Saturday, June 26, 2010

Out of the Blue: A Letter from Lesotho

When Emma Fitzgerald told me about the projects she was working on with repurposed denim, I eagerly offered up my scrap denim pieces from hemmed jeans. I only really fully understood the purpose behind the project when I visited her at the Artists' Quarter on Agricola St. this week.

Emma was born in Lesotho, the small landlocked country surrounded by South Africa. She recently spent some time at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts working on her art, and now she is showing pieces inspired by the impact of the denim industry on Lesotho. The country produces 26 million pairs of jeans every year, in factories criticized for poor wages, mistreatment of staff, and pollution of waterways.

Although I absolutely love fashion, and a good pair of jeans, Emma's exhibit is important in reminding us of the potential costs of the clothing we wear. After leaving the exhibit my friends and I had to comment on how striking one image was, of the blue denim dye washing into a river in Lesotho.

Tomorrow is your last day to see the exhibit! I hope you can make it down to support Emma and learn about Lesotho.

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