behold, alabama chanin. faythe and merrilee introduced me to natalie ‘alabama’ chanin’s work last week, and i could not be more smitten. alabama chanin is ‘a lifestyle company that focuses on creating an array of products through focusing on slow design and sustainability.’ like the slow food movement, alabama chanin seeks to use local ‘ingredients’ and to employ local workers.
work in their northern alabama factory is carried out by thirty skilled local artisans. ranging in age from 25 to 80, these men and women hand sew every garment the company makes. before the passing of NAFTA, many of these same artisans were employed in local textile mills that gave the region the nickname, “t-shirt capital of the world.” today, alabama chanin strives to nurture local traditions: “we sew by hand not because we don’t approve of technology, but we because we choose to preserve these living arts.”
i told you i was smitten.
the website explains that their “philosophy centers on the celebration and preservation of uniquely American traditions while building a sustainable business model.” toward this end, not only does alabama chanin offer up gorgeous hand-sewn goods, they also offer workshops hosted at their alabama headquarters. if you haven’t stopped reading already, head to their website, and take a look for yourself.
p.s. there is even a video of four girls strumming on folk instruments and singing. heaven on earth.
all photos from the alabama chanin website.