We began sewing in the very early days of 2nd Story, way back in 2011.
We'd search the stalls in our local open air market for soft fabrics and interesting patterns. We love purchasing from local business women in our own city. The banter and mom to mom conversations a big part of the exchange!
We'd then take the clothes back to our workshop to be hand-washed, sun-dried, often cut into a new pieces to become truly upcycled goods that are completely unique.
We did this because we saw 2 big problems.
1) Textiles from other nations flood the developing world. Virtually closing down clothes production in country. Many of the pieces were not even sellable as they are often dated and had holes or buttons missing, so eventually they would end up in the landfill.
2) We had talented people who could sew but didn't have jobs.
The sewing group was our solution.
Our little workshop in Jubilee didn't yet have electricity so we bought 4 foot-powered treadle sewing machines.
Have you ever tried one of these?
It is an art form with a beautiful rhythm motion between your feet pedaling and your hands moving the fabric past the needle. Philippe has been the leader/ teacher of this group since its beginning. The art that has been produced in this group never ceases to amaze me.