to small independent vintage and secondhand businesses and not to dubious third world sweatshops.

Anokhi waistcoat via 5678 Vintage

Still, it does feel good when you can admire the pieces you own and know that they were ethically produced. My block-printed cotton maxi waistcoat is by Anokhi (meaning wonderful), a bang-on Indian brand established in 1970 and based on a farm outside the Pink City of Jaipur, who still use the traditional printing method with blocks hand carved from local teak wood.The Indian-grown cotton used in the manufacture of their products is coloured by hand using all-natural dyes.

WEARING: Vintage 1970s maxi from a charity shop I deconstructed and remade using an Indian bag as a bodice 
Anokhi pride themselves on looking after their workers, allowing them space and comfort whilst they work. They are paid fairly and the company strive to ensure all their employees have long term, secure work and income.The workers lunch in a communal al fresco setting where they are supplied with a good meal, often using food grown on the farm. They have an environmentally friendly air conditioning system which uses cool water and fresh air to ensure the workers are comfortable in the workshop.


Workers at the Anokhi factory (Source)

The love and care Anokhi show their workers is almost palpable in their clothes, not only are they beautiful to look at but they are a joy to wear. As you know, I'm happy to buy Anokhi clothes not only secondhand but also new and at full retail price - and I don't say that about many labels!



WEARING: Lamani coin belt (worn as a necklace) made using obsolete George V 1941 rupee coins

Talking of secondhand shopping - here's some of my chazza shop finds from the last seven days:

Clockwise from top left: 1980s Indian velvet jacket; St Michael fake fur; 1980s-does-the-1960s American-made velvet mini dress; Chinese brocade wrap; Gents tailcoat; 1960s three-button blazer; Handmade raw silk cocoon coat; 1960s gents car coat; Anokhi for East patchwork midi skirt; 1970s English-made cord bomber jacket; 1960s Chinese brocade padded jacket; Peruvian Connection organic cotton skirt (currently retailing at £149); Handmade Mexican (?) cotton tunic




I managed to create this outfit from last Thursday's finds:

The tapestry overnight bag is St Michael (vintage 1980s Marks & Spencer), the leather boots are by Clarks, the 1970s wool felt hat is a replacement for my other vintage navy hat (which is slightly too small) and the ridiculous giraffe maxi is unlabelled and possibly one of the craziest prints I've come across in a long time.  Linking to The Style Crone, Judith's Hat Attack #70.


SOURCE

If you're interested in how Anokhi manages to run a successful retail business using traditional methods whilst ensuring that both its profits and the workforce thrive check out this article HERE

See you soon!

50 comments:

  1. Mostly I make my own clothing, but I have come to realize even the fabrics have a nasty back history. As someone who lives in a cold climate 8 months of the year, I have become used to synthetic fleeces and polyesters to keep warm. Now I find that these fabrics shed minute particles into our water and it ends up in fish and mammals. I am slowly looking for wool and natural fibre substitutes, but it has been hard where we live. Meanwhile I mend, sew and take care of what I have to make it last. Love the blog and beautiful creations. Family have brought back some wonderful textiles from India and Thailand for me and I find your pictures a wonderful inspiration.
    Barb from Canada

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    1. Hello Barb, lovely to hear from you! I know what you mean, synthetics are so useful in the winter but it's awful when you see how they're leaching into our oceans during the washing cycle. Did you see the link to those Guppie bags I mentioned on my mindful laundry post?
      As you know, I adore exotic textiles. I picked up a Thai batik kaftan the other day and having done a workshop on batik could appreciate every imperfection! xxx

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  2. Anokhi sound like a very ethical firm, no wonder you are happy to buy from them and such nice clothes too
    You were lucky to find a Peruvian collection skirt, they are like gold dust, I've tried and failed a few times to get one on Ebay. I like the heavy winter Peruvian style ones.
    What has happened to the weather, its freezing here, grey too brrr. xxx

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    1. Anokhi are fabulous, I avidly check eBay for additions to my collection!
      I was amazed to find that Peruvian Connection skirt - I'm sad it's a size 16, it stood out like a beacon in a sea on Primark! xxx

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  3. When my niece spent a year in Guatemala running a daycare for Mayan kids, I sent her boxes of toys and teaching supplies (topped with bars of scented soaps and other gifts for wives and girlfriends, clearly labeled: "Inspectors, please help yourselves. Thanks for helping us give gifts to the children. You will be blessed." This worked.) I was rewarded with a heavy wooly cape that weighs as much as an old-fashioned canvas tent. It's crude, but *wow* is it toasty in that tent!

