MEET THE MAKERS: ANNEMIEKE

Studio Elsien Gringhuis believes in long-term collaborations and we are committed to ensuring that people are able to upgrade their skills and pursue their passions under excellent working conditons. We produce in our own studio in The Netherlands with the help of skilled tailors, that we train ourselves. This way we support (local-) craftsmanship, that in many ways is about to be forgotten and stimulate economic growth of the local community.

We would like you to meet our makers. By sharing our ideas of fair fashion at Studio Elsien Gringhuis and the ideas of our makers, we’d like to give you a closer perspective on fair fashion.

Annemieke
Function at SEG: Production
Age: 54

Why did you choose to work for SEG?

I went to have a coffee with a neighbour and I met a friend of Elsien’s. When he heard that I sew clothes for some other clients, he asked me if i would be interested to work for Elsien as well. And one week later I was sewing for Elsien.

What does clothing mean to you?

Clothes are not that important to me anymore. They used to create sort of a mask. I wanted to impress others and communicate my attitude to the outside world with clothes.
Today my priorities are different. Of course I still like clothes and the feeling of beautiful fabrics, but it is less important to me how people read or judge me on the basis of my clothing. I’m satisfied with who I am, so I don’t have to dress up in something that might look good to others, but doesn’t really suit me.

I like making clothes and really see this as a challenge. I get inspired by the technical and constructive aspect of clothing and the whole workflow from the cutting of the fabric to the finished garment. To feel a good texture of a fabric is exciting to me. The way it falls, it’s weight. Every fabric wants to be treated differently. This is how you experience the liveliness and value of a material and learn to handle it with care. It is a huge challenge to find out how to approach all materials. You have to build up a relationship with a fabric. I think the more targeted and attentive you are with a material, the more you see it in the finished clothing as well.

What is your favorite SEG garment and why?

I like the dark Blue Triangle Wide Dress, from one the first BOOKS. It was one of the first garments I made for her. The dress is cut on the stretchy bias grain line. Therefore the dress falls so beautiful. It is very agile and alive. While sewing, one must be aware that the fabric does not stretch. This would cause the lines not fit together. At the time it was a real challenge.
When I started sewing, it was hard for me, but I developed an understanding of how clothes are made. It has become easier to produce for Elsien. I’ve learned that I have to move with the material and not to force it. And I still continue to learn. And that is what I like about it.

What do you like most about SEG and why do you think SEG stands out in the (sustainable) clothing business?

I am proud to be a part of a fashion brand, that produces everything here locally in my hometown Arnhem. I didn’t know many other sustainable brands before I started to work for Elsien, so I can’t compare her with others. But I got much more aware of sustainability because of her, the way she works and runs a fashion brand. Elsien is very conscious about the environment and pays a lot attention to the fact that everything is sustainable and honestly made. Since I work for her I am more critical: I buy less plastic, I put more flowers on my balcony to help the insects and I buy as many organic products as possible. I am even more conscious of how the people around me deal with sustainability.

Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

I think I will still do the same thing as I am doing now. Working as a freelance seamstress gives me freedom. And freedom is the most important thing for me. Working from home gives me the space to organise my own work time. I think it is a great luxury to be able to allocate time and activities in a spontaneous way.

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