Have you ever wondered who made your clothes? Fashion Revolution Week (23-29th April 2018) aims to answer that very question with #whomademyclothes, a campaign demanding greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. Each year, the global movement calls for change in the way that clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, with the utmost belief that style should never come at the cost of people or our planet. Here at Monsoon, we’re proud to introduce you to some of the talented artisans who made your clothes, and find out more about who they are…
Jagana and Bhaag
Jagana Kumari, 30, has been married to Bhaag Rashi, 42, for 18 years. The couple have a ten-year-old daughter called Gunjan. At the age of 16, Bhaag learnt how to embroider from his mother and has since passed the skill on to his wife so that she can also help support their family. In their spare time, they enjoy watching TV together, and Jagana loves to cook. When it comes to married life, Jagana said that Bhaag didn’t smile enough, while Bhaag told us that he secretly likes it when Jagana gets annoyed over tiny things!
Babita, 37, has been married to her husband Pratap for 19 years. Pratap runs an electronic workshop from home, repairing TVs, mixers and other household items, while Babita supports the family with embroidery work. She teaches needlework to girls from her neighbourhood, having also worked for a short time at the local tailoring shop in the village.
Radha, 42, has been hand-embellishing clothes for 21 years, after learning the craft from her husband’s family. She has three children – Rahul, Neetu and Lucky – and enjoys listening to religious songs called ‘bhajans’ from her mobile phone, which she was able to buy herself from her earnings. Here, she’s holding Mansi, a little girl from her neighbourhood, and is hopeful that she will be blessed with a grandchild soon.
Ravika, 35, is a thread-cutter working on Monsoon’s embroidered garments. She belongs to a wealthy family and has taken on the work to pass the time. She loves to dress up and go on outings with her husband.
Vijay Kumar, 45, earns a living for his family from embellishment work. He’s worried about the demise of embroidery but says he’d love to meet the people who wear the dresses that he’s worked on! He enjoys watching old classic cinema and reciting movie dialogs in between his work, and is looking forward to his son’s wedding.
The Monsoon Accessorize Product Supply Chain
Here at Monsoon, we take responsibility for our product supply chain. We map subcontractor sites beyond our factories and keep a record of the artisans associated with them. Each worker is required to fill out reference forms with their details, as well as those of their family members. They’re asked to affix a passport-sized photo of him or herself onto the form, and submit a proof of identification.
We’ve also introduced worker handbooks where artisans can track the number of pieces they’ve worked on and, in turn, keep a record of their wages. Upon payment from the subcontractor, each artisan then signs these handbooks. This helps create transparency in the supply chain by letting us know who is making our clothes, and allowing us to make sure that everyone has been fully paid.