Weaving Women Together

This article was published in the Spring 2010 issue of the SAQA Journal, a publication of Studio Art Quilt Associates. We're happy to support the beautiful work of art quilters through our membership, donations, writing and photography.


By Alleson Kase

Photos by Ellen Agger

mudmee fabric dyed with butterfly peaThere’s nothing quite like the sensuous surface of hand-reeled silk. Its slubs add depth. Its sheen adds warmth. When it’s handwoven, you can see the hand of the maker in the silk, says Jamie Pratt, a quilt artist from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Add to this the subtle golden colour from coconut husks or the sky blue from the flowers of the butterfly pea and you have extraordinary fabrics – art in themselves.

When you take this fabric and transform it into a new piece of art – an art quilt – you can see the hands of many makers in the finished piece. And the making of the new form of art has a richness that goes far beyond each of those makers – a fusion of traditions and contemporary creativity, a way to weave women together.

I have admired women’s weavings since my first visit to Guatemala 30 years ago. In the intervening decades I’ve learned that handwoven cloth is an important source of income for many rural women in the developing world; a vital part of what sustains them, their families and their communities, while sustaining their cultural heritage.

Several years ago, my friend Ellen and I visited PraePan, a women’s weaving co-op in Khon Kaen, Thailand. PraePan’s members, like other women in Northeast Thailand and much of Laos, weave in their homes on foot-treadle floor looms made from hardwood and bamboo. Without metal heddles, the warp yarns are usually raised with patterning strings and/or bamboo strips. The weft yarns are thrown by hand in a slender "boat" shuttle, carved from local hardwood, stained dark and worn smooth by years of use.

raising silk worms without the use of chemicals to create organic silk yarnsBefore warps are strung or bobbins filled, women spend months preparing the yarns. Many raise silkworms, boil cocoons and reel silk threads. Some spin their own cotton, after removing the seeds and fluffing the boll into a cloud of fiber. Almost all dye their own yarns, using natural materials they have grown or gathered close to their homes.

The women distill a wonderful array of nature’s colors from leaves, husks, wood chips, barks, berries, fruits and flowers. Slate blues, peony pinks, herbal greens, and spicy browns: all their colors seem to have a third dimension not captured on a color chart and rarely duplicated.

tie-dyeing yarns to create a mudmee design when yarns are wovenMany tie-dye the yarns before weaving with a traditional technique that they call "mudmee," and which we in the West usually refer to as ikat. [Described in a travelogue by Karen Maru in SAQA Journal, Spring 2008] When the mudmee yarns are woven, an elaborate geometric pattern emerges and repeats. If the artist is especially expert, as well as diligent, the pattern can continue for 20 meters!

During a village visit, we saw that their artistry is matched by their practicality. They have adopted fuel efficient stoves for their dye pots, and abandoned heavy metal mordants that pollute village streams. Membership in the co-op gives women access to trainings and appropriate technologies from local rural development groups. These let them improve their products and decrease their costs, while they protect their health and the health of their communities.

Members sell their weaving to the group, receiving payment when pieces are finished rather than when they’re sold to a customer. During our first visit, however, we learned that PraePan had been forced to decline recent requests for new membership because their members were already creating more products than the co-op was selling. On the spot, we decided to buy a portion of the group’s inventory to bring home to Nova Scotia, Canada.

Weaving international links

We realized that a one-time purchase was not going to address PraePan’s marketing problem, so the next year we returned to discuss possible strategies that might lead to a long-term increase in sales. Our first suggestion was to connect them to the Internet, as well as develop a website and shopping cart for them. In dialogue with PraePan staff, we came to understand how impractical this was: the women do not read or write English, so they could not respond to email enquiries that a website would generate.

More crucial is the fact that there are more than 70 million web sites and millions of online shopping carts. Customers must be driven to web sites; given the competitive nature of online marketing, they must also be convinced that artistry, fair trade and environmental stewardship override other concerns of price, availability, and selection. This task is a formidable one that would leave weavers no time to weave, even if they had the skill and resources to take it on.

weaver at her traditional loom made from bamboo and tropical hardwoodConsequently, we formed a social enterprise to market their artwork. We call it TAMMACHAT, which is Thai for "natural." Each year we travel to Thailand and Laos to visit PraePan and other similar groups of village weavers who we meet through their networks. We support these artisans and their communities by choosing quality pieces that are produced with environmentally and socially sustainable practices, by paying fair prices set by the artisan groups themselves, and by returning to the same groups each year with the intent of increasing their income stability through long-term trading relationships.

