meet the people who make your clothes!
For Fashion Revolution Week we gave you peek inside our factory. This week we thought it would be the perfect time to give you the full tour.
Yes, sadly, the horror stories you hear in hushed whispers about horrible factory conditions in far away 3rd world countries are often true. But, for this blog post we want to focus on the positive and highlight what our partners in Umbergaon, Gujarat are doing right. If you’re interested in diving into the darker side of manufacturing we suggest watching ‘The True Cost’ documentary.
meet the owner — Kiran
Kiran and his wife Krutika are probably two of the kindest people I have ever met. I spent a lot of time exploring the village of Umbergaon with them. Wherever we went, everyone seemed to know them and were happy to see them. This is probably because they are very involved in the local community and giving back.
Kiran wasn’t always in the fashion industry, he started out as a school teacher then changed careers and worked for a big factory. He saw a lot, learned a lot, and then went out and started his own eco-friendly and ethical factory… a similar story to how virtue + vice was founded.
meet Kiran’s wife Krutika
Everyday Krutika cooked us a homemade lunch. Each morning she would shop in the local market for ingredients and make us fresh a meal. I have eaten A LOT of Indian food, but none of it was at good as what she made.
In most of India, and definitely at the factory, everyone brings their own lunch in a tiffin from home. A tiffin is kind of like a compartmentalized metal lunch box (no paper, no plastic). I appreciated being part of this custom and the sustainability behind it- buying local fresh foods, cooking them that day, and creating zero waste in the process.
Here I am trying to smile with a mouth full of food. You can see the tiffin in the front of the photo. And of course, we ate with our hands.
Kiran and Krutika even invited me into their home and Krutika taught me how to cook. Here we are making veg pulao, for breakfast. Palao is kind of like a fluffy lightly fried rice with cashews and vegetables.
This is the outside of their home, they live humbly in a 2 bedroom apartment on the ground floor of this apartment complex.
meet the people who make your clothes…
Birdseye view of the entire sewing line
everything we make is sewn right here by one of these people on one of these machines — nothing is subcontracted.
Closeups of the sewing line
re-threading a sewing machine
before fabric can be sewn, it needs to be cut
First, the fabric is stacked into multiple layers, and here the KAT paper pattern is being traced onto the top layer.
all of the layers of fabric are cut at once with a saw
inspecting for defects, and cutting off loose threads
cutting off loose threads
sorting threads and trims