MEET THE MAKERS: JANET

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.

Janet
Function at SEG: Production
Age: 48

Why did you choose to work for SEG?

When Elsien brought her car into my boyfriend’s garage, she mentioned that she was looking for someone who could help her out with her production. My boyfriend, of course, immediately thought of me, since he knows that every free moment I have, I’m behind the sewing machine! I was invited to Elsien’s studio and did a test. In those two days I learned so much that I dared to take the challenge and started sewing for her.

What does clothing mean to you?

In general I love clothes that not everyone is wearing and I love to combine styles. I don’t follow trends, but like to match old things with newly bought items. I buy what I like and always put together my own styled outfit that fits me best and that I love to wear. Even though that sometimes embarrasses my daughter: She likes to see me in trousers with a sweater and as normal as possible 😉

What is important to you when you make clothes?

For me it is important that clothes are made out of good quality fabrics. The material makes or breaks a garment. It should fall nicely and feel good when you wear it.

How do you experience the clothing industry today?

I do not want to participate the mass clothing industry. People have to work very hard for inhumane wages under really bad working conditions.

Of course, I understand, that it’s easy for especially young people, who don’t have a lot of money, to buy a lot of clothing for cheap prices.
But it’s good to see that the awareness is growing amongst youngsters of who actually pays the price for cheap clothing and that it takes a big toll on the environment as well.

What would you like to change about it if you could?

There are many campaigns regarding “responsible clothing”. And I think that is a good thing! Unfortunately little has changed yet. I still read too often that as soon as employees within third world production companies stand up to rebel against the bad working conditions, they are violently stopped by the entrepreneurs and they are dismissed or are ruthlessly put back to work.
I would like to see, that workers receive a humane living wage, normal work hours, a safe work environment and no discrimination and sexual harassment against women.

What is your favorite SEG garment and why?

Even though I just started to sew garments for Elsien I already have a favourite. I love the the wide skirt, dark blue. Great fabric that falls very nice!

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

I am proud to work for Elsien and to be a part of her mission and her commitment to change the (fashion) world and to make durable sustainable clothing.

Which message would you like to give to the wearers of the clothes you make?

Enjoy the clothes you wear! It is made for you with love!

Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

Ehm… …On the beach in the Bahamas under a palm tree with a delicious cocktail…but I would definitely take my sewing machine with me! 😉

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