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Collaborating Out Loud

March 16 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

🇬🇧 An evening of multi-media story-telling and discussion about Italian and other immigrants working in NYC’s garment industry at the turn of the 20th century and today’s immigrant workers in Tuscany’s fashion sector. Add your voice, or simply listen, to first person testimonies and poems by Alison Morse that
animate the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire — the real event behind International Women’s Day — which occurred on March 25th 1911 in New York City. Find out how this tragic fire, that involved hundreds of Italian immigrant women and men, brought people together to improve the lives of workers in the U.S. garment industry then discover why this story is so relevant to Italy’s present day fashion sector. Hear Francesca Ciuffi talk about her current work with the 8X5 Movement, which organizes with immigrant fashion industry workers between Florence and Prato, and meet an immigrant fashion sector worker employed near Prato who will tell their own story. Together, they will bring to light what is happening — and what needs to happen — to improve the work lives of immigrant fashion sector workers in Tuscany and Italy. Facilitated by Debora Florio and Alison Morse.

Francesca Ciuffi is a militant in grassroots trade unionism and a member of the 8×5 Movement, which has developed in recent years in the plain between Prato and Florence, helping to organize the struggles and strikes of male and female workers in the textile and logistics sectors. In fact, the plain is home to one of Europe’s most important textile districts, which is why the 8×5 Movement organizes against super-exploitation in fashion supply chains focusing in particular on identifying the role in these chains of luxury brands and Made in Italy companies and their connections to the sweatshops system, often through strikes and the set-up of permanent picket lines in front of factory gates. Since 2018, the 8×5 Movement has begun to redeem the living and working conditions of hundreds of workers from the global south who were previously forced into grueling shifts, illegal labor, and abuse.

Debora Florio is the founder of Bio Fashion Lab, and the Remake Community Organizer for Italy. After more than seven years of working for big corporations throughout Europe, mostly in fast fashion, she realized the industry she loved was not aligned with her values to respect people and the planet. She discovered her shopping addiction then decided to dig into analysis of the fashion industry’s social and environmental impact, which led to joining the Remake community. Remake’s mission is to transform fashion into a force for good. In Italy, Debora is spreading the word about the hidden side of the industry through courses, events, meet-ups, and swaps at Bio Fashion Lab’s new multifunctional space where education meets conscious shopping. She believes global actions and collaborations can lead to positive changes, so she is constantly planning the next project to empower and support emerging designers and create cross-cultural bridges.

Alison Morse lives in Minneapolis, U.S.A., but comes from a family of immigrant garment workers in N.Y.C., which fuels The Price of Our Clothes, her ongoing project about human rights issues in the garment industry. So far, she has travelled to Bangladesh and Italy to do research for the project, co-designed and co-implemented multi-media exhibits, and continues to write poems and articles, as well as teach about the subject. Alison also wrote the limited-edition poetry chapbook The Price of Our Clothes (Perlman Museum), and the flash-fiction collection If You Wave A Chicken Over Your Head (Red Bird Chapbooks). Her poetry and prose have been published widely in journals, magazines and anthologies. Find out more about Alison and The Price of Our Clothes at alisonmorse.net

Organizer

Remake Ambassador