From Goodwill to Panipat

From Goodwill to Panipat

A reader pointed me to a video that is so beautiful and interesting and hilarious and jaw-dropping that rather than save it for the next full Elsewhere, I wanted to post it all by itself today. It’s called Unravel and it’s a factory tour: a fiber mill in India. If you’re like me, you like seeing how things are made — especially things you never thought to wonder about. In this case, it answers the unasked question of where recycled yarn and textiles come from, and the answer is pretty amazing. But the best part is definitely listening to the lighthearted factory women theorize about what reason Westerners might have for discarding the 100,000 tons of barely worn garments that are processed in that one village each year, the reality being incomprehensible. It’s a must watch.

(Thx, Kate!)

IN SHOP NEWS (awkward!) if you’ve been waiting on the beautiful rosewood cable needles to reappear, they’ve finally made the trek from Vietnam to Fringe Supply Co. I promise you’ll treasure them for years to come!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone. Tell me what you’re working on—


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26 thoughts on “From Goodwill to Panipat

  1. Karen,
    This is an amazing video. Thank you so much for sharing it. We were just asking that very question in our home last week, “Where do all these clothes end up?”

    • I’d heard before about the shiploads of discards that go to Africa, and what effect the abundance of cast-offs has on local weavers and textile traditions. (Really sad.) But this video is an aspect I hadn’t ever seen or heard or thought about before.

  2. Wow, Karen! This was beautiful and enlightening. It really makes one think about the “disposable clothes” economy. Thank you for posting.

  3. Fascinating. Not only to see how clothes are processed, but to see the people doing it. They still have hopes for a better life, yet seem to accept the life they have. Their view of us is eye opening.

  4. Wow! I think we fool ourselves that we are being charitable when we donate our clothes. We are just adding to the mess in this world when we buy cheap, meaningless clothes that we throw away after 3 wearings..

  5. A scene in the movie “true cost” shows Haitians on a large lot, sorting through dozens of piles of clothing, all which has been donated…to goodwill and then down to them. It wasn’t mentioned, but quite ironic that so many of our clothing items are made in Haiti.
    Thank you for the link, above!

  6. Beautiful people! The film shows the ultimate goodness of these women, who can’t really come to grips with the idea that people’s lives are so empty that they aren’t satisfied with their clothes. Look how beautifully they are dressed and they sleep on the ground!!

  7. Delurking to tell you how much I love your blog and find it so inspiring! I have plans to knit almost everything you’ve ever knit (haha). Looking for the perfect yarn for an Amanda cardigan, and currently starting on an Orlane textured shawl out of some Rowanspun dk from my stash.

  8. I shared that video on my Facebook feed when I came across it a few weeks ago– it’s astounding. I wonder how many of those clothes are from Forever 21, etc. Yesterday I was wearing a top from Forever 21 that I found at a thrift store eight or nine years ago, and I’m still wearing it– wearing what you have as long as possible is a way to contribute to “slow fashion” if you cannot sew –or knit fast enough! It’s sad to think how many people would have long ago tossed that top.

  9. So happy that video is finding more fans. It’s brilliant(and wittily) done. The hidden geography of clothes is fascinating and so is trail of manufacturing. A great book on the topic is Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline. Read about it here:

  10. Jaw-dropping indeed. I’ll never give away clothes again without thinking about this film. The face of the woman they focus on is so beautiful, beatific, and kind, I want to hug her. And give her a trip to the West to see a bit more of the world.

    • Jennie: that’s very sweet of you to say about the narrator of this film. I agree!!

  11. Stellar video. I doubt I’d have found it without you. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Excellent video and to think we send all that discarded clothing back to where it came from. I just can’t imagine the solution when the problem is so huge. The narrator seemed so happy and joyous, but I’m not fooled.

    • I do not understand why you think that this narrator is trying to fool you with her honesty & happiness!

  13. I’m working on a Coda and trying to figure out how to fit the shoulders and arms on such an unusual construction.

  14. Thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much. That was truly enlightening., jaw dropping and stunning…….

  15. There is light coming out of that beautiful woman. I wonder if the filmmakers have a plan to show her the West, maybe film it as a follow-up. They should.

    God, I love India. It is crazy and wonderful and often, very challenging travel, but the people … well, you can see it here so clearly. Thank you for this, Karen.

  16. Wonderful video. Thank you for sharing. The aeon website is interesting as well – I watched a video about cubicles which was interesting. Thanks again!

  17. The Panipat video was great… and I enjoyed seeing the reactions of the women. I do wish they would have shown more about how they get from fabric to yarn. If you know of any other videos or info about this, please let me know.
    Thanks for sharing this, Karen!

  18. That video is amazing! I was obsessed with ‘how to make …’ videos in kiddie tv when I was little and this is just like that, only much better. Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. Pingback: Elsewhere | Fringe Association

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