The making of a quality product
As the fashion market adapts to digital media and rapid globalisation, it is also shaped by the demand for transparency. More and more brands are rethinking their approach to where, when and how to produce their products. We are revising the entire process to make quality pieces that last and empower women in prison. Here’s why and how.
Need for speed
The traditional fashion industry is influenced by seasons, runway shows and celebrity trends. The constant need for fast and cheap production leaves a lot of pressure on factories. Factories then have to compromise on labour wages, hours and safety. This type of fast fashion production contributes to environmental pollution: dying processes contaminate the water and waste from yarn and fabrics clog landfills. The whole production chain ends up creating more problems than a nice shirt could ever be worth.Image source
Quality over quantity
First of all, we’ve decided to skip seasons. Fast fashion styles that are dependent on seasons, runway shows and instant trends are everything but long lasting. Some never even make it to the shop floor and unused pieces are burned as companies are desperate to get rid of ‘old’ stuff. Many of these garments are of low quality; quick to shrink, fade, or lose their shape.
As a result, customers buy more and more new stuff. But with slow fashion on the rise more and more people seam to agree that only wearing your clothes a few times before throwing it out is not worth the deal. Consumers are looking to have longer-term relationships with their apparel purchases.
Our designs are made to last beyond seasons and short-lived trends. We emphasise on timeless pieces that you can wear and enjoy for years to come. Pieces like these will always be worth the investment because buying less and choosing wisely is the first step towards a cleaner and fairer future.
Secondly, we’ve designed our pieces to be 'fully fashioned' – a production technique that is more conscious of waste and improves the quality of the end product. Mass-produced knitwear is cut from a piece of knitted fabric, leaving leftover scraps that are mostly thrown away and not recycled. Making fully fashioned knitwear means that each part is knitted directly into shape on analogue knitting machines and then linked together.
‘Fully fashioned’ is a more time consuming process, but creates a nicer finish and leaves no waste during production. Making a Milano jumper takes about one day. Our women work together as a team to ensure quality in every step of the process.
Before a piece is ready to be shipped, it’s been passed through many hands and 4 steps of quality control. All parts are knitted on analogue machines, yarn ends are closed off by hand and name labels are sewn in by the woman who made it. Following a quick steam, it is put in a box and then shipped off to you.
Who made your clothes
The women we work with have been imprisoned as a direct result of their poverty. Women arrested in Peru are often young, single mothers without an education who commit non-violent crimes in order to provide for their families. Being behind bars for years without the opportunity to earn an income pushes them even further down the ranks of society. By providing these girls with well-paid jobs and teaching them new skills, they are given the opportunity to work for a better future. And the women we’ve employed for over a year now are so proud of what they do.
Our first production relies on the traditional Peruvian craftsmanship of knitting. It gives an incredibly boost to the women’s confidence to know that they are part of their country’s heritage and that you, customers from all over the world, know who they are. Their craftsmanship becomes a piece of their identity. They learn to no longer define themselves by their past actions but instead by the hard work that they put into cultivating a better future for themselves and their families.