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UNRAVELLING THREADS An ethnography on a community for slow clothes


“Clothing at Maiwa is more than an attempt to dress the senses in colourful history and pattern. It is a powerful means of social change.� - A Maiwa postcard

Chaya Erika Go 35950096 April 2012 Submitted to: Dr Felice Wyndham and Maiwa Handprints Ltd.


“Clothing at Maiwa is more than an attempt to dress the senses in colourful history and pattern. It is a powerful means of social change.� - A Maiwa postcard

Chaya Erika Go 35950096 April 2012 Submitted to: Dr Felice Wyndham and Maiwa Handprints Ltd.


In the heart of Vancouver’s Granville Island sits a store named Maiwa Handprints. The boutique is bordered with glass windows covered in drapery and lined with fairy lights. You can take a peek in through the windowpanes to see what more lies behind the hanging textiles. A mannequin stands by the doorway, like a muse to the treasure house, robed in layers of fine fabrics. You’re welcome to run your fingers through her clothes, and if convinced of their superb quality, you take a few more steps into the store. A vibrant surge of rich colours greets you, luring you to indulge in this feast of visual and tactile pleasures. To explore further you need to move through a labyrinth of wooden shelves, cabinets, standing mirrors, and piles of fabrics and books. A faint melange of scents—from wood, paper, incense and dust—float all around. A woman chants and a sitar plays from the speakers. Only if you have time to look and listen, stories abound to tell you of how Maiwa is and far beyond this store.


In the heart of Vancouver’s Granville Island sits a store named Maiwa Handprints. The boutique is bordered with glass windows covered in drapery and lined with fairy lights. You can take a peek in through the windowpanes to see what more lies behind the hanging textiles. A mannequin stands by the doorway, like a muse to the treasure house, robed in layers of fine fabrics. You’re welcome to run your fingers through her clothes, and if convinced of their superb quality, you take a few more steps into the store. A vibrant surge of rich colours greets you, luring you to indulge in this feast of visual and tactile pleasures. To explore further you need to move through a labyrinth of wooden shelves, cabinets, standing mirrors, and piles of fabrics and books. A faint melange of scents—from wood, paper, incense and dust—float all around. A woman chants and a sitar plays from the speakers. Only if you have time to look and listen, stories abound to tell you of how Maiwa is and far beyond this store.


INTRODUCTIONS

The slow fashion movement has gained momentum in recent years, exposing the real cost of the industry: people. Beneath the glossy image of many fashion covers are the unglamorous realities of sweatshops, slums and child labour (Minney 2011). Literature expounding on the new possibilities for sustainable clothes, socially and environmentally, now abound.

My early interest in weaving traditions and present work with indigenous communities in the Philippines have taught me respect for such ‘slower’ ways of life. I understand the challenges speedy economic demands in the capitalist world pose on artisans and their work. My eager search for ways to be in solidarity with indigenous communities and their traditions brought me to Maiwa.

Slow wear, naked fashion, and alternative fibres. Brands, designers and consumers are now channelling new currents away from fast fashion towards social and environmental sustainability (Fletcher 2008, Cataldi, Dickson and Grover 2010). Maiwa Handprints Ltd. based in Vancouver plays a significant role in promoting this movement. Its over 20-year old commitment to artisan co-operatives in India and other countries exemplifies a regard for traditions and the work of human hands. Maiwa positions itself “against the factory approach to life—an approach that drains human work of its worth and meaning” (Maiwa 2012). The textiles sourced from Maiwa’s partner communities are handwoven, blockprinted, embroidered and naturally dyed; these fabrics are then sold at the shop either as uncut cloth or as garments and bedding.

“---TITLE---“ is an ethnographic project on a community for slow clothes. I am interested in framing Maiwa as a cultural space where a community for slow clothes gathers. How do Maiwa customers understand the ‘slow clothes movement’? How do their desires attract them to the place? How do they perceive their own participation in the movement? How do they conceptualise their relationship to the distant artisan communities? My fieldwork in Maiwa intends to answer these questions.


INTRODUCTIONS

The slow fashion movement has gained momentum in recent years, exposing the real cost of the industry: people. Beneath the glossy image of many fashion covers are the unglamorous realities of sweatshops, slums and child labour (Minney 2011). Literature expounding on the new possibilities for sustainable clothes, socially and environmentally, now abound.

My early interest in weaving traditions and present work with indigenous communities in the Philippines have taught me respect for such ‘slower’ ways of life. I understand the challenges speedy economic demands in the capitalist world pose on artisans and their work. My eager search for ways to be in solidarity with indigenous communities and their traditions brought me to Maiwa.

Slow wear, naked fashion, and alternative fibres. Brands, designers and consumers are now channelling new currents away from fast fashion towards social and environmental sustainability (Fletcher 2008, Cataldi, Dickson and Grover 2010). Maiwa Handprints Ltd. based in Vancouver plays a significant role in promoting this movement. Its over 20-year old commitment to artisan co-operatives in India and other countries exemplifies a regard for traditions and the work of human hands. Maiwa positions itself “against the factory approach to life—an approach that drains human work of its worth and meaning” (Maiwa 2012). The textiles sourced from Maiwa’s partner communities are handwoven, blockprinted, embroidered and naturally dyed; these fabrics are then sold at the shop either as uncut cloth or as garments and bedding.

“---TITLE---“ is an ethnographic project on a community for slow clothes. I am interested in framing Maiwa as a cultural space where a community for slow clothes gathers. How do Maiwa customers understand the ‘slow clothes movement’? How do their desires attract them to the place? How do they perceive their own participation in the movement? How do they conceptualise their relationship to the distant artisan communities? My fieldwork in Maiwa intends to answer these questions.


IN DEFENSE OF THE BOOK

“Why does one write, if not to put one’s pieces together?” Galeano proposes sentipensante, a combination of the Spanish words sentir and pensar, a feeling-thinking language, as a union of the heart and mind (1991:121). This book’s bound pages compile sentiments and thoughts in layers of text and images to recognise the multiple sensibilities engaged in this project. The codex form has proven ideal for the communication and dissemination of ideas. The book itself as documentation, however, soon became the art object itself, like a portable exhibit (Klima 1998). While contemporary artists have utilised anthropological methods of mapping and interviewing to engage in cultural domains, post-structuralist ethnopoetics and ethnographic fictions, on the other hand, have received less attention (Schneider and Wright 2006:3). In an attempt to democratise knowledge and to experiment with this cross between contemporary art and anthropology, both of which share a desire to represent the other, my ethnographic project with Maiwa is presented in this book, reflexive of its own processes, materiality and content.


