Life In Mexico

Chiapas Bazaar is Proud to Support Fashion Revolution Day

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Chiapas Bazaar is fortunate to connect constantly with the people making the clothes we sell in our shop.  Not everyone has that  privilege – have you met the person who made your super cute blouse from Target?  Where was it made?  What were their conditions like?  What is the person´s story?  That´s exactly what Fashion Revolution Day is about.  It´s about asking those question along the entire fashion supply chain and it´s also about taking a moment to honor the 1,133 people who DIED making clothing last year in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Check out Fashion Revolution Day Mexico, where Courtney, co-founder of Chiapas Bazaar, is proud to be the country coordinator in Mexico for this amazing global initiative.  

More information about Fashion Revolution..

Fashion is a force to be reckoned with. It celebrates, provokes, and entertains. And, from April 24th 2014, it’s going to do even more. Because we’re turning fashion into a force for good.

On 24th April last year, 1133 people were killed and over 2500 were injured when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Social and environmental catastrophes in our fashion supply chains continue.

Fashion Revolution Day says enough is enough.

HOW DID FASHION REVOLUTION START?

A Eureka moment – “The idea for Fashion Revolution Day actually came to me in the bath…”  Founder of Fashion Revolution and ethical fashion pioneer, Carry Somers says. “I wondered if the Rana Plaza disaster could act as a catalyst by using the heightened awareness around ethical fashion to bring about real change. Fashion Revolution Day represents an exciting opportunity to reconnect fashion-lovers with the people who made their clothes.”

Led by a board of industry leaders, campaigners, press and academics from within the sector and beyond, Fashion Revolution Day has become the catalyst that brings together those who want to see change within the industry. Find out more about our Founders, the Global Advisory Committee and The Fashion Revolution Day Board here: Fashion Revolution Global Advisory Committee

 FASHION REVOLUTION IS NOW IN 58 COUNTRIES AND ALL OF THEM ARE PARTICIPATING IN THIS YEARS MOVEMENT “WHO MADE YOUR CLOTHES?”

Within 8 months Fashion Revolution has become a global movement with over 58 countries involved (and growing!).  

There is now an unprecedented number or of individuals and organisations working together to share the same message. You can see some of the organisations on this link: Fashion Revolution Day Friends  

 

The Fashion Revolution central office supports all countries involved to build teams, plan strategy, manage events and collaborate with national and local organisations, educational institutions and businesses. Fashion Revolution HQ in the UK developed and supplied all branding, marketing and educational tools for each country at no cost.

 Visit this link to see all the countries involved so far, the people involved and events for each country:  Fashion Revolutions Global Community and Events

We have seen partnerships and collaborations form along the entire supply chain adding to the belief that Fashion Revolution has the potential to improve lives around the world.

Co-Founder, Orsola de Castro says “With one simple gesture, #insideout, we want you to ask: “Who Made Your Clothes?” this action will encourage people to imagine the ‘thread’ from the garment to the machinist that sewed it and all the way down to the farmer that grew the cotton it was made from”. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life In Mexico

5 Reasons that THIS is the Perfect Summer Blouse

chic mexican folk blouse

These blouses are amazing, especially as we’re heading in to the steamy days of summer.  They are deliciously made by hand, created by the talented weavers of southern Mexico and best of all – they’re BEAUTIFUL.  They come in tons of fun candy colors and also just simple classic classy white.

  1. These blouses are handmade in the truest sense of the word.  The artisan starts with a glorious pile of threads and turns those magnificent threads into this blouse.  All the while adding in the small design detail and brocading their unique signature into the blouse.
  2. This is slow fashion.  This blouse wasn’t cranked out in a factory in Asia.  No, this blouse took over a week to create using a technique that dates back to the Mayan period.
  3. This is ethical fashion.  Only local materials are used – not because it’s a trend. No, just because that’s how things are done in rural Chiapas.  Further, not only is the artisan paid a fair wage for her work, she also works from the comfort of her home, near her family.
  4. This blouse looks great on ALL body types.  Are you square shaped?  No problem, in fact, so is the blouse.  Are you a little wide through the shoulders?  No, problem, the blouse will look great on you.  Have a bit of a tummy?  Don’t worry, this blouse flows great on all body types.
  5. Support rural artisans.  Yep, you can also feel good about purchasing a blouse like this.  You contributed to the continuation of a cultural tradition, to the economic development of a community, and to the support of women artisans.
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It´s fun to show off our cool Mexican blouses on #viernestradicional

Our best-selling Margarita blouse in hunter green with beige hand embroidery. Exquisite hand-detailing – we are in love with these blouses! Super light weight and great for summa-summa-summa time! And yes, our dog Wembley likes to dress up too! #wembleyforever

Life In Mexico

It´s fun to show off our cool Mexican blouses on #viernestradicional

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Life In Mexico

Lighweight Spring Scarves

In the winter, scarves are a necessity, but in the spring, they’re a must have accessory!  These are some must have scarves for spring – not only are they lightweight, but they’re super versatile and go from being a chunky neck scarf to something light to cover your shoulders on Saturday night in your LBD.  And to top it all off – they’re handwoven on the backstrap loom.  Handwoven means the artisans started with just threads, and with their immense skill and talents, they wove these threads into a scarf using an ancient technique passed down for generations.  You won’t find that artisanship quality or soul at the GAP.  

