SIFUtrecht meets Wana Bana Design

SIFUtrecht meets Wana Bana Design

Fashion Revolution Day

Do you ever think about the person who made the clothes you are wearing at this very moment? In what building were they produced, what country and under what circumstances?

On April 24th 2013 the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed and left 1338 victims and more injured. Since that sad day April 24th a group of people woke up and realised it’s been enough. April 24th will be worldwide known as Fashion Revolution Day. A group of people started a movement that encourages people to ask the question: Who Made My clothes? Wana Bana wants to commemorate the victims of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh. It collapsed because of it’s bad (known) conditions on April 24th 2013 and left 1338 victims and more injured.

Wana Bana Design hosted an event in SIFUtrecht during Fashion Revolution Day and we love what this social enterprise is doing! This is why we sat down and had a chat with Lili:

My name is Lili Rengifo. I am a proud Colombian living in The Netherlands since 2006. I arrived in this beautiful country with the purpose to improve labour conditions and reduce material waste in Dutch factories as a Continuous Improvement consultant.
It is my mission to empower people to help them improve their own environment. I believe that every day gives us a chance to make things a little bit better. And I am aware of how badly we are damaging our only planet.

Since 2013 I decided to “do what I love” and I started my social entrepreneurship Wana Bana. I wanted to create something to leave behind. Something that combines my passion and believes. Wana Bana focuses in empowering single mothers so they can work at home and take care of the children. We do this in my home country. There we have a big social problem. Fathers abandon their homes leaving women as single parents. These women have to work incredible hours to be able to provide. But in order to do this, they have to leave the children with a grandparent, a neighbour or alone. Unattended children spend time in the streets where they pick up bad habits, starting a negative spiral in society.

Being a mom I feel grateful I can work part-time and see my children grow. And moves me to want to do something about it.

Wana Bana supports Colombian Designers that employees single mothers under fair labour conditions. We follow the 10 Fair Trade Principles from World Fair Trade Organisation. I personally visit their ateliers to ensure they are following these principles and as a consultant I give them free advice on how further improve them if needed. Wana Bana wants to create a market here for these designers in order to increase their production volume and have even bigger social impact. Wana Bana also advices them in how to improve their products so they are more aligned with the Dutch market. And finally we inspire dutch women to express their unique self by wearing these amazing unique, full of colour and rebel designs following slow fashion principles (buy less, buy better and invest in success) through events and social media.

 

Our last event was the best. It’s purpose was to join the Fashion Revolution. We did it in SIF in the beautiful room Berlin.Quite inspirational since is covered by recycled material (bravo I-did). We received our guests with Don’t Skip Coffee (perfect since Skip also knows Colombia and brings coffee from South Colombia). We put on the spotlight one of our designers: Nixa Sierra. The Conscious Fashionista blogger visited the designer and the mothers behind the bags in Bogota. She captured them in this film and this was my favourite pic.

We left the awareness part to director . He captured the origins of Fashion Revolution and the problem behind fast fashion and current economy system through his movie True Cost (you can see it in Netflix). It was a shocking experience for our guests to see what are the consequences to of careless buying unaware of the harm that is causing to the women in Asia and to the planet.

Then we lighten up a little bit the sphere with some bubbles while discussing the film and how we as a consumers can make the difference by asking the brands #WhoMadeMyClothes. By showing the brands that we care and we want transparency, they won’t be able to ignore anymore the problem!

And finally our guests joined the revolution! Petra de Niet took their portraits and Wana Bana thanked the makers and asked 7 brands the question. We were happy to see 3 answers during the event.  Unfortunately no faces behind the clothes… 

But it doesn’t matter, because change takes time. Hopefully next year we can involve more people and ask more brands and see more transparency! I am optimistic. I only hope the change is in time before this only planet of us collapses.

Inspired by Lily we want to host an event for social enterprises that work in Fashion. Please share this Magazinepost with people for whom this may be of interest or contact us or Wana Bana design if you are inspired to do something!

 

 

SIF Utrecht
accounts@sifutrecht.nl