It is the sobering anniversary of the garment-worker tragedy near Dhaka, Bangladesh at Rana Plaza on April 24th, 2013. The tragedy counts as the worst incident of its kind, where more than 1,000 lives were ended due to terrible working conditions in an unsafe garment factory. As we at Baby & Company reflect on the weight of the tragedy we recognize there are vastly different ways to interact with the garment industry. On one end of the spectrum, driven by materialism, there is fast fashion. On the opposite end is slow fashion, a mindful and sustainable interaction with materials and the garments that we love.
With the slow fashion movement attention is paid to how apparel is made. There is also a conscientious engagement with who is making the clothes. As buyers and as customers it’s our pleasure to reflect and give some attention to a bright force in an all too often dim industry. This week we are happy to be hosting a trunk show for designer Amelia Toro, a woman whose mission and way of doing business equals the beauty of her designs.
Ashley is wearing Amelia Toro's Painted Floral Dream Dress, available here
Safe and pleasant working environments are not a privilege but a right. Education and subsequent employment can be seen as a human rights issue. Committed to making a meaningful contribution to society through fashion, Amelia Toro began designing women’s clothing in 1990 with a desire to run her business keeping both of these tenets in mind.
Toro studied fashion at Rhode Island School of Design and Parsons in New York City. After cutting her teeth working for well-respected designers including Gianfranco Ferre, she came back to her native Colombia and set up her womenswear business. Her business model is simple and truly unique to the modern market. Toro primarily hires single mothers and trains them to make garments from beginning to end. Traditional garment factories are run like a Model-T Ford assembly-line with each worker placed at a station doing specific and repetitive steps in a longer process. Toro rightfully believes teaching each of her employees the skills to complete the process from beginning to end will offer more chances for employment throughout one’s career.
And with knowledge comes pride and ownership. The nearly 100 sewers employed by Toro’s studio individually hand sign the label of the garment they have worked on.
We can speak to the beauty of her signature fabric wool crepe and we can proclaim the miraculous wonder that is the fit of her dresses on women of many body types, but it is her diligence and intention to helping others' lives that we will feel. Please join us in good company as we celebrate Amelia Toro with a trunk show in-store from Wednesday April 29 — Friday May 1.
Looking forward to sharing the feeling with you!