Categories
Design Fashion Inspiration

Orphans, charity, love, humanity and more…

I have had this project in mind for the past 2 years…I was perhaps a little to ambitious in my mind. I would have wanted to produce more items and give back as much as possible. As I decided to “retire” from the fashion industry and no longer create massive collections, I decided to venture into more of a humane/ethical world. I wanted to put myself to good use and make a positive impact in my community…which led me to think, why not use the fabrics/trims/buttons for a good cause. I wanted to create these items for the purpose of making children happy. I wanted to make 100 dresses (initially) for charity and give them to orphaned children in Jordan. I completely fell in love with the country and wanted to perhaps be able to leave a positive mark there. I searched high an low for the right place to invest my time in and with the help of some wonderful people, I was able to find the perfect place I will give my dresses to (will be keeping the name anonymous for the moment).

As I work on many  different project from running a business, to working full-time, to blogging, to planning a wedding…this project was on the back-burner. Truthfully, I was super disappointed with myself for not being able to complete the set amount. After some struggles and some squeezed time, I was able to complete 35 dresses. That doesn’t mean I will not set another goal, it just means that for the moment, this is what I have.

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These dresses are collectives of different fabrics I owned, however, some were donated to me by friends. I used up loads of my trims and buttons to embellish them. I didn’t want to make regular boring dresses, I wanted something cool, different and unique. I wanted to make different size dresses and different dresses. Each one unique to its kind; never the same. I wanted the orphans to feel like princess in the special coming times. Since it will be Ramadan soon for us Muslims, Eid will follow. Taking the time to make these dresses in time to make the children feel happy and joyful is super humbling. I wanted to be able to offer those little beautiful angels something special just like them. Eid is a time of celebration for us, it is the time to share your wealth with the needy to make them feel like your equals. It is the time to be happy and celebrate with your loved ones. As Muslims, we grow up with charity instilled in us, because it truly is the essence of religiousness. To be able to share your goods with the needy is a marvelous feeling. It is necessary for me to keep the concept of unlimited love and kindness alive ad going.

Although I didn’t spend much time working of them, I enjoyed every minute and sincerely gave it my all.

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PS: this is one is one of my favorite!! I mean look at how cute it looks!! So novelty <3

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I did not just stop at making little girls’ dresses, I decided to go all the way to teens. I did dresses for starting at 2 yrs till about 25 yrs. Now I would have wished that I had the chance to stay at the orphanage for a while and volunteer a little bit all through the holy month of Ramadan…but unfortunately, like I said, sometimes life takes us to different paths…paths we never dreamed of being in.

All in all, these 35 dresses all have a story behind them and I hope that this will at least make the girls happy, even if it’s for a couple of hours. I want to be part of their lives as they are the future and to make them feel loved and wanted is a blessing.

Since I was a little teeny weeny girly, I always wanted to go to Africa and “save” the world. I want to give my time to charity and not have anything in return except gratitude, friendships and memories with real people. Now, I never had the chance to go to Africa (yet), but I decided to start somewhere…although small, I am hoping that it will leave a great and positive impact. Philanthropy is a part of me and I am hoping to continue to share my love of humanity with those around me. For those who are interested in getting involved, you can shoot me an email and I will gladly transfer your messages to those in charge. This is completely non-profit for me. These orphans could use help getting the basic necessities such as school supplies or toiletries.

As Ghandi said; be the change you want to see in the world…I always, since a was little, tried to keep this in mind!

 

Categories
Fashion Style Vintage

The true price of fashion.

I was somewhat aware of the impact of fashion on our social and environment lives. Since the boom of fast fashion, consumerism has hit a new plateau and this will only keep growing if we do not take the time to understand that process of garment making and the impact it has on people’s lives. I was a little bored yesterday and decided to slouch on the couch and watch something off of Netflix. I am usually a diehard fan of documentaries, so when I saw they recently added The True Cost; I was super thrilled as I wanted to watch it a while ago.

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Photo via http://www.truecostmovie.com

The True Cost is a documentary about the effects and consequence of fast fashion on our society. This is truly a must watch movie because it teaches you to open your eyes to hopefully make ethical choices when purchasing clothes.

The twisted process behind garment making is the reason why I decided to no longer be part of the mass production world. I absolutely refuse to be responsible for the destruction to the environment or be part of the oppression of the factory workers involved. Now, before I go in too deep in to the subject, I want to explain a little bit to y’all what fast fashion is really about…

Fast fashion is the unconventional way retailers now drop collections into stores. Instead of the typical spring/summer–fall/winter seasons presented…retailers now bring out 52 micro-seasons per year, which means new trends in stores every week. This in return means garments no longer have the quality or value they used to. This new trend causes fashion to be disposable (designed to be fall apart after a few uses), which means items are no longer in shape to be donated, which means items are trashed when no longer useful, which causes more waste on our planet. According to a recent study, an average American will throw away 82 pounds of textile waste each year. This waste is non-biodegradable and it just sits in landfills for years and years. In consequence, this causes even more pollution because this waste releases harmful gases into the air.

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Photo via http://www.truecostmovie.com

This movie helps us to see the process of consumerism, the works behind mass production and the consequences these things have on humans. The biggest victims of our irresponsible and monstrous consumption behaviors are the poor factory workers in developing countries. Bangladesh is one of the countries that suffer from the effects of our high demands in using fashion. Most of the workers are women and children and this unethical trade abuses their health and dignity. It is our responsibility as humans to insure that these workers are happy and live comfortably just like we do.

Major accidents like the Rana Plaza and Tazreen disasters could have been avoided if the factory owners stopped being so selfish into pressuring the women to work despite to obvious poor and unstable working conditions. You can read more about these 2 incidents here.

If you think about it, at the other end, every good we use or consume comes from poor workers that are unhappy. It is in our hands as consumers to be aware and help in treating them better; give them security and respect (sadly, these poor workers live off a merely 10$ monthly wage and suffer from psychological traumas).

There’s a part in the movie where they discussed how Kanpur plays a big role in producing leather for high end brands and it’s the biggest leather producer in the world. In order to be able to satisfy the companies’ needs, India is under more pressure to work faster to be able to cover the amount of products required. These leather factories have a lot of toxic waste dumped into the river, which is the only source of water available to many little towns. Unfortunately, their lives are dramatically affected and the results are staggering and deadly in some cases. The levels of toxicity (Chromium contamination) in the river (the only drinkable source they have) and the soil affect their health in ways I could never have imagined. The poor children who suffer from Cancers, skin infections, terrible mental issues and psychological distress make me triple think about where I put my money.

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Photo via http://www.truecostmovie.com

For anyone interested to know, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world after the oil industry. To know that I was a part in that makes me want to gag. The trading practices behind garment making are dirty and inhumane. I am super thankful that my conscious woke up after seeing the truth behind all this. This is one of the reasons why I decided that I will gravitate towards vintage as I am at least making an effort to recycle.

Sustainability and recycling is important and if each of us took a minute to look at the fashion industry with a brighter eye, we’d shed a light on the situation at hand and we’d truly make a difference in the world. My momma always says…it takes 2 hands to clap…so let’s all take a moment to ponder and make good shit happen!

 

Here are some links where you can learn more about the subject:
-http://fashionrevolution.org/
-http://truecostmovie.com/
-http://eco-age.com/

 

Until next time!!

 

Cheers x