IN DEFENSE OF THE BOOK

“Why does one write, if not to put one’s pieces together?” Galeano proposes sentipensante, a combination of the Spanish words sentir and pensar, a feeling-thinking language, as a union of the heart and mind (1991:121). This book’s bound pages compile sentiments and thoughts in layers of text and images to recognise the multiple sensibilities engaged in this project. The codex form has proven ideal for the communication and dissemination of ideas. The book itself as documentation, however, soon became the art object itself, like a portable exhibit (Klima 1998). While contemporary artists have utilised anthropological methods of mapping and interviewing to engage in cultural domains, post-structuralist ethnopoetics and ethnographic fictions, on the other hand, have received less attention (Schneider and Wright 2006:3). In an attempt to democratise knowledge and to experiment with this cross between contemporary art and anthropology, both of which share a desire to represent the other, my ethnographic project with Maiwa is presented in this book, reflexive of its own processes, materiality and content.


ON ETHNOGRAPHY

METHODS

Once defined by the positivist tradition of science as a form of reportage, and later by the functionalist tradition as a genre, ethnography now sits as the union of these two ends. “Ethnography is a way of looking and a way of seeing”: it includes both the ways a researcher looks —how s/he pays attention in the field — and sees — how s/he reflects on his/her own thinking (Wolcott 1999). At its best ethnography demonstrates both ‘the comprehension of the other’ and ‘the comprehension of the self’ (Marcus 1993:165), providing a clear sense of conditions on-field, a validation of the researcher’s involvement as a participant observer, and a translation of ideas across cultural boundaries (Ibid 168).

While the founder and owner of Maiwa, Charlotte Kwon, was travelling in India in February 2012 to visit partner artisan communities, I worked in person with store managers Ebra Ziron and Shirley Gordon. They have been very encouraging and our casual conversations have given me much insight into the history, philosophy and current work of the company. My personal correspondence and meeting with Sophena Kwon later in March 2012 were foundational in codesigning the intentions for this project. The field journal I kept serves as a core in my research practice. Writing is an instrumental tool for reflections and recording thick descriptions of the place and the community. As a participant observer I consider my experience in the store as a pleasurable, meditative immersion; I learned to build memory, the skill of ‘hanging out’, to listen and converse, and to communicate the project to people I met in a suitable language (Bernard 1995:136-164). Apart from the casual conversations with Maiwa staff and customers, I conducted semistructured interviews with a convenience sample of five Maiwa customers. I transcribed and coded them to identify emerging themes. Using grounded theory (Bernard and Ryan 2009:265-285) I correlated individual and collective perceptions on the ‘slow clothes movement’; the analysis is therefore developed inductively from collected data.


ON ETHNOGRAPHY

METHODS

Once defined by the positivist tradition of science as a form of reportage, and later by the functionalist tradition as a genre, ethnography now sits as the union of these two ends. “Ethnography is a way of looking and a way of seeing”: it includes both the ways a researcher looks —how s/he pays attention in the field — and sees — how s/he reflects on his/her own thinking (Wolcott 1999). At its best ethnography demonstrates both ‘the comprehension of the other’ and ‘the comprehension of the self’ (Marcus 1993:165), providing a clear sense of conditions on-field, a validation of the researcher’s involvement as a participant observer, and a translation of ideas across cultural boundaries (Ibid 168).

While the founder and owner of Maiwa, Charlotte Kwon, was travelling in India in February 2012 to visit partner artisan communities, I worked in person with store managers Ebra Ziron and Shirley Gordon. They have been very encouraging and our casual conversations have given me much insight into the history, philosophy and current work of the company. My personal correspondence and meeting with Sophena Kwon later in March 2012 were foundational in codesigning the intentions for this project. The field journal I kept serves as a core in my research practice. Writing is an instrumental tool for reflections and recording thick descriptions of the place and the community. As a participant observer I consider my experience in the store as a pleasurable, meditative immersion; I learned to build memory, the skill of ‘hanging out’, to listen and converse, and to communicate the project to people I met in a suitable language (Bernard 1995:136-164). Apart from the casual conversations with Maiwa staff and customers, I conducted semistructured interviews with a convenience sample of five Maiwa customers. I transcribed and coded them to identify emerging themes. Using grounded theory (Bernard and Ryan 2009:265-285) I correlated individual and collective perceptions on the ‘slow clothes movement’; the analysis is therefore developed inductively from collected data.


A PLACE FOR SLOW CLOTHES

In order to tell customers about how the principles of fair trade and slow clothes guide their work, Maiwa staff have thoughtfully created and designed the space with an array of narratives.

Indeed a sensual spectacle is created. Colours of persimmon, red clay, indigo, turmeric, ochre, copper and mauve cover the space with a comforting warmth. World music of guzheng, sitar, and chants fill the airwaves. Books are arranged on a bed; one is opened halfway on a wooden drawer. Films of the artisans at work are playing on screens; and clothes tags spell “handwoven”, “natural dyes”, “organic cotton”, “blockprint”.

“Oh it's just beautiful in there!” Esperanza exclaimed. “I really do touch everything”, and with a chuckle she confessed, “and sometimes I even sniff things too!” “Well, when I was inside, I just wanted to live in the store! I thought, ‘I want to be bathed in all these clothes!’” Isabelle squealed in delight.

Joao shared, “They display the clothes like works of art! Just as you walk in, there’s all this greeting you: they’ve got faces of the people they visited, descriptions of materials used, how the dyes were made, books all over the shelves on the history of dyes, the history of weaving. It’s just a place packed full of information!”

Only mindfulness allows one to be in the space. Eyes are drawn to light and shadow, and by the language of patterns in design. Given the confines of the space, the feet naturally take a slower pace to walk around. The ears absorb the melodies which expand the notion of space beyond physicality into imagined global geographies. Hands feel over material made by other hands. !


A PLACE FOR SLOW CLOTHES

In order to tell customers about how the principles of fair trade and slow clothes guide their work, Maiwa staff have thoughtfully created and designed the space with an array of narratives.

Indeed a sensual spectacle is created. Colours of persimmon, red clay, indigo, turmeric, ochre, copper and mauve cover the space with a comforting warmth. World music of guzheng, sitar, and chants fill the airwaves. Books are arranged on a bed; one is opened halfway on a wooden drawer. Films of the artisans at work are playing on screens; and clothes tags spell “handwoven”, “natural dyes”, “organic cotton”, “blockprint”.

“Oh it's just beautiful in there!” Esperanza exclaimed. “I really do touch everything”, and with a chuckle she confessed, “and sometimes I even sniff things too!” “Well, when I was inside, I just wanted to live in the store! I thought, ‘I want to be bathed in all these clothes!’” Isabelle squealed in delight.