Some of our customers care about these factors as much as we do; others only need to see the unique beauty of the textiles to appreciate them. Either way, the makers and their methods of production are supported and encouraged. Fiber artists of all sorts seem the most appreciative of our message and these products. Who would better understand the intricate ways that fibers weave us all together?

Un-natural fibers

Silk, cotton and bamboo are all "natural fibers" but they are seldom produced naturally. Most silk is produced in factories that rely on heavy doses of toxic sanitizers and, consequently, are unhealthy workplaces. [See footnote 1 at end of this blog post.] Most cotton is grown with large inputs of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, and unsustainable quantities of irrigation, so much so that an entire sea has been drained dry to produce "affordable" cotton clothing. ["Disappearance of the Aral Sea," Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, May 01, 2006.] Bamboo, the latest green-washed fiber, grows quickly and naturally in the wild but is an extruded yarn produced by an industrial chemical process with toxic effluents like most other rayon.

The weaving groups we work with create silk fabrics that are 100% organic: the silk they weave is raised and reeled in villages; the mulberry leaves fed to the silkworms are free from pesticides; their remarkably dynamic colors are created with natural dyes that are wild crafted or organically raised.

weaver at her loomThese weavers live in areas too dry to support cotton production without irrigation, which they don’t have. This means that, while they do their own dyeing, they usually purchase their cotton yarns. On the other hand, we spent two weeks last year with a group that grows heritage varieties of cotton on the banks of the Mekong River without toxic chemicals or unsustainable irrigation. Together we designed two indigo cotton jackets and a line of decorative pillows. This year we will return there, as well as look for more organic cotton production on the Lao side of the Mekong.

Joint projects

Because quilting is not a traditional style of handwork in this part of Thailand, we initially had some trouble explaining to Thai weavers how their silks might be used by fiber artists in the West. Knowing that a "picture is worth a thousand words," we went online with the technology of a cell phone and a laptop computer to introduce staff members of another weaving co-op, PanMai, to the artwork of Laurie Swim and Valerie Hearder – women we know in Nova Scotia who are also internationally known quilt artists, authors, and instructors.

With that shared understanding, and the weavers’ help and artistic advice, we have produced a unique line of silk squares in four different palettes -- each package containing one mudmee design and four solid colors. We’d gotten the initial idea from Val Hearder, who suggested that we might want to bring silk squares to the bi‑annual Quilt Canada conference. Three months later, we did just that and found that Val was right.

During our next visit, we will discuss with these groups the growing demand in the West for ethically-sourced clothing and share the good news that their extraordinary silk scarves and fabrics are now eco-fashionable.

We hope that increased public awareness of the impacts that textile production has on people and the planet will prompt people to embrace these "slow fashions" as they have "slow food." We hope that groups like PraePan and Panmai can hang on a little longer while the world catches up to their traditional ways, so that they can better sustain what they have learned from their grandmothers and are now preserving for their granddaughters.


Alleson Kase and Ellen Agger live most of the year in Nova Scotia, Canada. Together they have created TAMMACHAT Natural Textiles, a social enterprise that imports handwoven silks and cottons from Thailand and Laos. They market these at fair trade textile events that they create, as well as online at www.tammachat.com.

1. Chlorine, formalin, lime and anti-fungus drugs are used to reduce disease among intensively raised hybrid silkworms. Many women find that they are allergic, or worse, to these chemicals. Symptoms include headaches, eye pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fainting, dyspnoea, coughing, numbness, skin rashes, itching and eye swelling. From “Gender and Natural Resource Management: Livelihoods, Mobility and Interventions.”

#13: Organic Silk in Laos

[This is our last post from our 2009-2010 trip.]

Laos — a small, landlocked, mountainous country wedged between China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma — was once home to some of the best weavers in the world, masters of discontinuous supplementary weft, as detailed and ornate as European tapestry.

house in rural Laos

However, during the "Vietnam" war, American B52s rained cluster bombs over Laos — more bombs per capita than in any other conflict until the 2003 bombing of Baghdad. Lao people were forced to flee their homes and their villages, often taking refuge in caves for years while the war raged on. Understandably, much was lost, materially and culturally.

At the close of the war in 1975, life expectancy, literacy and per capita GNP in Laos were ranked some of the lowest in the world. In the last 20 years, with much international assistance, Laos has slowly climbed to 133 on the United Nations’ Human Development Index of 182 countries.

