Natalie Chanin left her home town of Alabama for New York before realising the appeal and potential success of her garment designs focused on sustainable values. Finding a manufacturer in New York to produce her collection at an affordable price was proving difficult. Chanin remembered the success of the textiles industry in Alabama in previous years, although ‘textile companies across Alabama...had packed up or replaced people with machinery to keep up with the ways of modern manufacturing’ (Bond 2004).
Fortunately there were many hands ‘itching for work’ (Bond 2004) and the first collection, Project Alabama, was produced by local people whose skills had been replaced by machinery. To redevelop an industry and involve the local community in the production of a collection is an important feature of the brand. ‘We obviously had a product that was right, but I believe showing the people behind it, their stories, had a lot to do with the success,’ (Chanin 2004).
This example shows sustainable fashion not only as a way to bring people together, to promote the importance of community and local production, but also as a source of
income for skilled people. To boost the local economy through sustainable fashion is a pioneering aspect of the Alabama Chanin business.
Natalie Chanin talk to Ecouterre about the importance of craft
Check out the Alabama Chanin website
Taken from the website...
"Sustainable Life - Sustainable Style
Alabama Chanin is a lifestyle company that focuses on creating an array of products through focusing on slow design and sustainability.
We craft limited-edition products for the individual and the home. Our products are made-by-hand using a combination of new, organic and recycled materials. Each piece is constructed with care by talented artisans who live and work in communities in and around Florence, Alabama.
Our products come numbered in one-of-a-kind or limited edition series and signed by the artisan that made it.We dedicate ourselves to producing quality products that become a part of daily life in this generation and beyond. From farmer to fiber to artisan to home, our products are “grown-to-sewn” in USA. "