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'Totes Serious' by Nicole Schwarzer

BY Bridget Kennedy | 15-Aug-2019
In an era of fast fashion and questions of transparency, Nicole Robins' asks - who made my bag?
Part of Sydney Craft Week.
Venue: Bridget Kennedy Project Space
Address: 53 Ridge Street North Sydney 2060
Date: 26 September - 19 October
Ticket: FREE
Totes Serious by Nicole Schwarzer
Nicole Robins woven bag
In recent years woven bags have become real ‘it bags’. They have come to signify ethical, handmade, and of course ‘natural’ by their very appearance. At the same time, makers are invisible. These bags are often made in less affluent countries where makers are poorly paid. The clothes accompanying the bags have a brand, a designer and status. The bags themselves are often treated as mere window dressing - yet they are made by extremely skilled artisans.

In the same way as the ethical fashion world is starting to ask - who made my clothes? - Nicole Robins asks - who made my bag? In the aftermath of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh in 2013, the Fashion Revolution movement has campaigned for systemic reform of the fashion industry with a focus on the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Consumers have more power than they think when it comes to helping artisans and craftspeople to earn a reasonable living from their work.

A workshop, Totes Playful is being offered during Sydney Craft Week to accompany the Totes Serious exhibition.

Bring an old Tote or basket bag you would like to upcycle or decorate and learn some new basketry skills at the same time. Basket maker Nicole Robins will teach some basketry and braiding techniques which can be used to replace old handles or add a colourful new dimension to bags and jewellery.

This exhibition will be on display at Bridget Kennedy Project Space from 26th September to the 19th October. Gallery hours are 11-5, Wednesday - Saturday. The Totes Playful workshop will take place Saturday October 12th. Details and bookings at: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=512013&