I can sometimes hear these "moso" (“pieces” in Haitian Creole) fabric bits chatting it up when they find themselves as a finished product. Sharing their stories as to how they arrived here. In this sewing room. In this city and in this country. Laughing about the situations they found themselves in along the way. The great parties they went to. The little girls who loved them so much. And how they all collide here on this gorgeous blanket, bag, pillow, or new piece of clothing.
I have to say I really love this entire collection because of all the goodness of the story in the making of them..And THEY ARE SO COOL!
If you know anything about my LOUD loudness about not bringing clothes to Haiti to give away because we have literally TONS of clothes here already, and when we bring them in we hurt the local business women that invested all their money in the clothes they sell. ( ok I'll stop now)
(though I am quick to say I did that before I knew what I now know....so no shame no guilt! )
What I know now is that literally TONS of overstock and thrifted clothes are shipped from developed countries to us here in Haiti and to other developing countries each month, where they are either re-sold or piled into landfills.
So women go to the dock and buy these cardboard bundles of clothes from the containers. Then they get sorted best to worst and sold to the street vendors.
The worst ones..the ones with strange patterns and maybe a hole or two...are sold the cheapest...to the smallest of vendors with the least amount of Haitian Gourdes in their pockets.
And it is to these women that we go! We go to the far end of the market and we are determined to find these treasures and reclaim them!
We shout out all the things! “You still have value! Broken but not lost! Not Wasted! It's not over till it’s over!”
And we gather up big bundles and we pay all the dollars to the hopeful business women sitting under umbrellas in the hot sun. (win #1: local commerce!)
We bring them home to the 2nd Story backyard and hand wash each piece in big tubs. Next, we hang them in the sun to dry. Then we bring them to the design table and cut and sew them back together to make each fabulous, one of a kind piece of art. (win #2: providing fair wage jobs!) Because of this, they are no longer destined to be thrown away (win #3: the environment!) and now are going to be given a new home in new closets. (win #4: fashion!)
So, each one-of-a-kind piece in this collection is really a story of redemption. What was once thrown aside as “broken”, “not worthy”, and “less than” has been picked up, cleaned off, and joined together with others like it; it has been transformed, given a new name, and now is deemed “#notwasted.”
All the love, friends!