Joao shared, “They display the clothes like works of art! Just as you walk in, there’s all this greeting you: they’ve got faces of the people they visited, descriptions of materials used, how the dyes were made, books all over the shelves on the history of dyes, the history of weaving. It’s just a place packed full of information!”

Only mindfulness allows one to be in the space. Eyes are drawn to light and shadow, and by the language of patterns in design. Given the confines of the space, the feet naturally take a slower pace to walk around. The ears absorb the melodies which expand the notion of space beyond physicality into imagined global geographies. Hands feel over material made by other hands. !


In Understanding Retail Experiences, Michael et al. explain how “retailers develop branded experiences in order to enhance customers’ perception of the brand and bring the brand to life” (2007:751). By engaging customers in cognitive, emotional and visceral ways, Maiwa has in turn allowed us to “become our own icon by developing self-identity (who we are and what we represent) through what we consume, own and possess” (Ibid 752). By appreciating the beauty, display and aesthetics of Maiwa as a store, we also become receptive to the purpose of Maiwa as an ethical practice. !

Violeta, whose friend has recently returned from a Maiwa tour in India, shared, “I really enjoy the space and the presentation. I feel that I am comfortable to explore. And also because I know a lot about my friend’s stories, I feel I’m more responsive to the display.”

Although market studies distinguish between ‘static design elements’ e.g. logo, packaging, and other sensorial cues, from ‘dynamic elements’ e.g. human interaction, I argue that in Maiwa, in reality the two are experienced together. The store’s sensuality is understood with its purpose. The store’s beauty is its origins.

“It’s just such a beautiful space. It feels like stepping into other worlds, like you’re being transported to their places of origin. There’s a story behind each item,” said Isabelle.

While customers enjoy the works of art on display, the artists and communities not physically present are as powerfully evoked and thus remembered. All these experienced and imagined realities contribute to the beauty in Maiwa. The staff also understand their role as such; hence they tell customers stories of their relationships with the communities. In addition a clothes tag spells: “Designed by Maiwa, produced in collaboration with artisans in India.” How does one bring into awareness that an item is made by another pair of hands halfway across the world? All these strategies serve as reminders for customers to work their imagination. !


In Understanding Retail Experiences, Michael et al. explain how “retailers develop branded experiences in order to enhance customers’ perception of the brand and bring the brand to life” (2007:751). By engaging customers in cognitive, emotional and visceral ways, Maiwa has in turn allowed us to “become our own icon by developing self-identity (who we are and what we represent) through what we consume, own and possess” (Ibid 752). By appreciating the beauty, display and aesthetics of Maiwa as a store, we also become receptive to the purpose of Maiwa as an ethical practice. !

Violeta, whose friend has recently returned from a Maiwa tour in India, shared, “I really enjoy the space and the presentation. I feel that I am comfortable to explore. And also because I know a lot about my friend’s stories, I feel I’m more responsive to the display.”

Although market studies distinguish between ‘static design elements’ e.g. logo, packaging, and other sensorial cues, from ‘dynamic elements’ e.g. human interaction, I argue that in Maiwa, in reality the two are experienced together. The store’s sensuality is understood with its purpose. The store’s beauty is its origins.

“It’s just such a beautiful space. It feels like stepping into other worlds, like you’re being transported to their places of origin. There’s a story behind each item,” said Isabelle.

While customers enjoy the works of art on display, the artists and communities not physically present are as powerfully evoked and thus remembered. All these experienced and imagined realities contribute to the beauty in Maiwa. The staff also understand their role as such; hence they tell customers stories of their relationships with the communities. In addition a clothes tag spells: “Designed by Maiwa, produced in collaboration with artisans in India.” How does one bring into awareness that an item is made by another pair of hands halfway across the world? All these strategies serve as reminders for customers to work their imagination. !


Like a museum the store has been designed with pockets and circuits of narratives. Photographs of Maiwa’s travels and work with the artisan communities are mounted on the glass panels outside the store. These surfaces create a visual circuit guiding eyes to follow these stories. I observed that many customers enjoy viewing these before entering the store. The interior is filled with arranged clusters: A bed space, bookshelves, islands of rugs, themed displays, hanging lamps to light up objects, lines of folded fabric. I sensed such an ambiance, like that of a ‘home’, made customers feel safe to explore.

The lifeworld theory as expounded by Schütz is concerned with the world of everyday life in which individuals are able to grapple with the consciousness of others while living in their own social reality (Ryan 2012). By extension, the world-systems theory proposes that human interaction networks e.g. international trade have been increasing in spatial scale with technological development (Chase-Dunn 2012). Through its spatial design, Maiwa attempts to immerse its customers in an intersubjective terrain, where we can imagine other lifeworlds in the worldsystem of retail. As will be explored in the following section, the interviewees acknowledge this same sentiment of encountering other lifeworlds not their own in the consumerscape that is Maiwa. This effectively serves to expand their understanding of what the ‘slow clothes movement’ is and their part in it.


Like a museum the store has been designed with pockets and circuits of narratives. Photographs of Maiwa’s travels and work with the artisan communities are mounted on the glass panels outside the store. These surfaces create a visual circuit guiding eyes to follow these stories. I observed that many customers enjoy viewing these before entering the store. The interior is filled with arranged clusters: A bed space, bookshelves, islands of rugs, themed displays, hanging lamps to light up objects, lines of folded fabric. I sensed such an ambiance, like that of a ‘home’, made customers feel safe to explore.

The lifeworld theory as expounded by Schütz is concerned with the world of everyday life in which individuals are able to grapple with the consciousness of others while living in their own social reality (Ryan 2012). By extension, the world-systems theory proposes that human interaction networks e.g. international trade have been increasing in spatial scale with technological development (Chase-Dunn 2012). Through its spatial design, Maiwa attempts to immerse its customers in an intersubjective terrain, where we can imagine other lifeworlds in the worldsystem of retail. As will be explored in the following section, the interviewees acknowledge this same sentiment of encountering other lifeworlds not their own in the consumerscape that is Maiwa. This effectively serves to expand their understanding of what the ‘slow clothes movement’ is and their part in it.


THE SLOW CLOTHES MOVEMENT

When asked how they understand the ‘slow clothes movement’, Joao, Violeta, Meg, Esperanza and Isabelle all said it was their first time to encounter the phrase. They all, however, associated it with the notion of ‘slow foods’. They shared, in contrast to dashing through a McDonald’s drive-through, you instead “examine how things are made”, “sit down”, step back”, and “take a good look at what you are wearing”. “Do they come from a good place?” “You have to learn to appreciate the skills and the time put into creating the clothes.” “Pick old things up and repair them.” “Knit to consume less.” “By extending objects’ lifespans you resist a fast pace life”.

