“If you buy a garment for 3 Euros, you’re buying somebody’s suffering”

“To create a community that appreciates the art of crafts”. This was the goal of Kavita Parmar and Marcella Echavarria when they set up the textile festival XTANT, a space for learning, entering into dialogue and becoming aware of the crafts that are produced in different places around the world.

Over 20 years ago Marcella, an editor and director of magazines related to the textile industry, realised that in her native Colombia many craftspeople were losing their ancestral knowledge of how to make things. “There was an urgency to preserve and document all that, so that it wouldn’t be lost forever”, she says. Meanwhile Kavita was working for established companies and created two brands of her own, Raasta and Suzie Wong, which are sold in more than 200 multi-brand retail stores. “In 2008, I realised that I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing, because I didn’t have enough time to create. 

That was when I set up the IOU programme, where consumers can see the traceability of the product and create awareness. If you buy a garment for three Euros, it’s because you’re buying somebody’s suffering”, she explains. Kavita and Marcella met through the IOU project and started to collaborate on [...]


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