In an effort to support women and rural communities in these changes, we ride 11 long and crowded hours on a 2nd class bus through the mountains of Central Laos.

Kommaly Chantavong, founder of Lao Sericulture Company

When we arrive tired but safely in Xieng Khuang, we are warmly greeted by Kommaly Chanthavong, visionary and founder of Lao Sericulture Company. Two years ago we purchased some beautiful scarves made by them. This year we have made a special order, rather than purchase stock on hand at their shop in Vientiane, so we’ve come to see for ourselves where and how it will be made.

"We work for our producers," Kommaly tells us early in our 3-day visit. As the visit unfolds, the importance of this simple statement becomes clear. This fair trade enterprise works with hundreds of families in this and neighbouring provinces.

Sǔan Món – Mulberry Farm – becomes our home base. It’s a demonstration organic farm and a centre for research and training. It’s also home to a large but low-tech sericulture facility where silkworms are raised, new varieties are bred and silk yarns created. The farm also includes a weaving and dyeing centre, where most of Lao Sericulture’s natural dyeing takes place.

organic mulberry field
Acres of mulberry bushes, heavily but carefully pruned, now fill fields where once only sugar cane grew. Mulberry leaves are the natural diet of silkworms, which only eat them fresh. We walk through the fields, nibbling not leaves but fresh mulberries, which are also used to make a range of purple dyes. Lao Sericulture is also developing mulberry wine as a new product. Not surprisingly, Lao Sericulture silk scarves are marketed under the brand name Mulberries.

Lao Sericulture has a long-term lease on the land from the local government. In fact, the government invited Kommaly here to work with local village groups to reduce poverty by providing training and markets for sericulture, natural dyeing and weaving. When villagers come to the farm for training, they are taught the entire cycle of silk creation as it is practiced organically and sustainably by Lao Sericulture.

The scope of the operation impresses us both. We begin our visit with the cows, whose manure is a main component of the rich compost that feeds the mulberry plants. "This is where it all starts," Kommaly tells us as she explains that many of the villagers receive a cow, as well as training, and later return a calf to the farm so that the practice can be sustained.

making compost at Lao Sericulture Company organic farmKommaly goes on to tell us that 21 people will have their hands in the production of each of the silk scarves we’ve ordered. It’s easy to believe, as we visit a herd of cows, a large composting operation, and fields and fields of mulberry bushes: all of which are cared for by people rather than machines. We also go into the silk rearing houses where 4 different kinds of silkworms are carefully raised – without chemicals. During our visit they sit empty, however, as winters on the plateau of Xieng Khuang, although pleasantly cool for us Canadians, are too chilly for Bombyx mori – the cultivated silkworm – which prefer a consistent, warm temperature around 28˚.

In one workshop, we watch the reeling and finishing of silk yarns. In another, we see dye pots filled with mulberry fruits, indigo, stick lac insect resin, leaves of all sorts, even mud. All of them simmer away on custom-made, fuel-efficient stoves that burn coarse sawdust from a nearby mill that processes hardwood timber.

Kommaly Chantavong on Lao Sericulture Company's organic farm
At the end of the first day, we visit the workshop where skilled weavers realize captivating designs based on traditional patterns as well as the images and colours that occur to Kommaly as she gazes at her favourite view. "My studio," she says, as she sweeps her hand towards the expanse of fields rising to distant mountains.

weavers at Lao Sericulture Company's organic farm
This is impressive and important work, especially on the scale in which it’s undertaken, but what strikes us most is what we see the next day when we travel to 2 of the villages that are also part of the Lao Sericulture network. Villages like these are where the scarves we’ve ordered will begin life, as they’ll be woven with traditional Lao silk raised in small village households. Unlike the weaving groups in Thailand with whom we work, these households most often participate in only 1 step of the process – in this case, the production of silk yarns.

villagers talk with Kommaly ChantavongWe drive 2 hours – more than half of the time on an unusually narrow and badly fissured, unpaved road. Before it was built a few years ago, Kommaly and her husband walked 5 to 6 hours along a dirt path to visit these villagers. While travel is much easier now, it’s still true that silk is an ideal cash crop for remote villagers, as it has a high value relative to its weight or volume. It can also be stored, waiting for transportation or customers, without spoiling.