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    1. That was a very clever move, Beth! I bet those gifts were much appreciated by the rightful recipients. xxx

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  4. About I sound like the perfect employer. If only there were more like them!

    More marvellous finds - how do you do it? Love the fur coat and the silk cocoon one.

    Your giraffe dress is simply gorgeous and what a fabulous fit. You look amazing in it.

    One day in going to find a lovely maxi dress with long sleeves in a chazza - I know I will. I just can't be bothered with the eBay bidding thing!
    xxx

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    1. If Anokhi can do it and turn a profit for nigh-on fifty years, there's no excuse for others not to. It exasperates me when people don't seem to care where their clothes are from.
      I'll let you into a secret - Jon found both the cocoon coat and the fake fur - he's a clever lad!
      A little tip - when you're on eBay, you can select "Buy It Now" and search for dresses (or anything) you can pay for immediately - I've found some treasures that way and no annoying bidding wars. xxx

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  5. Sorry! Predictive text as I'm using my phone ' Anokhi' is what it should have said...

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  6. What a great post! I love the placement of the giraffes on your dress, so clever!
    The ones on the sleeves look as if they are reaching up to nibble the flowers.

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    1. Thanks, Jan! I've had that dress hanging up for a week so I could admire the print. Not sure who designed it but it's so well made and the pattern placement is superb! xxx

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  7. The world needs more ethically manufactured goods -- even better when they are so pretty!

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  8. That is so awesome to hear an employer treating its employees so well. Love it, and I will happily pay retail for that!

    I ADORE that giraffe print. Yes, yes, ten kinds of YES.

    I hope Frank's leg is getting better! What a scamp he is.

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    1. It really does make a difference when you know that the employees are well cared for, doesn't it?
      Isn't that a crazy good print?
      Despite the vet saying that Frank should stay in he's been crying so much that we've allowed him out today, our sanity can't take the whingeing! xxx

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  9. It's great that Anokhi take such good care of their workers.

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  10. Owning an ethically made garments is definitely satisfying. If we want to keep and preserve traditional clothing processes and methods, we must support it. Many people complain about all the clothes looking the same, everything dressing the same, about how clothes aren't as quality made as before and all they buy is fast fashion. As that saying goes- put your money where your mouth is. If more people supported small business, ethnic brands and local trades, there would be more of them.

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    1. Yes, you put it so well, Ivana. If we want beautifully made and individual clothes we have to pay the right price for them. My brother - who loves designer clothes - always says that when you have to save hard for clothes you treasure them and wear them until they fall apart. Cheap clothes are a quick fix, like fast food, they fill a gap but don't satisfy! xxx

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    2. Absolutely, saving for something does make us appreciate it more. That's human nature. Moreover, often people who buy fast fashion regularly end up spending much more than those who buy designer items just because they go through clothes faster.

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    3. You make an excellent point there. When you buy cheap fashion you're never going to be satisfied hence the reason why more & more gets bought (and thrown away). If you bought one item you really loved and saved up to buy it you'd (hopefully) treasure it. xxx

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  11. As another fan of block print textiles and indian cotton, I totally understand that you love this brand (particulary knowing it's sustainable and takes care of its workers), I can't feel less than enthusiasm for its magnificent colors and motives!. And You Are Gorgeous wearing them!! Love your dress and fab waistcoat!
    And I also love the 'ridiculous giraffe maxi' with those beautiful colors! and giraffes!!, who don't love them?
    I think that more people is becoming conscious and putting their money in sustainable brands, local producers, quality stuff!
    besos

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    1. I know you're a fellow block print enthusiast and fabulous textiles fan!!
      I hope you're right, there does seem to be a shift in how people want to spend their money and a lot more women are asking questions about how a garment has been made, sadly primark still has a grip on the UK, it's profits are up again this year. xxx

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  12. That Anokhi for East skirt was a good find; those things were really spendy when they were new.

    Apparenlty Kim Kardashian has started wearing 'vintage' (I use the term loosely as it seems to be 90s and later) so perhaps fast fashion will finally have met its match...