In my own attempt to understand ‘slow time’, I decided to start crocheting again. My right hand held the crochet hook like a pen, my tool for re-inhabiting another activity by human hands. Using its own muscle memory, my hand remembered the learned rhythms of looping over yarn. My wrist bone clicked to a beat; the lack of precision and my aching palms frustrated me. To finish this shawl, I would need a month or two more.

Sharing this same desire to ‘empathise’ and understand such creative processes, artists like Meg and Esperanza said they work with their hands too. “Aside from shopping at Maiwa, I appreciate the creative process because I’m an artist myself; I support the artisans precisely because I work like them!” beamed Esperanza. With great admiration for these traditions, Meg shared, “It’s my dream to spin and dye my own yarns and fabrics!” “It’s a real privilege for communities to move back to do what they’re used to”, said Joao. This ‘return’ to slower ways of life, whether in distant artisan communities or in our own societies, is unanimously conceived of by all five interviewees to be valuable and in need of more encouragement. “I think these traditions will die out if Maiwa or other similar efforts do not support them”, said Violeta. “Even learning to knit again like how my grandmother used to was a stigma just a few years ago, and today, look at how many knitting books we have to learn from!” said Meg who recognised the revival of preindustrial ways reflected in her own life.


THE SLOW CLOTHES MOVEMENT

When asked how they understand the ‘slow clothes movement’, Joao, Violeta, Meg, Esperanza and Isabelle all said it was their first time to encounter the phrase. They all, however, associated it with the notion of ‘slow foods’. They shared, in contrast to dashing through a McDonald’s drive-through, you instead “examine how things are made”, “sit down”, step back”, and “take a good look at what you are wearing”. “Do they come from a good place?” “You have to learn to appreciate the skills and the time put into creating the clothes.” “Pick old things up and repair them.” “Knit to consume less.” “By extending objects’ lifespans you resist a fast pace life”.

In my own attempt to understand ‘slow time’, I decided to start crocheting again. My right hand held the crochet hook like a pen, my tool for re-inhabiting another activity by human hands. Using its own muscle memory, my hand remembered the learned rhythms of looping over yarn. My wrist bone clicked to a beat; the lack of precision and my aching palms frustrated me. To finish this shawl, I would need a month or two more.

Sharing this same desire to ‘empathise’ and understand such creative processes, artists like Meg and Esperanza said they work with their hands too. “Aside from shopping at Maiwa, I appreciate the creative process because I’m an artist myself; I support the artisans precisely because I work like them!” beamed Esperanza. With great admiration for these traditions, Meg shared, “It’s my dream to spin and dye my own yarns and fabrics!” “It’s a real privilege for communities to move back to do what they’re used to”, said Joao. This ‘return’ to slower ways of life, whether in distant artisan communities or in our own societies, is unanimously conceived of by all five interviewees to be valuable and in need of more encouragement. “I think these traditions will die out if Maiwa or other similar efforts do not support them”, said Violeta. “Even learning to knit again like how my grandmother used to was a stigma just a few years ago, and today, look at how many knitting books we have to learn from!” said Meg who recognised the revival of preindustrial ways reflected in her own life.


A COMMUNITY FOR SLOW CLOTHES

Just as there are varying definitions for what ‘slow clothes’ are, the interviewees’ individual conceptualisations of their own participation in the ‘slow clothes movement’ also vary.

“You see it is all about choice. The artisans can choose to preserve their traditions; I also enjoy my personal aesthetic freedom”, said Esperanza. Joao supports this notion of conscious consumption. “When more people know about the movement, even if they do not buy these things, they understand it’s a better alternative. This awareness affects their shopping habits, and also living habits, so these kinds of movements eventually spread and chip away at old mentalities that aren’t so sustainable anymore.” Violeta similarly shared how knowing about her friend’s personal experience with artisans affects her shopping decisions, “Compared to let’s say a duvet sold at The Bay, I would now rather come here to purchase these functional items.” They agree that whether it is an awareness of one’s own style, or an awareness of social-political realities in the world, the absence of ignorance allows the individual to make more intentional decisions.

“Sit down”, “step back”, and “take a good look at what you’re wearing.” Just as the theme of mindfulness reemerges in the interviews to be a valuable way of life, mindfulness was also essential in the conduct of this project.

From my seat outside the store’s doors, I selected a convenience sample based on my observations of their body language. Customers who hurriedly walk in, or distractedly brush through the displays, were not approached. Instead individuals who more carefully entered and more attentively interacted with the space and objects were my candidates for interviews. I understand that their degree of mindfulness would reflect correspondingly on the content of their interviews.


A COMMUNITY FOR SLOW CLOTHES

Just as there are varying definitions for what ‘slow clothes’ are, the interviewees’ individual conceptualisations of their own participation in the ‘slow clothes movement’ also vary.

“You see it is all about choice. The artisans can choose to preserve their traditions; I also enjoy my personal aesthetic freedom”, said Esperanza. Joao supports this notion of conscious consumption. “When more people know about the movement, even if they do not buy these things, they understand it’s a better alternative. This awareness affects their shopping habits, and also living habits, so these kinds of movements eventually spread and chip away at old mentalities that aren’t so sustainable anymore.” Violeta similarly shared how knowing about her friend’s personal experience with artisans affects her shopping decisions, “Compared to let’s say a duvet sold at The Bay, I would now rather come here to purchase these functional items.” They agree that whether it is an awareness of one’s own style, or an awareness of social-political realities in the world, the absence of ignorance allows the individual to make more intentional decisions.

“Sit down”, “step back”, and “take a good look at what you’re wearing.” Just as the theme of mindfulness reemerges in the interviews to be a valuable way of life, mindfulness was also essential in the conduct of this project.

From my seat outside the store’s doors, I selected a convenience sample based on my observations of their body language. Customers who hurriedly walk in, or distractedly brush through the displays, were not approached. Instead individuals who more carefully entered and more attentively interacted with the space and objects were my candidates for interviews. I understand that their degree of mindfulness would reflect correspondingly on the content of their interviews.


The ideas conveyed in the interviews recognise Maiwa as a place to re-enact the principles of ‘slow clothes’ and also present Maiwa as a living community who works to uphold these ideals. Before beginning formal interviews I adopted a commercial logic and presumed that it is the transaction at the cashier which serves as the sole connector between customers and artisans. In a business sense, it is the purchase which keeps the cycles of production and sales going. However, as seen in the interviewees’ accounts, individuals imagine and construct these relations in multiple ways. Interestingly participation in the movement is understood to extend well beyond patronising the store.