sand water filter that helps improve villagers' health
As well as providing income within this village, Lao Sericulture has helped the villagers build sand and rock water filters and better toilets. Together these projects have greatly improved health in the village. But despite the new road and activities like those of Lao Sericulture, we see deep poverty throughout the area. Most people in Laos are subsistence farmers but here we see bomb craters in what are now fields. We also see green onions and mint planted in bomb casings that recall the haunting exhibit we saw in Vientiane at the office of COPE (the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise.) Obviously, it’s a long road to recovery when you’ve been bombed back to the Stone Age, as some have said of Laos.


organic silk scarf from Lao Sericulture Company
A week later we pick up our order at Mulberries’ shop in Vientiane. The traditional Lao silk gives the scarves a nubbly texture similar to the feel of linen but richer – a bit like the way lanolin makes wool so different from cotton. The colours we’ve chosen for the 2 designs in this year’s collection are gorgeous: pearled blue, eggplant, ruby red, sapphire, thatch, leaf green. We’re fascinated that each group with whom we work produces such a different palette, based on the plants that grow well in their region, and their own traditions and skills in creating natural dyes.

Lao Sericulture is proud of its work and its recognition as a fair trade enterprise by the World Fair Trade Organization. Kommaly has received international awards for her designs and she was one of the 1000 peacewomen nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. But we sense that most important to her is the reward of helping reduce poverty in northeast Laos while reviving traditional skills that were almost lost. We’re pleased to play a small part in that recovery, and proud to bring these artisanal and sustainable fashions to the West.

Ellen & Alleson

Slow Fashion: An Opportunity to Celebrate

We're thrilled to post this article about the philosophy of Slow Fashion and its connection to the Slow Food movement by guest blogger Pam Johnston. Pam is a recent graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with a bachelor of fine arts (major in textiles and minor in fashion). She is an active member of the Clothing and Textile Action Group at Nova Scotia's Ecology Action Centre. Photos by TAMMACHAT's co-founder, Ellen Agger. [Citations at the end of this article.]



The summer of 2005 was a turning point in my life. During a trip to Vietnam I saw something beautiful that was missing from my experience of Canadian urban and suburban culture.

Each morning, before 5 a.m. farmers from surrounding regions brought fresh produce to the city center of Ha Noi to be sold at markets. Each day locals went to the market to select goods for their day’s meals. The market was filled with herbs, flowers, vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats, and fish I had never seen before. And the people used everything well.

banana tree
For example, every part of banana trees was used. Banana fruit was eaten, banana leaves were used to wrap steamed sticky rice, and banana tree trunks were sliced thinly and used as garnish for hot dishes. The foods there were fresh, local, traditional and unique to their country—and the flavour was out of this world!

fresh market in Southeast Asia
Market vendor in neighbouring Thailand

It was after returning to Nova Scotia from Vietnam that I experienced a fresh hunger to know what types of produce and traditional recipes were unique to Nova Scotia. I wanted to know who grew and prepared the food I was consuming, and to feel as connected to the place I lived as the people in Vietnam appeared to be.

farmers market in CanadaMy trip to Vietnam and many subsequent trips to the farmer’s market have taught me that getting the most out of my dollar does not necessarily mean getting more items faster. Sometimes it means getting more quality. Bess Nielson once said, "true luxury is that which gives as much to one’s spirit as it does to one’s material needs" (Selvedge 79). Buying food from Superstore does something to fill my material needs. But buying goods from the farmer’s market allows me the opportunity to support local businesses, enjoy the creativity of local, independent artisans and meet them face-to-face. This meets my material needs as well as my spiritual needs for community, connection and contribution.

Recently the Slow Food movement has gained recognition and influence across the globe. In the mid-1980s Slow Food was born in opposition to the proliferation of "identical, repeated, predictable" fast food (Sterling 112). Alice Waters, in her foreword to Carlo Petrini’s book Slow Food: The Case for Taste, poignantly summarizes the key principles held up by the movement, and the impact they can have on one’s thinking and everyday experience:

sharing a meal with weavers
Under Carlo’s remarkable leadership, Slow Food has become a standard bearer against the fast-food values that threaten to homogenize and industrialize our food heritage. Slow Food reminds us that our natural resources are limited, and that we must resist the ethic of disposability that is reflected everywhere in our culture. Slow food reminds us that food is more than fuel to be consumed as quickly as possible and that, like anything worth doing, eating takes time. Slow Food reminds us of the importance of knowing where our food comes from. When we understand the connection between the food on our table and the fields where it grows, our everyday meals can anchor us to nature and the place where we live. And Slow Food reminds us that cooking a meal at home can feed our imaginations and educate our senses. For the ritual of cooking and eating together constitutes the basic element of family and community life (Petrini ix-x).