 

Here are the top picks:

 

Classic White – your everyday go to scarf that just screams ¨Look out everyone, spring is here!¨ 

Colors & Tradition – For the girl with a bit of a wild side with an appreciation for fine art and creativity of the rural artisans.

Poppin’ Red – Make your bright red statement with this handwoven scarf for a pop of color on those days with April showers.

 

View the entire handmade scarf collection at www.chiapasbazaar.com

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Life In Mexico

Our Mexican Wedding Favors

At our recent wedding in Tulum in the Riviera Maya, we couldn´t let our guests go home empty-handed.  Nor could we exclude something amazing from Chiapas – the state where Mauricio is from and Courtney´s adopted home.  

Working with the artisans, we put together small passport holders for our internationally traveling guests.  We made them out of telar from San Andres, had them lined with a polysilk material and made them in both bright pinks and more subdued colors for the men.  We also gave small bags of organic Chiapas coffee – another one of our favorite items from this fabulous state.  

Here´s a little peek at what we did.

www.chiapasbazaar.com

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http://vimeo.com/74925913

This word, telar, is thrown around a lot here in Chiapas. We use it quite a bit on Chiapas Bazaar too…like in this blouse, in this table runner, and much more! But what exactly is telar? How can we translate that to English?

Technically, the word telar means loom. But we also use the word telar to signify the actual fabric that comes from a loom, specifically the backstrap loom, which is used with amazing skill here in Chiapas, Mexico. So when you see one of our products that says telar, then you’ll know it comes from the backstrap loom.

This style of weaving in Chiapas dates back to the period of the Mayans. In fact, some of the symbols that you can see on the murals at Bonampak still make an appearance here in the weavings of the artisans. The history and this tradition is mind-blowing. Young girls start to learn how to weave at a very young age, carrying on the tradition of their mothers and grandmothers. When using something made of telar or wearing something in telar, you are wearing years and years of tradition.

Below is a video that shows how to set up a backstrap loom. Yes, for a non-weaver, it’s as complicated as it looks!

Life In Mexico

The perfect gift for your mother-in-law

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There are certain people that are really difficult to buy gifts for, like that really rich uncle and your dad.  Or even your own mother-in-law.  The gift must be tasteful, classic, and hopefully something that she will use.

We have a tip for you today.  The easiest gift you can get her (unless she lives in tropical southern Mexico like mine) is a scarf.  “Ay dios, how cliche!”, you’re saying as you close this blog post.  Wait.  This isn’t just a scarf.  This scarf is special. This scarf has a story that you’ll be able to share with your family members around the holiday table.  You’ll tell them how it’s handmade in Mexico.  You’ll tell them how it’s made using a technique that has been perfected for over 1,000 years – a technique passed down from the Mayans.  You’ll tell them that it takes over a week to hand weave (yes, thread by thread) this scarf.  You’ll tell them it also created employment for women in rural area of Mexico.  Now, you see, it’s not just a scarf.  It has ancient history, it creates jobs, and – mas que nada – it is outrageously beautiful, soft, and goes with everything.

It might be not appropriate for your gazillionaire uncle, but we are sure that your mother-in-law will love it!

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Life In Mexico

The Plight of the Artisan

We’re really thrilled to publish this chill-inducing post by our friend and supporter, Emily Getty . As a seasoned international development professional who has visited Chiapas and lived in Mexico, as well as many other places in the world where artisans toil to survive, she has a meaningful insight into their plight.  

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The Plight of the Artisan

By Emily Getty

Woman Weaver in Chiapas

 

 

I see it in their weary faces, their callused hands and tired feet.  I see the glassy eyes, behind them wrinkled thoughts.  Their work is colorful, vibrant, and beautiful.  Their lives are lived in poverty, without access, without. This is the plight of artisans.  They do what they know.  They make beautiful things in dire circumstances.  Their deepest imaginings come to life on their chosen canvas be it teak wood, wool, linen, cotton or dried reeds.  They make tradition dance before us in colorful scarves, woven baskets and engraved boxes.  They string orange, blue, white and red beads into an intricate pattern that to them tells a history of love, loss and survival.  They work endlessly to preserve their mind’s creations in forms that speak to others in a way that moves them. This is the plight of artisans.

 Artisan man working in Chiapas, Mexico

 

Artisans are everywhere.  They are trapped in situations that force them to hang up their passions and work to survive. They are trapped into making the mundane graphic t-shirts with stupid phrases because they sell.  Their creativity is trapped.  Many are too far away to make a living from their art and are forced to choose a life less beautiful to provide for their families.  Chiapas Bazaar is giving back the power to the artisan and in doing so bringing back the beautiful diversity of artistic goods in Mexico.  Here is to the hope of the artisans trapped in the cocoons of survival.  May you emerge as exquisite butterflies painting the skies with a brighter future.Women artisans working in a village in Chiapas, Mexico

 

 

 

 

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