Know Your Darjee weaving magic : Time has evolved and so have we. Gone are those days when one or maximum three shirts ruled the wardrobe. Back then, shopping was a luxury. Buying a piece of clothing was considered precious, it was a token of celebration. People mended their clothes, re-used and customized the items they valued. Today, we live in a world where people demand variety. More options mean greater chances of sustaining style. Undoubtedly, our wardrobes are over-flowing with clothes for all occasions, from weddings to partying with friends, to everything that comes our way. Realistically, we would not need new set of clothes for at least a decade. Yet none of this stops us from adding new items to our wish-list. How many times have you worn that expensive designer dress, the same dress that cost you a fortune, after your #ootd picture hit 500 likes on your social feed? It’s tough to keep wearing same clothes for longer especially when we are tempted with irresistible deals and trending styles. But before you head out to grab these offers, it’s time to spare a thought for the impact fast fashion has made.
Did you know that the fashion industry turns over $1.2 trillion a year worldwide and is the world’s second largest polluter? Did you know that one in six people work in this global industry, majority of them earn less than $3 a day. Seldom do we wonder about the journey our clothes take to get on the racks of our favourite retail outlet. Fortunately, today, organizations have emerged to transform the social scenario by bringing into light the inner workings of the fashion industry. One such group is called ‘Know Your Darjee’.
The Start To The Journey Of ‘Know Your Darjee’
Started by four designers, who graduated from New York’s Parsons School of Design, KYD (Know Your Darjee) brings recognition to every individual who has contributed to the creation of a garment by narrating their journey, emotions, opinions on the workings of the fashion industry and their vision for the future.
While drinking wine, in their cosy apartment in New York, to drown their frustrations of being treated as cheap labour, the four friends realized that they were only small pawns in this $1.2 trillion business. This led them to think of the countless people who have dedicated their lives to the industry and how their stories were never heard and that no one would know that it was their hands that created the fabric, dyed the colour, embroidered the pattern or sewed the fabric together. Uplifting the profession and enlightening people about ‘who is a Darjee’ and ‘what does she/he do?’ was how their journey towards a change began.
Fast Fashion & It’s Impact On Darjees
Often mocked and termed as Darjee’, a Darjee’s work is not only for the uneducated.
“The skills and techniques require immense training and experience. A Darjee is an expert and we believe that this profession should not be regarded less than any other corporate job.”
With an intent to redefine craftsmanship, KYD unveils the true side of fashion, the side which today’s consumer is oblivious to.
Ever wondered, while you added that gleaming leather skirt and ten more items to your shopping cart, a girl, just like you, was sitting in a factory with stench of chemicals polluting the air, in a room stuffed with countless workers? The amount you spent on that jacket, in a few seconds, is the amount she makes to provide for her family’s needs for one week? And that, she was asked to work harder and longer because a company wanted beat to its competitor by selling more? Today, the value of human life in age of fast fashion has been lost, as a result, many garment workers are losing their lives to the industry. While fast fashion has managed to sell clothes as quickly as possible, is the profit, valued over workers’ safety and our environment, worth it? By driving readers into the world of Darjees, KYD intends to provide them with staggering facts that exist behind the clothing they wear; as well as to enter into the whimsical world of ‘Darjees’ which is filled with as much beauty as it is with strife.
“We travel to various places where the textile, artisanal and manufacturing industry thrive to study our Darjees, their lives and the impact that the fashion industry has on their skills, livelihood and passion.”
Bridging The Gap Between Darjees, Professionals & Consumers
No piece of clothing is worth more than someone’s life. KYD provides an opportunity to become allies with Darjees. Binding with a common thread of love and compassion, it has created a platform to strengthen the bond between artisans and the consumers. They aim to be the change makers to create a world where fashion is to sustain and not to exploit; to create a network of like-minded people who can translate their goals into action by solving the problems plaguing the Darjees.
“We believe that our readers can actively participate in finding solutions to sustain the labour-hood of this industry. We provide them with tools that enable them to make more cautious consumption choices and increase demand in creations made with love by our darjees.”
In order to make a difference, we, consumers, must learn as much as we can and use that learning to help those who are trapped in today’s slavery. A lot of brands,especially fast fashion brands exploit their workers in multiple ways i.e by not providing proper wages and decent working conditions to be able to create the garments at your desired price. Starting out can be as easy as buying apparel from brands who value their workers. It’s a simple step towards valuing and saving someone’s life.