Ethical menswear brand Brothers We Stand is staging an installation at the Shoreditch headquarters of Amnesty International this week in support of garment workers.
The installation features the portrait of a female worker in Tirupur, southern India, hand-painted onto a canvas of suspended t-shirts, at the factory where Brothers We Stand’s t-shirts are made. It aims to highlight the fact that behind every garment is the person who made, and that person is typically a woman.
Brothers We Stand founder Jonathan Mitchell said of his motivation to create the work: “Many of the people who make our clothes face exploitation, abuse and unsafe conditions on a daily basis. It’s a human rights issue. Through our installation at Amnesty International’s HQ, we aim to draw attention to the urgency of this issue.”
Peter Frankental, Amnesty UK’s Business and Human Rights Programme Director, added: “It’s easy to take for granted those who make the clothes we buy, many of whom are totally invisible to us and work under appalling conditions. Consumers have an important role to play in helping to eliminate labour abuses in global supply chains. Most of us would feel more comfortable if we could be assured about the rights of the people who make our clothing.”
The Brothers We Stand installation provides the ethical clothing brand’s answer to the question: “Who made my clothes?”. This question has been at the centre of the global Fashion Revolution campaign, which now has an active presence in over 100 countries. In 2017, more than 100,000 people used social media to ask the brands they wear, “#whomademyclothes?”.
Hanging from the installation are cards that detail the processes involved in producing the Brothers We Stand branded t-shirts. The first step is the growing of organic cotton in the Ahmedabad region of western India, while the t-shirts themselves are cut and sewn in Tirupur by a SA-8000 certified supplier.
Members of the public will be able to view the installation, which was conceived and designed by Sparks Studio for Brothers We Stand, at the Ethical Consumer Conference taking place on 12 October at Amnesty International HQ.
“Demand for the fashion industry to prioritise labour rights is continuing to gain momentum. The more we can keep the issues in the spotlight the more likely we will be to see change. Our operating model provides an example of how fashion can be done in a transparent and ethical manner,” Mitchell said.