The South African Artisans

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I headed down to South Africa to shoot this campaign, a collaboration between Banana Republic and Piece & Co., and to capture the artisans behind the sun dyed fabrics that make up the summer collection. We started early in the morning when the dew was still resting on the flowers. The women arrived and lead us to their farm (I guess you’d call it a farm?) which I discovered was just a wild space down a dirt road tucked between vineyards where they keep supplies in an old barn. The artisans ascended, plucking flowers and leaves, picking up things I’d never even seen before, finding lilies in the pond and savoring their scent. These are the native objects they use to create the patterns on the fabrics which are sun dyed right here on this piece of earth. 

They were proud and happy. The land was beautiful and loved. I like to think all this energy and joy is transferred into fabrics that now are cut into beautiful dresses and men’s shirts and one can feel this when they put it on. At least I hope these photographs can help share their story and shed light on conscience fashion. 

Final portraits of the artisans are shot on back and white film in the barn they work at using a spool of burlap we found lying around as a backdrop. Color portrait of the American woman is Piece & Co.’s founder Kathleen Wright