03 January 2006

Project Alabama

I've been thinking about Project Alabama a lot lately. Project Alabama is a "label" sold at Barneys New York and boutiques like Ikram in Chicago; it is also a for-profit enterprise that employs women doing handwork in a desperately poor region of that state. Alabama native Natalie Chanin is the designer. I saw a photo of a Project Alabama piece in the January 2005 issue of Vogue. Woo hoo. What I find fascinating about Project Alabama is its use of hand-sewing. Of course, hand-sewing makes the line super expensive. But these poor women in Alabama are getting jobs and the world has time to enjoy something that was made by human hands. I was looking at the website and found a link to a non-profit called Planting Stitches. Their mission statement is: "to improve the lives of individuals, living in disadvantaged rural areas of the South, by providing sustainable economic development opportunities through cooperative ventures with national and international apparel companies."

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