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    1. You're right - both that Anokhi for East and the Peruvian Connection skirt (another ethical and lovely label) retail for £££s, I'm amazed anyone would want to send them to a charity shop. Even if they no longer fit, the fabric could be reused! xxx

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  13. Thank you for this lovely post - I too love Anokhi although I have only come across the items made for East and have been lucky to get some items in charity shops/ebay and that hubby bought me two of their dresses before they closed down; I hope when we visit India to see more of Anokhi if our itinerary enables - this is such an interesting post with lots of links to go back to :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Betty! Hopefully you'll get a chance to visit the Anokhi shop in Jaipur on your travels - the cafe and the men's creche are great reasons to drag your husband along! xxx

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  14. Sometimes you don't know you need a giraffe print dress until you find one! I am so pleased to hear you mention Fashion Revolution week (as I'm giving it a proper go this year!), thanks for highlighting such an ethical brand as Anokhi xx

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    1. I'm so impressed with your commitment to Fashion Revolution week. Please keep us informed if any more of the labels you tagged get back to you. xx

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  15. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting the word out-once you know how appalling conditions can be in some of the factories sewing for fast fashion houses, it does make it more difficult to shop there. The more attention drawn to working conditions, the better chance they will imporove.

    I've seen some wacky prints before but the giraffe is in a whole other universe!!!

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    1. I'd like to think that most of us have a conscience but a couple of days after the Rana Plaza disaster there were bloggers crowing about their Primark hauls.
      You have the best wacky prints so that's a huge compliment! xxx

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  16. It sounds like many fashion brands could learn a few lessons from Anokhi - hurrah for them!

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  17. ¡Hello!
    Beautiful photos. Great post.
    I'm your new follower. Follow for follow?
    Aprovecha La Vida Cada Día
    ¡Kiss!

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    1. Hello! I don't do that but appreciate your visit.

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  18. the giraffe dress is to die for!!
    i do beliefe in "energies" - and think that things made under bad conditions carry bad energies - and vice versa - so anokhi clothes must be full of good vibrations :-D
    lovely waistcoat!
    xxxxx

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    1. I agree with you - you can almost feel the joy in the fabric of an ethically made garment.
      That giraffe dress bowled me over! xxx

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  19. Anoukhi sound a really wholesome and worthy brand and their clothes are utterly gorgeous!! I love the items you have!! I was interested in what you said about the plastic free vending items in India- why can't we be better?!?!
    The giraffe dress is absolutely unbelievable! I would DIE if I found one like that!!x

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    1. Anokhi are just wonderful, their homewares and fabric covered notebooks are equally gorgeous.
      I can't get over that giraffe dress, I want to wear it all the time - without a coat so people can appreciate the print! xxx

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  20. Your Anokhi waistcoat is a work of art, as well as a labour of love. It's indeed wonderful to know that it has been ethically produced, and that the company is treating its employees with respect. I'm bowled over by the giraffe dress. The print and colours are incredible! I love it when I can assemble a whole new outfit from a single day's charity shopping! xxx

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    1. Thanks so much, I can't get enough of Anokhi - I've even planned my next India visit to coincide with a city with an Anokhi shop!
      isn't that giraffe print a thing of craziness? xxx

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  21. I love the giraffe print it's just SO you! Funnily enough my friend and I were talking today about this very thing (fast fashion) and the monster that is Phillip Green.

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    1. Phillip Green has completely put me off browsing the Topshop website for sale boots this year - I went to Clarks instead. x

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  22. Thank you for writing about Anokhi - it's refreshing to read about a clothing company that treats their workers as valuable resources and not cheap labour. I've never come across anything from this brand, but if I do, I'll remember this article.

    I just love the colours and print of that giraffe dress, and I think the outfit you put together with it is one of my favourites of yours.

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    1. I've very excited about that giraffe dress - it's utter madness!
      Anokhi are fab and deserve every success. There's a few of their pieces on bay but I think that their clothes are so lovely people tend to hang on to them! xxx

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  23. Dear Vix, Thank you for the introduction to Anokhi! And for your focus on wearing secondhand clothing and recycling beauty. I share your passion for the love of vintage treasures. Thank you so much for sharing your headwear with Hat Attack!

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    1. My pleasure, dear Judith! I know you're just as passionate about secondhand and vintage clothes (and hats!) as I am! xxx

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  24. Ah, if only all companies could be a little more 'Anokhi', what a better place the world would be.
    Loving that giraffe maxi!
    xx

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    1. They really are an example to all companies! xxx

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