This post will answer the question who made your clothes? Your clothes should never cost the same as your cup of coffee and we’ll tell you why!
“We humans and nature are created from the same building blocks of the universe, and we are related to each other. We are KIN, and that is what we stand for. We are of the same elements that make up the world around us and beyond the reaches of space. Let’s build an environment where we are all connected.” This is what KINDOM stands for.
Claire, the founder of KINDOM, shares all about her last trip to southeast Asia where she got to meet the women who make our clothes (if you buy them from Kindom of course!)
KINDOM is a fair trade brand that uses sustainable, natural, recycled, and indigenous materials in their clothing.
How KINdom started out
Claire was a fast fashion designer that got to see the “ugly side of things” and used to work with the huge brands that put profit before people until she decided to say no and put an end to a cycle of consumerism that she was not happy with. In 2007, she discovered everything about organic cotton, automatically reclaimed textiles from dead stock before it even had a terminology, and that there is a way for passionate designers to switch to sustainable fashion and promote something good that doesn’t impact negatively to the earth’s pollution.
“You can’t put a price on love.”
In 2017 she finally implemented one of her original plans in 2007, using indigenous tribes' handwoven fabrics. "You can’t put a price on love,” these are the thoughts that gave her an impulse to do something with indigenous communities. Artisan work is worth so much more than just the garment itself. It has a story, it has hard work behind it, and most importantly it is always made with love and attention to detail. Claire pays premium prices to the tribes she works with to empower women (and men!), and help them build a community.
In her visit to Southeast Asia, Claire learned so much from the “Iranun” tribe.
“A dance is not just a dance, the dances have meanings, the songs have meanings, the chants have meanings.” She was so honored and humbled to witness a few indigenous dance performances, from a story about a princess running away from an arranged marriage, to this image of a tribal welcome dance for select visitors.
With climate change and all that’s happening right now in the Amazon forest, Claire is aware that where there is poverty, there are those who are the first affected, but having less teaches you to do more with what you have. We have to learn from people like these indigenous communities to appreciate more of everything in general.
It was so meaningful for her to be able to spend time with this tribe, to get to know their simplicity in solving problems like:
Recycling plastic containers for pots:
Using shirt scraps to create rugs:
KINdom empowers not only women, but fathers and families
Claire also got to speak with the only male weaver in this tribe that shared his story. He was a fisherman but decided to become a weaver because fishing wasn’t sustainable for his family. So KINdom is empowering not only women, but fathers too!
KINdom giving credit to tribes
Claire is committed to giving credit to the people who makes your clothes. She also gives complete credit to the tribes she works with.
“Tribes are dying out, and when they are gone, who and what are going to inspire us?" Claire – KINdom
And she is so right. What inspires you to make a purchase? Is it the pure design of a garment or is it the story behind it? Your shopping should be made with your heart and of course taking into account what your pocket can buy.
Ethical fashion is often many times more expensive, but this is because people like Claire pay premium prices to these amazing tribes and they share their profits with every part of the team.
How would you feel if in your work you were paid less than 5% of what takes you hours and hours of committed work and dedication? Wouldn’t you be frustrated that you are giving your time, sacrificing many things, working late hours and you don’t even get enough money to pay a decent house, or have a decent meal? This happens to so many workers in the fashion industry that live in marginalized areas where they have no choice but to accept the small pay for their excellent work. We have to stop this!
Wear your values
I hope now you know who makes your clothes. We have so many things to learn from indigenous tribes, how they connect with the world, how they find happiness with the things they have, and how they create everything with love.
We as consumers have an option and it is the most powerful one of all! We get to choose. You get to choose what label will be in your closet, and it will not only represent your values but the faith you put in that brand to continue ancient traditions in different parts of the world, so that ancient weaving techniques stay alive, and you are a huge part of keeping cultures alive! So the next time you get a chance to choose what you buy, what will it be?