Clothes are something that’s quite close to us. We all wearing it, every day. It's our second skin and we feel connected with the clothing. It gives us a certain identity, status and self-confidence. But what we often don’t know and disregard is where it comes from. Well, we can say Topshop, ZARA and H&M, which is where we bought it after all. But that’s not what I mean. Before that, there is a big process going on.
Who made the dress? What country, which region, from which hands? These first steps in production are like a black hole for many people. Nobody knows!
In early February I, Adriaan Schuitemaker, will go to India to make my graduation film (Final Year Project) for the HKU Utrecht School of the Arts. It’s a short documentary of 20 minutes about a sustainable and ecological handmade denim production within India.
Through the eyes of Mary I will travel this road. Mary works with Ecologic Republic in Amsterdam and will learn how the entire production line works from the first harvest to the last stitch. She is looking for solutions to environmental pollution, unfair working conditions and mass production in today's apparel industry.
From seed untill the clothing we will see the whole production process developed, made by hand. We see farmers spinning, weaving and colouring without requiring machines.
There is still much work to be done. India is a very different culture where communication is very different to western civilisation. Where you must have patience, where a flood can take place taking everything you possess and where logistics are complicated. Can it all be fair and transparent? How do we go along with the new fashion? Which materials are there to pass on? Where and how do these farmers live? Can they be trained for these handmade denim? How will this adventure be for us?
There are documentaries out there about the abuses in the garment industry we already know. My documentary will show the other side, how it IS possible to produce clothing, using your own strength without the abuses.
Together with Mary, I'm going to explore that world and for that I would like your help. Airline tickets, equipment, and money for inland transport and accommodation.
Help me to show you the truth that we have forgotten in the West. What is very close to us, our identity, status and self-confidence: Our clothes!