Selling the slow fashion story
I was talking to my brother and he said, “lots of people are selling clothes, I wouldn’t do it.” He sells wine, there plenty of people selling wine too. But alas. I responded, “I’m not just selling clothes, I’m selling clothes that are made for the purpose of providing work, often home-based (in the case of the weavers), and fair pay, for people who need it.”
Most clothes sold are produced by people working in large factories. Many live in cities away from their families. Pay is often not “a living wage.” It troubles me that the term ‘living wage’ even exists. If your clothes are made by a global fashion company in a developing country, there is a good chance the people who made them are not receiving adequate compensation for their labor.
At Soksan we work with a social worker in Siem Reap, Rorm. He is young, efficient, and dedicated. He makes the production side a joy for us. The people making the Soksan clothes, mostly women, are happy to be doing so. We pay them more than fair compensation, but they are happy I think, not just for the money, but also because Rorm looks after them. They have a lovely workspace in Siem Reap, and work is a happy place.
They model the different sample outfits as we try different styles. Because I’m in Phuket and Jo is in Melbourne, this is often done online. What started as a a simple photograph, has become rather elaborate fashion parades! In the pic with this story is Su, she did her own styling! The handwoven wrap dresses are currently in production.
We like to think this happiness in the place where the Soksan clothes are made, shows through in the clothes. We hope they are happy and valued clothes in your wardrobe too.