The Real Cost of Fast Fashion
Posts Tagged ‘bangladesh’
There’s never just one reason for going somewhere in the Fair Trade world – there are always several! I ran a garments workshop for a day, then one on handicrafts for between 15 and 25 people from Fair Trade groups.
Next year is People Tree’s 20th and 10th anniversaries (Japan and UK). So we’re putting together special catalogues to celebrate!
Of course People Tree started in Japan, and Bangladesh was the first country that I started designing products with small Fair Trade groups in, so we decided to do fashion shoots there!
The biggest problem was the heat and humidity – 33 degrees and 80% humidity. Climate Change means that the monsoon rains are continuing and with it there are huge numbers of insects you would usually not see at this time of year – fireflies, annoying little red ants and huge waspy things.
I wish I had the foresight to catch some fireflies and put them in a jar – as the lights and electricity went out regularly every night! Fumi our model from Japan and Hiroe our Catalogue manager were caught fully soaped up in the shower with no lights and then suddenly no water. This was a lesson in how not to take for granted the basics – water in pipes, light at the flick of a switch.
I’m not complaining of course, this is the daily life of millions in the developing world and mostly we squander it when it’s as convenient as it is in London or Tokyo.
I shot the catalogue with the help of Miki Alcalde and Gail Rhodes on hair and makeup, and Fumi and Hiroe from Japan along with a few local friends.
After shoot celebration
We’d tend to go out for a drink after a shoot is over, go to my friend’s night club in Dhaka and dance, but tomorrow we have to part ways – half the team returning to Dhaka and half of us going to visit Action Bag in Saidpur, to check our top secret bag collaboration (you’ll be hearing about it soon!). So instead of partying we make do with swinging in the roots of a banyan tree.
We’ve had four hours sleep a night, done two photoshoots, had meeting after meeting and consumed far too much great local food in 32 degrees heat with monsoon rains. The rains should have stopped by now but still haven’t, bringing more insects than a usually hardy, but urban gal like me is used too – even after more than 15 years of visiting Bangladesh.
We’re exhausted, listening to Jazz (Dexter Gordon) in an air conditioned sleeper train and hoping for 8 hours of blissful sleep.
Pcitures and more on the trip later when our feet hit the ground…
Many suppliers/garment factories put up their customers in 5 star hotels as part of their hospitality, but People Tree pays to stay with our Fair Trade groups in their guest houses. After all it’s real cost for food, housekeeping, cleaning, etc. Why should suppliers pay for their customers hospitality?
I’ve been surprised by how people dress when they visit culturally sensitive places – I’m writing in shorts and a camisole at home in the summer’s heat, but in Bangladesh you cover up however hot and humid it is. I wear a shalwar kameez and long thin legged trousers called churidar. When it’s 36 degrees and 80% humidity you have to put your foot in a plastic bag just to get them on.