Thursday, December 31, 2015

Roma Eco-Ethno Workshop Studio: Clothing and Tradition With A Purpose

This isn’t in my ordinary line of posts. But, I wake up every day 'Abu al Banat' -- I am the father of daughters -- and so I do pay attention to clothes.  My daughter Cassidy did a successful fashion project a few years back to raise money for autism awareness.   So, when I came across an interesting project in the context of one of my colleague’s work on the Roma, and it involved both making public goods and fashion, I wanted to share.

Often marginalized groups are viewed as just the subject of handouts, but it can be a really great project to see them leveraging their traditions to help themselves. This is an example of that in the context of the Roma; a Slovenian Roma community has come up with Amulet, a project about sustainable fashion using Roma traditions (what they call a “Roma eco-ethno workshop studio”). The group reuses and recycles materials, and members of vulnerable groups (principally Roma) produce the clothing and accessories. The inclusive workshop studio offers job opportunities for members of the Roma community as well as other members of society and provides a multicultural work environment, and is supported by grants from EEA/Norway. If you’re intrigued, they’ve got more details here.