THE MAKE __ Delhi, India
Choosing mindful and sustainable practices throughout the entire manufacturing process is high on the priority list here at Maria Stanley. As a passionate advocate for the slow fashion movement since the launch of my namesake collection for Spring 2016, I've chosen manufacturers that live by a strong like-minded social mission. That includes our small family-owned and -run factory in Delhi, India. All MS pieces are precisely made to last here (with the exception of our Alpaca sweaters, more on that soon!).
There is a strong work ethic and passion in India. It’s inspiring. The factory takes great pride in empowering and supporting their workers, including salaries and benefits. Most of the workers at the factory have worked together for over 8 years - some for over 20 years, including the production manager and pattern maker - showing there's a stable work environment, loyalty, and confirms there will be consistency in my collections.
Sustainability starts with the materials. It’s important for me to learn about the mills that make my fabrics and how they source their materials. Including the small details - such as buttons and zippers. I only use metal zippers which last longer and are easy to repair, and buttons made of natural materials such as sea shells and corozo (the nut from a tropical palm tree). You will never see plastic on a Maria Stanley piece.
India is an agricultural country, and the second largest producer of cotton in the world. Cotton plays an important role in the Indian economy. By using materials which are readily available, it further supports the country and its people who make my product.
The most amazing experience of them all has been visiting India, working with everyone face-to-face, and witnessing the passion for what they do.
Photos by Michael J Spear