It is a heartbreaking truth that now we are living in mass production world where most products are made in enormous scale. They are mainly made by heavy machinery without any personal touch. As a result, products are cheaper but soulless. Nowadays, it seems as if we live just for consuming and being consumed, without a real meaning of living.
For 12 years in this industry, we have been working with so many factories and tailors. We are doing our research, constantly weighting our choices and decisions, giving our best to be conscious and making the better choices for every step we take.
Fashion, especially fast fashion, focuses on speed and low cost to frequently deliver new collections.
Besides, in the fashion and textiles industry 70%-80% of the workers are women. Globally, nearly one in three female garment workers experience sexual harassment in their work place – CARE international, 2017
We choose to work with independent woman tailors who work from their own homes in the north of Thailand for many reasons.
Firstly, we shorten the production chain and direct trade with the artisans.
we can directly support a person with a fair working rate that they ask for and find comfortable. Our payment is not framed by the factory owner but by fair trade only.
Instead of working on an unfair contract (10-12 hours a day in a rush to produce an unrealistic quantity for fast fashion brands) our ladies’ working time is considerably shorter and they get paid the same amount minus the stress. This allows them to have more time with family and have enough to afford a decent standard of living, including healthy food, clean water, comfortable housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing, and other essential needs.
Our tailors are working long term with us and we treat them like the Atman family, so they have the opportunity and comfort to evaluate and ask for their working time, prices and conditions. For us that means giving more directly to them!
Secondly, We aid women employment.
Working from their own homes allows them to work with minimum stress. By this means we reduce the chance of women harassment at the workplaces which happens constantly in the fashion industry.
In many cases, work space in the factories does not provide basic facilities for healthy working conditions, (solid building construction, clean and hygiene facilities, drinking water, breakroom, fresh air and natural light, etc.)
Besides, most of the garment workers live in rural areas and have to get transportation to the factories which are in industrial areas of the province.
Working from their own homes gives them more freedom and comfort of their own space where they feel safe and habituated. Which eventually reduces stress from transportation, insufficient facilities in workspaces and any kind of harassment.
Thirdly, Freedom of creation.
Because of working less and with no minimum quantity frames set by the factory owner, there is more space and freedom to learn and create new techniques and skills which helps them to develop their full potential and be able to handle more complex sewing tasks.
Fourthly, less carbon footprint.
This also means we leave a lighter footprint on our Mother Earth. Rather than bulk production as fast fashion brands, our production usually takes place in a small and mindful manner with zero involvement of mass production, minimum order, impossible deadlines and over producing. We usually keep leftover fabrics and create small crafts with them such as haribands, bags, belts, etc. This allows us to create responsibly.
My intention is to bring handmade, slow mindful crafts to the light for the deep appreciation and connection to the things that you own
Every creation of Atman supports the lives of fellow humans who put their hands and hearts to the crafts. They are beautiful, just like you and me.