The principles described here—preservation of cultural diversity, wise use of natural resources, allowing time for creation and enjoyment, connecting product with raw material and producer, and working in community—have deep relevance to patterns of production and consumption of all objects, including clothing.

In this essay I compare "fast fashion" to fast food, and examine how conventional fast fashion practices today have led us to a critical point of decision. The damaging effects of wasteful consumption on Earth, and the uniformity that globalizes fast fashion produces leave us yearning for an approach to fashion that has more integrity, endurance, and meaning. In the same way that Slow Food arose to build sustainable alternatives to careless, frenzied eating habits, the Slow Fashion movement provides viable alternatives to cheap, speedy, image-based fashion. It calls us to give care, attention and intention to our fashion purchases. It calls us to be creative and work within limited resources, leaving behind the attitude that more and bigger are always better.

The Problem of Fast Fashion

When you think "fast fashion" you can think disposable, short-lived and cheap; seasonal change, image glorification, and mass marketing; mass production, quantity, standardization, and identical product; mediocre quality, lack of meaning and value; and international acceptance and global homogenization. These are the qualities that characterize fast fashion, and for many North Americans it is the only type of fashion they know.

mass-produced blue jeans
Fast fashion has been made possible in our generation by a number of factors. According to Sarah Scatturo, one of the main factors is "the perfection of networked technological systems streamlining the design, manufacturing, and consumption of clothing" (Scaturro 469-88). Also, the development of man-made fibres and genetically modified fibre crops have enabled textile producers to push the limits of the land’s natural capacity as well as bypass more labour-intensive, time-consuming natural fibre processing procedures in order to meet growing demands for clothing. In addition, the lifting of import quotas in January of 2005 (in accordance with the World Trade Organizations Agreement on Textiles and Clothing) allows inexpensive foreign imports to flood once-protected markets in Canada and the US, in turn increasing competitiveness among manufacturers (Industry Canada 4). Advancements in global communications have made way for fast, effective global marketing strategies, resulting in fleeting fashion images and trends being disseminated to all ends of the earth.

As a result, much of the Western world has an increasingly insatiable lust and ability to buy more clothing than ever before. According to Sandy Black’s investigation into this issue, "Relative to income, clothes are now far cheaper than they were a few decades ago. Clothing sales have increased by 60 percent in the last ten years. We now consume one third more clothing than even four years ago…and discard it after wearing just a few times or indeed, even once" (Black 14).

In the same way problematic fast-food values are manifested in the North American obesity pandemic, the consequences of fast fashion gluttony are becoming increasingly evident. For example, in the UK, 30 kilograms of textile and clothing waste per person is dumped in the landfill each year! (Collet 18). There are also the problems of sickness and death resulting from the use of pesticides on conventional cotton crops, water pollution and damaged ecosystems from textile manufacture waste, and a great deal of energy and water used to make and care for an overabundance of clothing (Scatturo 469-88).

growing organic cotton
Farmers in Thailand grow organic cotton
along the banks of the Mekong River

In addition to the burden on the planet and the resulting illnesses for those in polluted areas, fast fashion takes a toll on the factory workers who must meet high demands for output. We have all heard sad stories of workers being extremely underpaid and overworked to meet the demands of massive global retailers. Thanks to trade liberalization, this pressure is now not only felt by overseas workers but also by Canadian manufacturers, as they struggle to compete in the global manufacture market (Industry Canada 5). The Earth and its people are groaning under this weight of injustice and greed.

An Opportunity to Celebrate

Situations like this inevitably dampen our spirits. However, there are two kinds of sorrow: one that leads to death, and one that leads to repentance. The first type despairs, seeing no future, no hope and no opportunity for change. The second type acknowledges what is wrong and turns around to walk in the other direction, celebrating the opportunity to change, and looking beyond the situation towards the potential.

