“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” – Maya Angelou
How would you describe your mother? If we had to guess, resilient would be one of your words. Through our journeys, we’ve met resilient mothers around the world who bring our clothes to life. For these women, garment factories are the only way to lift their families out of poverty. And for many of these women, nurturing their children’s future has required immense self-sacrifice.
We here salute the mothers of fashion who work in both ethical and non-ethical factories. We salute their strength, resilience and support of their children – the next generation. Here are the mothers of fashion:
Anju, made in INdia
“I once dreamed of a life that was very different. Where I could finish my education and become a teacher. Everything changed when I was 15 and married to a man with few means. I had to help care for my in-laws and soon after, three children. So, I left school to find work.”
“My income allows my children to go to school, and although this is not how I imagined my life to be, I am proud to be an equal breadwinner with my husband. I am proud that my hard work allows my children to go to school so their futures can be different.”
Celestin, Made in haiti
“I am a 24-year old, and I have been sewing underwear for Hanes in Haiti for 6 years. I am a single mother of two whose husband left to find work in Chile and never returned. I am not sure where I go from here? I now just hope for a better future for my 8 year old daughter and 5 year old son.”
Navy, made in cambodia
“My name is Navy. I am 48 years old. I have been working at Tonlé for 5 years and my position is sewing. I’m also a single mom, so this job is very important for me because I need to support my kids, their schooling and then myself. I like that at tonlé I have fair working hours, so I can see my kids at night.”
Sreyneang, made in cambodia
“I work two garment jobs. I get up early. Take my kids to school. Then I take transport to the factory. At night I work as a tailor to supplement my income. I usually work until 10 or 11PM at night.”
“My daughter told me she would drop out of school and start working to help me because she knows how stressed I am. But I said NO. She’s 14. I want her to stay in school and have a different life than me.”
Kashmiri, made in india
“I am 25 years old and already have 4 children. I sit crouched on the floor all day, opening spindles of yarn which go on to become fabric. Only recently my children starting going to school. I now hope that they will have a better future. Go on to be somebody. I hope you can see their faces in the threads of your fabric.”
inspired to buy better this mother’s day?
Try our top 5 gifts for mom this year.