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'We need to champion slow, conscious products'

  • Published at 10:53 am June 15th, 2020
D2_June 15, 2020_FDCB’s Adopt an Artisan
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FDCB’s Adopt an Artisan aims at protecting cultural heritage

At a time when rising death tolls, increasing unemployment and the spectre of uncertainty looms overhead, a conversation about fashion feels like a frivolity. The billboards of glamorous models in their glitzy wear don’t tell the full story of the hands that make the beautiful clothes, however. 

The talk about the plight of the RMG workers as the apparel industry takes a hit, often takes the spotlight off the situation of the weavers and artisans employed by the homegrown fashion houses, because they are all lumped together in public consciousness as part of one homogeneous identity.

The Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh has been, for the past six years, trying to spread awareness about the distinctions, as well as promoting slow fashion, conscious craft, and upholding our centuries old textile heritage. Realising that this pandemic poses a threat to the livelihood of the craftsmen that keep these traditional arts alive, they have organized the “Adopt an Artisan” crowdfunding initiative.

Targeting some 500 artisans around the country, engaged in a number of traditional crafts such as weaving, pottery, metalwork, doll making, nakshi embroidery and so on, they aim to provide each with a fund of Tk5000 per month to meet their basic daily needs. The initiative invites donors to send funds through mobile payments such as Nagad and Bkash.

FDCB founder and president, Maheen Khan said “We have over the past 6 years done a number of events to promote slow fashion in Bangladesh. We have always felt that we must value the environment and the people behind the hand-made products. Conscious designs derived from our folk and traditional crafts has a totally Bangladeshi signature and this has always been our most essential design campaign. We value our master artisans and their work and #ADOPTANARTISAN is our initiative to support them during this pandemic.”

In the light of the proposed extension on countrywide lockdown protocols, the campaign is expected to run from June through to August.

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