As pretty woke, card-carrying millennials - even if we do say so ourselves - we pride ourselves in paying particular attention to what we put in our bodies; sustainable, healthy, fair-trade foods. Well... most of the time, anyway. But what about when it comes to what we put on our bodies? After all the fast-fashion scandals and factory disasters, there's a whole host of brands who, in celebration of Fashion Revolution Week, have stepped up to show us how it should be done, including local faves, Bedouin Studios.
"We believe transparency is the first step to transform the industry. And it starts with one simple question: Who made my clothes?" This is the statement you're met with on the Fashion Revolution website, and one that Bedouin Founder and Creative Director Andraya Farrag took and transformed into an Insta Series.
The designer told Grazia, "I've been working with the Thimble team here in Dubai for over three years now and I can honestly say I have never met such a warm-hearted, talented and patient group of people. We have grown so much together over the years and I couldn't have done it without them."
"The 'Who Made My Clothes' photoseries was taken in celebration of Fashion Revolution Week, but most importantly, it was the perfect opportunity to introduce the people who are responsible for bringing all of the Bedouin creations to life. This is more of a heartfelt thank you for their hard work and to honour them as individual talents and people," Andraya said.
Azher, one of the talents behind the Bedouin creations, tells Grazia, "I am from Multan in Pakistan. I was only 18 when my father passed away and I had to take care of my family, so I decided to become a tailor so that I could have an income. I got the chance to come to Dubai for a better future, working and learning from my uncle who was a well-known master. After he passed away I started working with Thimble Tailors, where my journey really began. I never thought I'd be working with designers, learning to speak English, new techniques, pattern making and sampling. I love doing my work because every day is a new day of learning, my employer respects me and my designers are very encouraging and appreciative. I am so thankful to them."
Ana from Manila in the Philippines told us, "I came to Dubai for a better future. Originally I was a beautician but started my new journey working with Thimble five years ago. I learned and gained a lot of new experiences, skills in management and stitching quality. I am so loyal and happy in my job because of the way I am treated, and taken care of. I love my designers as they are amazing and give me so much love and respect."
With the growing global focus on Fashion Revolution Week, where better to leave a mark than right here in Dubai; the shopping capital of the world? This week saw ‘Re-mind’ at Barbary, a night dedicated to discussions on the effects of a consumerist society, the future of sustainable fashion and how we are defined by our choices.
It also saw the biggest clothing swap in the nation take place at Dubai’s first ever pre-loved store, Retold. But panic not, there's still the Eco Pop Up at Dubai Garden Center on 27 April) and a Sustainable Fashion Runway Competition on 28 April) at Sunset Mall, with the region’s fashion universities showcasing their sustainable collections.
Some take-away points from this week as a whole? Be conscientious. Be proactive. And demand transparency and accountability from the brands you love.