Contemporary textiles and the protection of creativity in Mexico - I. Someone Somewhere
At 180º we believe in the need to feed our awareness about what is happening in the world of fashion, textiles and the production process of the products we offer in the store.
For more than five years we have committed to introducing a 180º change, going from “fast fashion” to “slow fashion”, collaborating with several Mexican brands and designers.
In this series of posts on the 180º Blog we are going to talk about the production process, work with textiles and the elements that promote creativity in Mexico according to the entrepreneurs and designers of the new generation of national fashion.
In the first entry on the aforementioned topics, the Someone Somewhere team introduces us to the process of creation, production and the friendship they maintain with their collaborators, the artisans of the indigenous communities in the states of Mexico, Puebla, Oaxaca and Chiapas.
"We collaborate with 121 artisans in four regions of the country, State of Mexico, Puebla, Oaxaca and Chiapas."
For more than a decade, Kike, Toño and Fatima, the creators of the brand and friends from high school, began their trips to indigenous communities in the state of Puebla. Since then they have not allowed themselves to develop their interest in knowledge about the work of artisans. Years later, during their studies at the Universidad Iberoamericana, they started the project whose main objective was to support five artisans from Naupan, Puebla and months later it became Flor de Mayo , a small company that won several awards and financial funds in Mexico and The USA. Thanks to this money the company grew and in 2016 it received its current name. The team opened the office in CDMX and increased the social impact by initiating collaboration with a total of 121 artisans in four regions of the country, State of Mexico, Puebla, Oaxaca and Chiapas.
During our talk, Fátima Álvarez, one of the founders of Someone Somewhere who is now the Impact Director, mentioned and highlighted the power of social entrepreneurship and the need to maintain close relationships with communities, recognizing their names and the role of women, who are generally the ones who maintain their homes day to day, while their husbands work and live in larger cities.
"The process of scanning all the designs and making catalogs with information related to each design and its history is the fundamental part of our collaboration with the artisans."
The production process of each Someone Somewhere garment begins in the office by the team of designers who work with the guides – iconographic catalogs with all types of embroidery offered by the artisans. Through a study of style and color trends for each season, the creative designer makes a proposal for models, taking into account the time and logistics of embroidering the details to be able to place the order on time. The embroidered parts are collected in the communities and delivered to the workshops in CDMX, where the garments are assembled. Someone Somewhere works with several large workshops in the city where they produce the garments and accessories for their collections. The decision to collaborate with manufacturers in the city was made with the intention of not sacrificing the quality of the products, maintaining all international standards and focusing on details, such as good closures and smart fabrics, among others.
Regarding the intellectual protection of the embroidery, Someone Somewhere undertook to scan all the designs and create the catalogs mentioned above, with information related to each design and its history. “This is the fundamental part of our collaboration with the artisans because the communities maintain the traditions of burying their members with all their belongings or burning them at the time of burial, which is risky for the future of the existence of artisanal embroidery,” he explains. Fatima.
Given this, Someone Somewhere maintains the trust agreement with all its collaborators in the communities. Legal intellectual protection does not exist and the unique SS embroideries remain only for the brand's projects. Fátima tells us that at the moment there is no possibility of registering all embroidery in the name of the company, “Each embroidery is different because it is unique, which makes the registration process very difficult.”
The artisans receive their salary at the time of delivering the embroidery order, which means that the women's daily lives do not depend on the flow of sales of the final products and allows them to make financial planning . “Artisans earn 50% more than they would if they sold the same amount of work in the local market.”
"The elements that I consider the driving force of creativity in our country are necessity , time , and the fact of living in the country without many rules."
To facilitate the work of embroidery and flow orders, the materials bank was established in Naupan , Puebla, so that the artisans have constant access to the products when a new order is placed.
The elements that she considers the engine of creativity in our country are necessity, time, the fact of living in the country without many rules where doing business and realizing ideas is relatively easy and feasible, and, most importantly, entrepreneurship. social, which is the greatest purpose of your work.