Meg identified herself to be a near-zero consumer. “In relation to the artisans I do not think I’m connected because I am not a purchaser. I do not shop here at Maiwa”, nor does she hardly purchase any clothes apart from used items in thrift stores. As an artist she has a keen eye for quality and technique; like a connoisseur of certain wools she can identify types and patterns. Despite her high appreciation for slow clothes and her own knitting projects, she, however, positions herself outside the movement. “I don’t think I’m part of this circuit, or this loop. I’m standing at an outer circle. I do not fuel the business with my money.”

“As a mother and wife who prepares food to feed her family, I can say that cooking is also another slow movement and process, even a tradition”, said Esperanza proudly. “Today so many people cannot even repair a shirt or a tear. Jeans today have patches where there aren’t even any holes! We should learn to give things new life so people can learn to pass them forward,” shared Meg.!

Violeta echoes a similar sentiment although reverse to Meg’s position. Even if she came out of the store with purchases, Violeta said, “No I don’t think I am part of a slow clothes community. I am not an artist, so I do not produce. My money supports the work but still, I am at a distance.”


The ideas conveyed in the interviews recognise Maiwa as a place to re-enact the principles of ‘slow clothes’ and also present Maiwa as a living community who works to uphold these ideals. Before beginning formal interviews I adopted a commercial logic and presumed that it is the transaction at the cashier which serves as the sole connector between customers and artisans. In a business sense, it is the purchase which keeps the cycles of production and sales going. However, as seen in the interviewees’ accounts, individuals imagine and construct these relations in multiple ways. Interestingly participation in the movement is understood to extend well beyond patronising the store.

Meg identified herself to be a near-zero consumer. “In relation to the artisans I do not think I’m connected because I am not a purchaser. I do not shop here at Maiwa”, nor does she hardly purchase any clothes apart from used items in thrift stores. As an artist she has a keen eye for quality and technique; like a connoisseur of certain wools she can identify types and patterns. Despite her high appreciation for slow clothes and her own knitting projects, she, however, positions herself outside the movement. “I don’t think I’m part of this circuit, or this loop. I’m standing at an outer circle. I do not fuel the business with my money.”

“As a mother and wife who prepares food to feed her family, I can say that cooking is also another slow movement and process, even a tradition”, said Esperanza proudly. “Today so many people cannot even repair a shirt or a tear. Jeans today have patches where there aren’t even any holes! We should learn to give things new life so people can learn to pass them forward,” shared Meg.!

Violeta echoes a similar sentiment although reverse to Meg’s position. Even if she came out of the store with purchases, Violeta said, “No I don’t think I am part of a slow clothes community. I am not an artist, so I do not produce. My money supports the work but still, I am at a distance.”


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My friend Isabelle who works with international communities on various programmes praises the store for its display. “If we contrast Maiwa to the rampant presentations of ‘poverty porn’ in our mass media, I really think that dignity is translated here and emerges from these beautiful works of art!” Despite her direct work with similar communities, Isabelle, however, still did not consider herself to be part of the slow clothes movement. “No, I don’t think I am. I’m just wearing normal clothes.” This notion of ‘normal-versus-the extraordinary’ is also recalled in Joao’s remark when he said, “In the mall you’d say, ‘my shoes are kinda worn out or I need a new rain jacket’. But I’m only gonna come here to Maiwa because I wanna get somebody a special gift that tells the person what my values are.”

The aura of ‘a good cause’, of ethics and morality, undeniably form an added layer to the attractiveness of Maiwa’s items. Their fair trade origins transform them from being ‘normal’ items to ‘extraordinary’ ones. Meg said, “Even if I have a tight budget, if I had $80 I would still rather spend it in Maiwa for a good cause.” Reflecting on my own experience of being in Maiwa, I also share this notion of the ‘extraordinary’, which, beyond exoticisation I believe is also linked to my own conception of what is ‘just’. I realised that my desire to wear the fabric, to enliven and embody it with my own body, is due to both its aesthetic and my own desire to be in solidarity with another person’s work.

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My friend Isabelle who works with international communities on various programmes praises the store for its display. “If we contrast Maiwa to the rampant presentations of ‘poverty porn’ in our mass media, I really think that dignity is translated here and emerges from these beautiful works of art!” Despite her direct work with similar communities, Isabelle, however, still did not consider herself to be part of the slow clothes movement. “No, I don’t think I am. I’m just wearing normal clothes.” This notion of ‘normal-versus-the extraordinary’ is also recalled in Joao’s remark when he said, “In the mall you’d say, ‘my shoes are kinda worn out or I need a new rain jacket’. But I’m only gonna come here to Maiwa because I wanna get somebody a special gift that tells the person what my values are.”

The aura of ‘a good cause’, of ethics and morality, undeniably form an added layer to the attractiveness of Maiwa’s items. Their fair trade origins transform them from being ‘normal’ items to ‘extraordinary’ ones. Meg said, “Even if I have a tight budget, if I had $80 I would still rather spend it in Maiwa for a good cause.” Reflecting on my own experience of being in Maiwa, I also share this notion of the ‘extraordinary’, which, beyond exoticisation I believe is also linked to my own conception of what is ‘just’. I realised that my desire to wear the fabric, to enliven and embody it with my own body, is due to both its aesthetic and my own desire to be in solidarity with another person’s work.

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As a critique on fair trade endeavours, however, Joao was the only one who situated Maiwa within larger structural realities of injustice. Although aware that Maiwa empowers artisans from lower classes to escape poverty, Joao inquired, “Are we creating a dual kind of community here? There are those people with good intentions and disposable income who are into organic, fair trade, and slow foods, while you have those who can only afford Costco, fast food and stock up on bulk. I started to think, ‘how can these movements include the working class?’”

By being critical of how a ‘culture vulture’ mentality may exist in our society with the consumption of indigenous styles as status objects, we can also examine how we perpetuate neoliberal ideas of economic salvation. “It’s almost like a token to have indigenous art in your house sometimes. But the weavers, not different from many aboriginal people in our own city, are still the underclass of society. It still all seems too exclusive to me right now.”

Joao’s musings relate to philosopher, Slovoj Zizek’s critique of “cultural capitalism” —today’s form of capitalism which injects the anti-consumerist, ethical duty to do something for others and the environment into the very price of a purchase (2009).