Slow Fashion is like the brave soul who leaves the masses on their wide, smooth dead-end highway to march steadily along a narrow, difficult path to a bright future. In Grace Cochrane’s article "Australia and New Zealand: Design and the Handmade" she states that businesses working on a smaller scale have the option of "offer[ing] something that is of higher value and produced in smaller runs that reach a particular discerning market both at home and elsewhere". She goes on to say that while the "game is hard", it is also "often rewarding and distinctive" (Alfoldy 64). Many advocates of Slow Fashion are small enterprises and, though their position is tough in light of powerful and vast retailers, I am convinced that they have an essential and influential role to play. The success of the Slow Food movement gives us hope, and at this point I would like to parallel the two movements by adapting the principles quoted earlier:

Under the leadership of brave designers, Slow Fashion has become a standard bearer against the fast-fashion values that threaten to homogenize and industrialize our fashion heritage. Slow Fashion reminds us that our natural resources are limited, and that we must resist the ethic of disposability that is reflected everywhere in our culture. Slow Fashion reminds us that fashion is more than image to be consumed and changed as quickly as possible and that, like anything worth doing, creating valuable vestments takes time. Slow Fashion reminds us of the importance of knowing where our clothes come from. When we understand the connection between the clothes on our backs and the fields where fibre grows and the studios where fabric is shaped and embellished, our everyday clothing anchors us to nature and the place where we live. And Slow Fashion reminds us that participation in the design process can feed our imaginations and educate our senses (author’s adaptation of Alice Water’s foreword in Petrini ix-x).

Slow Fashion responds to the problems of fast fashion by offering an alternative approach to design, production and consumption. When you think Slow Fashion, you can think value, quality, and craftsmanship; creativity within limitations, versatility, and personalization; staying power, heirloom quality, and extended life span; transparent production systems, regional and traditional craft skills, and collaboration.

weaver at her loom
Various designers exemplify these values in differing ways. Some extend the lifecycle of existing damaged or unloved garments by redesigning or custom fitting. Others make use of localized cooperatives that offer high-quality handwork and innovative applications of traditional craft skills. Some incorporate recycled or reclaimed fabrics into couture-type designs, while others use new materials to create long-lasting garments that can be worn in different ways by people of varying sizes and genders. Some work in collaboration with the end user by personalizing designs through colour or fabric choice, unique embellishments or perfect fitting. Sandy Black sums up the ethos simply: "buying long-lasting craftsmanship, highest quality and unique items means they will be treasured for a long time, becoming heirlooms of the future, and contributing to a lower rate of consumption" (Black 79).

handwoven, organic silk scarf
If you are like me, you might still ask yourself how this type of business could actually survive—and could it thrive? —in today’s consumerist society. If the success of the Slow Food movement is any indicator, then Slow Fashion will survive and grow through tenacious, innovative designers networking to share knowledge, to infiltrate conventional fashion institutions and to educate others. Because of the very nature of Slow Fashion, the businesses that adhere to its principles will not grow to become massive global retailers. As Bruce Sterling put it in his article "The Revenge of the Slow", a local product with "irreducible rarity" can only be sold to a select few across the globe, and not to the masses, as its production cannot be scaled up (Sterling 114-116). Slow Fashion designers instead need to unite their disparate niches through cultural networking (Sterling 116). The Internet is a valuable tool in this regard. It is also a way designer-makers can educate the public, provide transparency about their production methods, allow consumers to collaborate, and sell directly to consumers without the mediation of retailers.


slow fashion
Slow Fashion is a baby movement, having been born of the Slow Design movement just within this decade. Its growth hinges on a shifting of heart and attitude towards the way we consume clothing—from an attitude of carelessness, ignorance and waste to one of stewardship, intention and pleasure in simple, valuable everyday experiences. This shift will take time and effort, but through steadfast commitment on the part of designer-makers and educators awareness will grow. My hope is that people will be so enamored with the beauty and virtue of Slow Fashion’s principles and product that they will forget about the less satisfying alternative of fast fashion.


Works Cited

Alfoldy, Sandra, ed. NeoCraft: Modernity and the Crafts. Halifax: The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 2007.

Black, Sandy. Eco-Chic: The Fashion Paradox. London, UK: Black Dog Publishing, 2008.

Clark, Hazel. "Slow + Fashion—an Oxymoron—or a Promise for the Future…?" Fashion Theory. Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 427-446. December 2008.

Collet, Carole. "The Next Textile Revolution". Responsive Textile Environments. Ed. Sarah Bonnemaison and Christine Macy. Halifax: TUNS Press, 2007.

Industry Canada. A Canadian Approach to the Apparel Global Value Chain. Prepared by Milstein & Co Consulting Inc. March 2008.

Petrini, Carlo. Slow Food: The Case for Taste. Trans. William McCuaig. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.

Scaturro, Sarah. "Eco-Tech Fashion: Rationalizing Technology in Sustainable Fashion". Fashion Theory. Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 469-88. December 2008.

Sterling, Bruce. "Revenge of the Slow". Metropolis. Vol. 27, No. 8, pp. 112-116. March 2008.