80% of our fashion is made by women who are only 18 – 24 years old. Sadly, we only hear about them when tragedy strikes. Disasters such as Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013 or the horrific fire at Ali Enterprises in Pakistan in 2012, are the tragedies through which we hear about the women who make our clothes. The hopes and dreams of the women behind our fashion are masked by heartbreaking headlines of the fast fashion industry.
Made in China is the story of one vibrant young woman who makes our clothes. She doesn’t want our pity. She wants us to know her and think of her when we see the clothing label, “Made in China”.
We hope this short will move you to feel more connected to her and to your closet. From here, you can help #remakeourworld by building a sustainable closet that contributes to a better world.
“I was 19 when I left my home village in Yulian and headed to the city to find work at a factory. That’s what many girls from my village do. I was so curious and excited to explore the world outside. Three years later my entire life is the factory, full of long hard hours on my feet. My main job is to look for defects in the fabric. For 12 hours a day, I stare at fabric ensuring that it’s perfect. I would love to meet you. The woman who wears the fabric I stare at all day long. I bet you look cool!”
Making of the film
Made in China is the second installment of Remake’s Meet the Maker video series. We visited fabric mills, factories, factory dormitories and homes throughout the world in search of the women who make up fashion’s supply chain. So far we’ve been to Haiti, India, Pakistan and China, to sit down, listen and learn about the triumphs and the heartaches of the women who make our clothes. For our first short, Made in Pakistan, we partnered with the Oscar winning duo, cinematographer Asad Faruqi and producer Haya Iqbal.
In immersing ourselves in Chinese mills and factories, we found that:
1. Fabric dying is dirty business and humans are continually exposed to harsh chemicals.
2. People dedicate their lives to our wardrobes, working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.
3. Millennial makers hopes and dreams are no different to millennial shoppers. Ming Hui hopes to find love someday, she loves to shop and wants to see more of the world. You can read more about our reflections from Guangzhou here.
We hope you enjoy a glimpse into Ming Hui’s life and think about her the next time you see ‘Made in China.’