Catherine and I were invited by the Zero Waste Festival to lead a workshop on machine-free clothing repair at their last edition. The room was packed (thanks again to all the participants!) and we really enjoyed the experience. For some time now, we have realized that our work with atelier b is not only creative, but also educational. Talking to you about quality, fiber and local production is part of our daily work.
In ten years, we have seen how the way of consuming has evolved. Your questions are becoming more and more pointed, your interest more and more marked. You seem to share our interest in doing things as ethically as possible, making choices that have a reduced impact on the environment. When we started atelier b, most people didn't know the difference between natural and synthetic fibers, and almost no one read the labels to know where they were made and what they were made of! Today, we are happy to see that it has become a reflex to turn the hem of clothes to read the labels.
About ten years ago, local manufacturing in Montreal was very difficult. Most of the sewing subcontractors had closed down due to the relocation to Asia. Since then, this work has been revalorized by several small businesses like ours and consumers have regained a pride in wearing objects made here, with a history that contributes to the well-being of the people involved. By keeping the manufacturing locally, we keep the know-how here. Catherine and I find this knowledge precious and we want to make sure that textile traditions are not lost, probably because we are passionate about it.
In spring 2019, we started hosting hand sewing and shoe polishing workshops at our Mile End studio. Because in addition to telling the story of how we make our fiber selection and sustainability decisions, we also like to show you how we do things! Sharing with you how our products are thought and made, but also allowing you to better maintain and repair them, gives meaning to our work. And it was when we started teaching (at UQAM and Concordia) that we discovered that we take great pleasure in sharing our experience. We have thus confirmed that the transfer of know-how is at the heart of our mission, and this is only the beginning!
You can see the schedule of our workshops on our website. You will find our cotton waxing workshop, hand sewing workshop, machine sewing workshop, beginner's level pattern workshop and pattern use and modification workshop.
We will be adding to the workshops as we receive your feedback, so don't hesitate to let us know what you are interested in. We look forward to seeing you at the workshop around our big table!