“Made in Cambodia,” a new short film sponsored by the Levi Strauss Foundation, is putting the spotlight on the often-unseen women who make the clothes we wear.
This past Monday evening at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, a lively crowd gathered to see the West Coast screening of the film. It was produced by Levi Strauss Foundation grantee Remake – an organization dedicated to igniting a conscious consumer movement – and directed by Oscar winning cinematographer Asad Faruqi.
The film premiered last week to a sold-out audience in New York City at the Parsons School of Design. While the documentary is less than 10 minutes long, it tells the powerful story of three fashion design students as they embark on a life-changing journey to Cambodia to experience the day-to-day lives of the invisible women behind our fashion.
Prior to the release of “Made in Cambodia,” Remake emphasized its outreach to millennial consumers – the same age group that also comprises the majority of the labor force in the fashion supply chain. This film marks the launch of the second prong of Remake’s strategy, to influence fashion designers who are far removed from the people who bring their designs to life. As Remake Founder Ayesha Barenblat recently told NBC News, “I think of Remake as a sort of ‘Peace Corps’ for the fashion industry … My goal is to seed a future of designers who are making slow, beautiful fashion that is conscious of our world.”
Following the screening, CCA’s Chair of Fashion Design, John Bauernfeind, moderated a panel discussion with:
- Rachel Faller, Founder and Creative Director of Tonlé, a leader in Cambodia’s fashion industry who has built the country’s first zero-waste fair fashion line.
- Ruby Veridiano, Fashion Correspondent, whose mission is to empower women and merge fashion with social change. She covers the ethical fashion beat for NBC News and Mic.com.
- Eleanor Amari, Content Manager of Remake,is the millennial face of Remake who directs their digital content, uniting style and ethics to grow Remake’s conscious consumer movement.
- Paul Dillinger, Head of Global Product Innovation and Premium Collection Design for Levi Strauss & Company, who leads our sustainable product design and innovation.
A consistent theme was woven throughout the discussion — if real change is going to happen, designers must understand the implications of their actions on the lives of workers in supply chains. In turn, consumers must begin to put pressure on brands to be transparent about how and where their clothing is made.
One fashion design student in the audience shared, “The impact that someday we as designers will make on the lives of people, mostly women, living and trying to raise families thousands of miles away, is not taught in the classroom and it needs to be.”
The Levi Strauss Foundation is proud to support Remake as it continues on its journey to connect consumers and the fashion industry with the makers of our clothing.