Perhaps in a similar wariness for what Zizek calls Starbucks’ “good coffee karma”, Isabelle struggled to reconcile commerce with the ideal of ‘slow clothes’. She shared about her personal battling over these seeming contradictions. “Well I must be honest, when I was looking at those photographs on the walls, I had an initial scepticism. There’s just a preconception that when a relationship is based on money, it’s not genuine; the assumption that giving and receiving is better than buying and selling. But I also realise it’s not fair to judge and say, ‘It’s just commerce.’”

While contending with these polarities, Isabelle later shared, “These items do express dignity. They clothe to protect an identity. I really want to be part of where these objects come from. And I also realise that the money paid to buy them may not be enough to do that.” Captivated by Maiwa’s display, Isabelle intended to know more about how she can further her engagement— perhaps apart from being a customer.


As a critique on fair trade endeavours, however, Joao was the only one who situated Maiwa within larger structural realities of injustice. Although aware that Maiwa empowers artisans from lower classes to escape poverty, Joao inquired, “Are we creating a dual kind of community here? There are those people with good intentions and disposable income who are into organic, fair trade, and slow foods, while you have those who can only afford Costco, fast food and stock up on bulk. I started to think, ‘how can these movements include the working class?’”

By being critical of how a ‘culture vulture’ mentality may exist in our society with the consumption of indigenous styles as status objects, we can also examine how we perpetuate neoliberal ideas of economic salvation. “It’s almost like a token to have indigenous art in your house sometimes. But the weavers, not different from many aboriginal people in our own city, are still the underclass of society. It still all seems too exclusive to me right now.”

Joao’s musings relate to philosopher, Slovoj Zizek’s critique of “cultural capitalism” —today’s form of capitalism which injects the anti-consumerist, ethical duty to do something for others and the environment into the very price of a purchase (2009).

Perhaps in a similar wariness for what Zizek calls Starbucks’ “good coffee karma”, Isabelle struggled to reconcile commerce with the ideal of ‘slow clothes’. She shared about her personal battling over these seeming contradictions. “Well I must be honest, when I was looking at those photographs on the walls, I had an initial scepticism. There’s just a preconception that when a relationship is based on money, it’s not genuine; the assumption that giving and receiving is better than buying and selling. But I also realise it’s not fair to judge and say, ‘It’s just commerce.’”

While contending with these polarities, Isabelle later shared, “These items do express dignity. They clothe to protect an identity. I really want to be part of where these objects come from. And I also realise that the money paid to buy them may not be enough to do that.” Captivated by Maiwa’s display, Isabelle intended to know more about how she can further her engagement— perhaps apart from being a customer.


Given their multiple understandings of how they are part (or not part of) the ‘slow clothes movement’, Joao, Violeta, Meg, Esperanza and Isabelle nevertheless still agree on the general principles it promotes:

Violeta in turn redirects our attention to the lifelong commitments Maiwa has with its partner artisan communities. Violeta does not claim to be a participant in the slow clothes movement despite her regular patronage of the store. Instead she referred to Charlotte Kwon to be “the one who is directly related to the artisans”. Praising Charlotte’s commitment and genius, Violeta rightfully mused that “the relationships Maiwa has with the communities are special and cannot be easily replicated of course.” Perhaps it is these human partnerships which mark Maiwa’s work as a sustained effort towards social justice and structural transformation, and not mere charity. Just as the interviewees recalled a sense of empowerment through “personal choice” or an individual’s “freedom” to choose what s/he buys, Maiwa’s work as a company in turn offers new possibilities for change on the systemic level.

“We need to consume higher quality in lower quantities.” “Let us give a little more respect and honour traditions.” “These clothes come from a good place. They had the least impact on the people and the environment.” “It is a return to older ways of life.” “It means not to be wasteful!”

Maiwa in turn echoes these same sentiments: “Our clothing is about two things: It is about a wonderful style, grace and feeling, and it is about encouraging artisans and artisan techniques. We are making slow clothes. We exist to make exquisite clothing that will last a long long time. That means we have to work a little differently. Our complete turnaround time on production from fibre to garment is sometimes over two years. So come into our store and talk to our staff. We can’t wait to tell you about our clothes” (Maiwa 2012).


Given their multiple understandings of how they are part (or not part of) the ‘slow clothes movement’, Joao, Violeta, Meg, Esperanza and Isabelle nevertheless still agree on the general principles it promotes:

Violeta in turn redirects our attention to the lifelong commitments Maiwa has with its partner artisan communities. Violeta does not claim to be a participant in the slow clothes movement despite her regular patronage of the store. Instead she referred to Charlotte Kwon to be “the one who is directly related to the artisans”. Praising Charlotte’s commitment and genius, Violeta rightfully mused that “the relationships Maiwa has with the communities are special and cannot be easily replicated of course.” Perhaps it is these human partnerships which mark Maiwa’s work as a sustained effort towards social justice and structural transformation, and not mere charity. Just as the interviewees recalled a sense of empowerment through “personal choice” or an individual’s “freedom” to choose what s/he buys, Maiwa’s work as a company in turn offers new possibilities for change on the systemic level.

“We need to consume higher quality in lower quantities.” “Let us give a little more respect and honour traditions.” “These clothes come from a good place. They had the least impact on the people and the environment.” “It is a return to older ways of life.” “It means not to be wasteful!”

Maiwa in turn echoes these same sentiments: “Our clothing is about two things: It is about a wonderful style, grace and feeling, and it is about encouraging artisans and artisan techniques. We are making slow clothes. We exist to make exquisite clothing that will last a long long time. That means we have to work a little differently. Our complete turnaround time on production from fibre to garment is sometimes over two years. So come into our store and talk to our staff. We can’t wait to tell you about our clothes” (Maiwa 2012).


A MAP ON COMMUNITIES FOR SLOW CLOTHES The semiotic symbols used here are borrowed from Kuchka’s Human Ecosystems (2011).

Artisans

Customers

LEGEND: Producer

Organised institution

Transformer/amplifer

Imagination, beliefs, observations Maiwa

Dialectic field

Material flow

Capital flow Geographic movement


A MAP ON COMMUNITIES FOR SLOW CLOTHES The semiotic symbols used here are borrowed from Kuchka’s Human Ecosystems (2011).

Artisans

Customers

LEGEND: Producer

Organised institution

Transformer/amplifer

Imagination, beliefs, observations Maiwa

Dialectic field

Material flow

Capital flow Geographic movement


How can we understand the workings of a slow clothes community in the context of Maiwa? Maiwa staff have initially helped me map the many players and layers of the world-system which they are part of: 1. Artisan communities in India, Turkey, Peru, Mexico, Pakistan, Morocco and Ethiopia

2. Maiwa

Store Blog Foundation Library Textiles Symposium

3. Customers in Vancouver

Maiwa’s multiple fronts, bases and strategies allow for communities and individuals to be connected through the international trade of products and capital, and imagined relations among each other. The interviewees defined their participation in different ways —whether or not s/he makes a purchase in the Maiwa store, or whether or not s/he is engaged in any creative process. Despite their differing perspectives, however, the illustrated map above shows how they are nevertheless related to the movement.

