The River Niger in Bamako, Mali

The complexity of trying to do the right thing..

This week is Fashion Revolution week and in light of this week lots of articles and posts are written and shared about global fashion issues.

Today also marks the 6th anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh.

When we started with Pini Piru we spend the most time searching for the right T-shirts. Finding the right tees, not only ‘fashion’ wise, but also the best feel (as in soft) and from organicly farmed and fairly traded cotton was hard. But in the end we found two suppliers that we now buy from. Them and us both promote the fact that it is organic and fairly traded cotton we use. But after reading this heartfelt comment on the instagram account of French Malian indigo artist Aboubakar Foufana it made me think differently about promoting the fairly traded bit a lot..

The River Niger in Bamako, Mali
The River Niger in Bamako, Mali

So many of us all over the world are literally enslaved to the West’s needs, and the West’s prosperity was and still is dependent on us. I am both French and Malian, and I can say absolutely that France’s ongoing prosperity is directly linked to the subjugation and exploitation of North, West, and Central Africa, on every single level, every day. Our Malian experience is echoed throughout Africa, throughout the developing world, throughout the poorer sections of the developed world. I can’t participate any more in this supposed Fashion Revolution Week, I can’t see the point. It’s just more of the same, a way to keep you participating in our enslavement by making you feel like you can continue to consume without anybody suffering. I have pinned my posts from last year to the top of this feed – they say everything I would like to say specifically about fashion and textiles. Slavery and capitalism.

Aboubakar Fofana
Bamako, Mali
Playing football in Bamako, Mali

Two weeks ago me and my dad visited my sister and her family in Bamako, Mali, the country Aboubakar Fofana is from and where he speaks about. He’s right, it is a beautiful country with amazing people, but there is a lot going on there at the moment and we (my sister Noor did, my French is non existent) heard some interesting stories (she translated) on the streets in and around Bamako about some of the problems there. It’s easy to just close your eyes for everything that is wrong when you are born in a wealthy western society..