For many of you, today is a day off because of the May Day bank holiday, which is also known as International Workers Day.
In the late nineteenth century, the working class were in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour work day. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10 to 16 hour days in unsafe conditions, where death and injury were commonplace at many work places.
The 1st of May was chosen to be International Workers’ Day to commemorate the 4th May 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. The police were trying to disperse a public assembly during a general strike for the eight-hour workday, when an unidentified person threw a bomb at the police. The police responded by firing at the workers, killing four demonstrators. On the following day in Milwaukee Wisconsin, the state militia fired on a crowd of strikers killing seven people, including a schoolboy and a man feeding chickens in his yard.
When researching when to launch my latest Kickstarter, I wanted this to coincide with International Workers Day. A lot of my inspiration and passion for creating my own business has been to create a product that would be cherished, but would also celebrate how the pieces were made, sharing the whole production journey, and the people behind the production.
I started the journey of Check Me Out just after the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh in 2013. I was working with a company called Impactt, an ethical trade consultancy where I was working with high street brands and their ethical teams to improve the working conditions of their workers all over the world. After the Rana Plaza disaster, Fashion Revolution was set up to commemorate the disaster but to explore and educate consumers to ask the brands they wear #WhoMadeMyClothes.
I knew I wanted to design and create a product, but I also knew I wanted to create a company that was 100% transparent, supporting industries and cherishing skills!
After lots of research and looking into the possibilities of weaving my collections in India, I decided to stick with UK manufacturing. I have been working within this industry for more than 6 years, and I love working closely with the mills, being able to jump on a train to go and see them, and exploring the range of different possibilities. But in the future I really do hope to expand my production and look to work with other cooperatives abroad as well.
So here we are today, celebrating International Workers Day, and the workers all over the world. And I hope you will also join me in celebrating the launch of my latest Kickstarter campaign as well.
My latest collection will now include blankets and this is why I wanted to launch a new Kickstarter. I wanted to use this as a testing tool to see if these products will help build my business and collection and be a product I look to develop more in the future as well.
So if you know anyone who likes to support new businesses and buying British made products, then do help me spread the word and help me reach my new target of £3000 which will all go towards yarns and production in Scotland.
Any questions, thoughts or feedback, please do get in contact.