Maiwa’s partner artisans worldwide, represented here by the map of India, are the primary ‘producers’ as they grow, harvest and utilise plants to dye and create textiles. In a commercial transaction these products are then transferred to Maiwa in exchange for capital. As an organised group of consumers Maiwa also transforms the textiles into locally designed clothes for the Vancouver market, and simultaneously amplifies their work through marketing strategies. Customers, however, do not solely rely on Maiwa’s narratives; as seen in the interviewees’ individual conceptualisations of ‘slow clothes’, they also source ideas from popular discourses on fair trade and art practices. Their purchases are therefore not their sole connector to international artisans. By extension one can wonder as to how artisans also conceptualise their relationship with foreign markets. Colloredo-Mansfeld’s research may illuminate this side of the map (2002); such ethnographies would thereby also represent the artisans not only as economic producers but also agents of desires, beliefs and imagination. Nevertheless a dialectic field between these two lifeworlds is also created by customers’ engagement with other ‘slow traditions’ e.g. cooking and mending old clothes, minimising consumption, and physically traveling to work with these same artisan communities through other projects. This is how solidarities are created.


How can we understand the workings of a slow clothes community in the context of Maiwa? Maiwa staff have initially helped me map the many players and layers of the world-system which they are part of: 1. Artisan communities in India, Turkey, Peru, Mexico, Pakistan, Morocco and Ethiopia

2. Maiwa

Store Blog Foundation Library Textiles Symposium

3. Customers in Vancouver

Maiwa’s multiple fronts, bases and strategies allow for communities and individuals to be connected through the international trade of products and capital, and imagined relations among each other. The interviewees defined their participation in different ways —whether or not s/he makes a purchase in the Maiwa store, or whether or not s/he is engaged in any creative process. Despite their differing perspectives, however, the illustrated map above shows how they are nevertheless related to the movement.

Maiwa’s partner artisans worldwide, represented here by the map of India, are the primary ‘producers’ as they grow, harvest and utilise plants to dye and create textiles. In a commercial transaction these products are then transferred to Maiwa in exchange for capital. As an organised group of consumers Maiwa also transforms the textiles into locally designed clothes for the Vancouver market, and simultaneously amplifies their work through marketing strategies. Customers, however, do not solely rely on Maiwa’s narratives; as seen in the interviewees’ individual conceptualisations of ‘slow clothes’, they also source ideas from popular discourses on fair trade and art practices. Their purchases are therefore not their sole connector to international artisans. By extension one can wonder as to how artisans also conceptualise their relationship with foreign markets. Colloredo-Mansfeld’s research may illuminate this side of the map (2002); such ethnographies would thereby also represent the artisans not only as economic producers but also agents of desires, beliefs and imagination. Nevertheless a dialectic field between these two lifeworlds is also created by customers’ engagement with other ‘slow traditions’ e.g. cooking and mending old clothes, minimising consumption, and physically traveling to work with these same artisan communities through other projects. This is how solidarities are created.


THE SLOW CLOTHES PROJECT

7:30 PM Saturday, March 31, 2012 I sit kneeling on carpeted floor with a circle of friends, a pile of our used clothes in the centre. Inspired by the desire to simplify life and to consume mindfully, our circle of six cleansed our closets of old clutter to commit to a limited selection of only handed down or fair trade items. Unnecessary attachments were donated or given away as gifts. Tonight to celebrate the start of Spring, and with the room lit with candle light in preparation for Earth Hour, we are exchanging our used favourites with one another. At least until the end of Winter, we commit to only honour clothes made slowly and artfully. ----

After our formal interview, Isabelle and I were inspired to continue our conversation on slow clothes. “I remember wanting to buy a scarf in Maiwa that was priced $95, and it seemed to me ridiculously expensive! And then I realised, I probably had over 20 scarves sitting at home, and together they may add up to that price, or even more. That tells me a lot about my own standards and my consumption practices�, shared Isabelle. Recognising that we wanted to be intentional in how we clothe ourselves, Isabelle, I and other friends started this iniative.


THE SLOW CLOTHES PROJECT

7:30 PM Saturday, March 31, 2012 I sit kneeling on carpeted floor with a circle of friends, a pile of our used clothes in the centre. Inspired by the desire to simplify life and to consume mindfully, our circle of six cleansed our closets of old clutter to commit to a limited selection of only handed down or fair trade items. Unnecessary attachments were donated or given away as gifts. Tonight to celebrate the start of Spring, and with the room lit with candle light in preparation for Earth Hour, we are exchanging our used favourites with one another. At least until the end of Winter, we commit to only honour clothes made slowly and artfully. ----

After our formal interview, Isabelle and I were inspired to continue our conversation on slow clothes. “I remember wanting to buy a scarf in Maiwa that was priced $95, and it seemed to me ridiculously expensive! And then I realised, I probably had over 20 scarves sitting at home, and together they may add up to that price, or even more. That tells me a lot about my own standards and my consumption practices�, shared Isabelle. Recognising that we wanted to be intentional in how we clothe ourselves, Isabelle, I and other friends started this iniative.


Quite poignantly Isabelle shared, “The clothes in the store were just so beautiful they reminded me of these Biblical phrases, like ‘garments of praise’, ‘cloaks of righteousness’... When I picked one up I really felt like wrapping myself with it!” As a cultural material, one that the human species has uniquely created for its survival and desires, it is remarkable how little we give clothes conscious consideration. “We and our culture together have chosen them, our natures show through them everywhere, and they do not necessarily mislead any more than do our gestures, our words or our expressions of face...as clothes indicate many allegiances, sensitivities, and foibles” (Harvey 2008:118).

Clothes are simultaneously practical and social—a protective covering and an adornment—“one could, if one wished, celebrate clothes elaborately” (Harvey 2008:119). As seen in the interviewees’ responses, we can acknowledge several forms of beauty combined in a single garment: the practical purpose it serves, its nonfunctional style (or its attractiveness can also be deemed useful), and in the case of slow clothes, even its origins can be beautiful and thereby make the clothes beautiful. A slow clothes community—who can now be described as people mindful of how and what they clothe their bodies with— therefore collectively recognises and celebrates that we adorn our human bodies with beauty as much as we project our own conceptions of beauty through our clothes.

