Slow Fashion is a documentary series that calls for accountability in the fashion industry:
Part One takes place in Southern Mexico where designs are being appropriated from indigenous cultures by major fashion companies like Zara. Mexico's Ministry of Culture asks three global companies for a "public explanation on what basis it could privatize collective property." So the question is posed: Can credit and even compensation be given to these women artisans, where the designs originate, and given the economic disparity between these indigenous communities and the companies appropriating their designs, it becomes a matter of not only collective property rights, but also human rights and the dignity of their culture.
Part Two of the series takes place in Laos, where we see how artisans can be treated fairly and compensation can be given by individual designers, operating on a smaller more sustainable scale. The question arises: What is the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation?
Part Three takes place in Jaipur, India and shows how a, International designer in NYC chooses people and the planet over profit by treating artisans as partners and using environmentally sound materials and practices, engaging in a new circular economy. And the impact that one maverick designer has on the consumer, the artisans and the village is palpable.
Slow Fashion is a documentary that looks at cultural appropriation of indigenous designs by global fashion companies and the communities of women weavers and block printers in Mexico, Laos and India:
First, we go to Oaxaca in Southern Mexico where designs are being appropriated from indigenous cultures by major fashion companies. Mexico's Ministry of Culture has asked these global companies for a "public explanation on what basis it could privatize collective property." So the question is posed: Can credit and even compensation be given to the indigenous designers living in communities where the designs come from? And given the vast economic disparity between local communities of origin and the global companies, who are appropriating their designs; it becomes a matter of not only collective property rights, but also human and cultural rights.
Next we arrive at a women’s cooperative in Laos, where we see the craft up close and learn about the value of culture, a window into the craft of weaving and different communities of Laotian weavers. The question arises: How should a designer respect culture and not just take from the artisans, but also return something too?
Finally, we follow Mireia Lopez, a New York City designer, and see how they respect indigenous culture, not just taking designs and craft for financial gain, but also giving back to communities in return. Choosing people over profit, Mirea treats the artisans fairly. The impact one progressive designer can have on the lives of artisans she works with is palpable.
Slow Fashion documentary directed by Melissa Eidson has been invited by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico to participate in the Original 2023 event in Mexico City with a round table discussion on Friday, November 17 at 1:00 pm and a screening on Saturday November 18 at 3:00 pm. María Novaro of the Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía (IMCINE) will introduce the documentary to the various communities of weavers in attendance.
Original is a cultural movement that was born in Mexico and is dedicated to raising awareness about the value of artisanal work and collective property rights; it seeks to promote the construction of a new ethics in the relationships of artisans and their communities with the national and international design industry. Every year, more than a thousand artisans from all over the country meet at the Los Pinos Cultural Complex (former Presidential Palace) to exhibit and sell their work and fashion shows. In this framework, dialogue and training forums are held where they address topics related to textile art and where artisans participate, students, promoters, public institutions and specialists.
Friday November 17 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Discussion & Screening: Slow fashion documentary
Participants: Melissa Eidson, director of Slow Fashion documentary
Marina Núñez Bespalova, Undersecretary of Culture of the government of Mexico
Master Weaver Honorina Gómez Martínez (Oaxaca, featured in Slow Fashion documentary)
Master Artisan Juan Rubén Tamayo (Coahuila).
Moderator: Elena Vázquez of the National Fund for the Promotion of Crafts (FONART)
Saurday November 18 from 3:00 to 4:00
Screening of Slow fashion documentary directed by Melissa Eidson.
Sinopsis: Analysis of cultural appropriation of indigenous designs by global fashion companies
and communities of women weavers and block printers in Mexico, Laos and India.
Duration: 55 minutos.
Location: Casa Miguel Alemán
Residencia Official de Los Pinos
San Miguel de Chapultepec 1 Secc.
Molino del Rey 1, Miguel Hidalgo, 11580 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico