I am not really a business person. I am not trying to be rich, and I never will be. I don't want to make it big, or expand internationally. I am trying to support myself through my craft, with the knowledge that everyone else whose labor has contributed to the garment is trying to do the same thing. The people who tilled the ground, spread the seeds and harvested the plant that would be transformed into cloth. The people who spun those plants into threads, wove those threads into fabric, and dyed them to make beautiful colored fabrics. The people who own fabric stores that sift through and pick out the fabrics to sell us, and finally the person who purchases the final garment from me after I spend hours cutting and sewing it with love and attention. All of us who put effort into my clothing are human and have human needs and desires.
We all want to feel safe, have the love of family and friends, and to be able to support ourselves without having to work for most of our waking hours. The textile industry relies on the labor of marginalized communities, regardless of where in the world their goods are produced. Previously colonized countries are having to bear the cost of American consumers' race for the lowest price. In recognition of this iniquity, 10% of all 13Arrows Clothing purchases go to Homenet, a non-profit that focuses on helping the home workers in 9 different countries in Asia. Homenet seeks to increase awareness, use collective voices to demand fair prices, and empower these hard working women. I support workers' rights, and I hope to help in whatever way I can to make more worker collectives a reality. My work could not be done without the time, effort, and expertise of hundreds of people I will never meet. It is my responsibility to respect them and acknowledge that without them, I couldn’t do my craft.
When you buy a garment from 13Arrows, you know that one person sewed it from start to finish, with attention to detail, building on the work of so many other people. Every garment is unique in some way from any other in the world. This individuality is a part of the connection I like to feel between the things I buy, the individuals that make them, and the world we're all a part of.
We are defined by our actions. You can think nice things all day, but if they doesn’t translate to action, they doesn’t exist for anyone else. We all need to think critically about what we do and how it affects the world we're a part of. We are all in this together after all, and I’m glad I’m on your team.
Much love and cooperation,
Owner, Sewer, Designer and Everything Else-er