!


Quite poignantly Isabelle shared, “The clothes in the store were just so beautiful they reminded me of these Biblical phrases, like ‘garments of praise’, ‘cloaks of righteousness’... When I picked one up I really felt like wrapping myself with it!” As a cultural material, one that the human species has uniquely created for its survival and desires, it is remarkable how little we give clothes conscious consideration. “We and our culture together have chosen them, our natures show through them everywhere, and they do not necessarily mislead any more than do our gestures, our words or our expressions of face...as clothes indicate many allegiances, sensitivities, and foibles” (Harvey 2008:118).

Clothes are simultaneously practical and social—a protective covering and an adornment—“one could, if one wished, celebrate clothes elaborately” (Harvey 2008:119). As seen in the interviewees’ responses, we can acknowledge several forms of beauty combined in a single garment: the practical purpose it serves, its nonfunctional style (or its attractiveness can also be deemed useful), and in the case of slow clothes, even its origins can be beautiful and thereby make the clothes beautiful. A slow clothes community—who can now be described as people mindful of how and what they clothe their bodies with— therefore collectively recognises and celebrates that we adorn our human bodies with beauty as much as we project our own conceptions of beauty through our clothes.

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“Slow clothes are not slow because production is inefficient or lacks planning. They are slow because there is human involvement in all aspects of production. At Maiwa we see slow clothes as a movement of making room in the clothing industry for the human endeavour of creativity, of clothing with ethical and social significance, clothing with subtle details that infuse cloth with meaning, clothing enriched by hand crafted details. Clothing with soul.� - A Maiwa postcard


“Slow clothes are not slow because production is inefficient or lacks planning. They are slow because there is human involvement in all aspects of production. At Maiwa we see slow clothes as a movement of making room in the clothing industry for the human endeavour of creativity, of clothing with ethical and social significance, clothing with subtle details that infuse cloth with meaning, clothing enriched by hand crafted details. Clothing with soul.� - A Maiwa postcard


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bernard, H.R. 1995 Participant Observation. In Research Methods in Anthropology. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Oress, pp.136-164. Bernard, H.R. and G.W. Ryan 2009 Grounded Theory. In Analysing Qualitative Data: Systematic Approaches. London: Sage Publications, pp.265-285. Cataldi, C., Dickson, M. and Grover, C. 2010 Slow Fashion: Tailoring a Strategic Approach Towards Sustainability. Graduate thesis, Blekinge Institute of Technonology. Chase-Dunn, C. 2012 World-Systems Theory. Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2004. 888-92. SAGE Reference Online. Web. 20 April. Colloredo-Mansfeld, R. 2002 An Ethnography of Neoliberalism: Understanding Competition in Artisan Communities. Current Anthropology 43(1):113137. Fletcher, K. 2008 Sustainable Fashion & Textiles: Design Journeys. London: Earthscan.

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Galeano, E. 1991 The Book of Embraces. New York: Norton. Harvey, J.R. 2008 Clothes. Stocksfield, England: Acumen. Healy, M. et al. 2007 Understanding Retail Experiences: The Case for Ethnography. International Journal of Market Research 49:751-778. Klima, S. 1998 Art As A Book. In Artist Books: A Critical Survey of the Literature. New York: Granary Books, pp.41-60. Kuchka, H.E. 2011 Human Ecosystems. www.kuchka.org, last accessed April 20, 2012. Maiwa www.maiwa.com, last accessed April 18, 2012 Marcus, G. E. 1993 Rhetoric and the Ethnographic Genrein Anthropological Research. In A Crack in the Mirror: Reflexive Perspectives in Anthropology. Ed. Jay Ruby. USA: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp.163-171. Minney, S. 2011 Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution. Oxford: New Internationalist Publication.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bernard, H.R. 1995 Participant Observation. In Research Methods in Anthropology. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Oress, pp.136-164. Bernard, H.R. and G.W. Ryan 2009 Grounded Theory. In Analysing Qualitative Data: Systematic Approaches. London: Sage Publications, pp.265-285. Cataldi, C., Dickson, M. and Grover, C. 2010 Slow Fashion: Tailoring a Strategic Approach Towards Sustainability. Graduate thesis, Blekinge Institute of Technonology. Chase-Dunn, C. 2012 World-Systems Theory. Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2004. 888-92. SAGE Reference Online. Web. 20 April. Colloredo-Mansfeld, R. 2002 An Ethnography of Neoliberalism: Understanding Competition in Artisan Communities. Current Anthropology 43(1):113137. Fletcher, K. 2008 Sustainable Fashion & Textiles: Design Journeys. London: Earthscan.

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Galeano, E. 1991 The Book of Embraces. New York: Norton. Harvey, J.R. 2008 Clothes. Stocksfield, England: Acumen. Healy, M. et al. 2007 Understanding Retail Experiences: The Case for Ethnography. International Journal of Market Research 49:751-778. Klima, S. 1998 Art As A Book. In Artist Books: A Critical Survey of the Literature. New York: Granary Books, pp.41-60. Kuchka, H.E. 2011 Human Ecosystems. www.kuchka.org, last accessed April 20, 2012. Maiwa www.maiwa.com, last accessed April 18, 2012 Marcus, G. E. 1993 Rhetoric and the Ethnographic Genrein Anthropological Research. In A Crack in the Mirror: Reflexive Perspectives in Anthropology. Ed. Jay Ruby. USA: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp.163-171. Minney, S. 2011 Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution. Oxford: New Internationalist Publication.


Ryan, M. 2012 Lifeworld. Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2004, pp. 450-51. SAGE Reference Online. Web. 20 April. Schneider, A. and Wright, C. 2006 The Challenge of Practice. In Contemporary Art and Anthropology. Oxford: Berg, pp. 1-27. Wolcott, H. F. 1999 Ethnography as a Way of Looking. In Ethnography: A Way of Seeing. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, pp.41-61. Zizek, S. 2009 First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. Presented at the RSA Lectures, London, November 24.

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Ryan, M. 2012 Lifeworld. Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2004, pp. 450-51. SAGE Reference Online. Web. 20 April. Schneider, A. and Wright, C. 2006 The Challenge of Practice. In Contemporary Art and Anthropology. Oxford: Berg, pp. 1-27. Wolcott, H. F. 1999 Ethnography as a Way of Looking. In Ethnography: A Way of Seeing. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, pp.41-61. Zizek, S. 2009 First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. Presented at the RSA Lectures, London, November 24.

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Unravelling Threads  

An ethnography on a community for slow clothes

Unravelling Threads  

An ethnography on a community for slow clothes

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