What we are:
The Packing Man is dedicated to preserving the way of life and art form that traditional textiles are imbued with. These textiles are more than simple fabrics - they can be representations of a community’s history, culture and tradition. They are rich tapestries that, like so many aspects of culture today, are in need of revival and recognition. Our goal is to preserve and sustain traditional craftsmanship in rural communities around the world.
Through extensive research and by traveling to myriad remote regions, we have managed to discover and establish relationships with remarkable artisans across the world who continue to make a living off of their indigenous crafts. Importantly, we have focused on people that not only produce native textiles but also lack local support and global awareness. We have been able to build our own unique global supply chain through deep connections with these native communities and by sourcing directly from the makers. Each project is inspired by the country from which the fabric originates from and we have established a diverse collection of traditional textile suppliers from around the world.
“By personally meeting and supporting these artisans from around the world, we are able to help preserve unique traditional craftsmanship and shine a light on skills that are increasingly being forgotten”
We work with local NGOs in order to protect the weavers as well as ethically source our textiles. The prices for the textiles are fixed and determined by the NGOs so that we can be certain each weaver is paid a fair price for their work. This relationship goes beyond simple fair trade practices and also helps build a long lasting relationship between the weavers and the NGOs, whose goal is to empower their voice and support a market for the textiles they create.
We have made three trips so far: one to Indonesia and two to Nepal. In Indonesia, we worked with local artisanal organisations including Sumbanese weavers who create beautiful ikats, the people of Manado who make pinawetengan and batik artists from Cirebon. In Nepal, we were fortunate enough to collaborate with the MEDEP (Micro Enterprise Development Program) - a branch of the UNDP (Micro Enterprise Development Program).
What we do:
At our atelier in the historical centre of Florence, Italy, we merge the sourced indigenous textiles with local Italian ones by hand to create unique and timeless pieces of high-quality clothing. Our main distribution channel is online: www.thepackingman.com.
We value transparency, which is why each of our garments comes with a tag that tells the story and journey of the textiles used. We also believe in conscious consumption and is why we only create one-of-a kind pieces - less is more.
To date, we have released two womenswear collections - the first from Indonesia and the second from Nepal, which was recently launched online.
"Fashion with a cause and a story to tell"
What does the future hold for The Packing Man?
The future of The Packing Man involves the continued discovery of new and different textiles. We have increasingly focused our products around luxury travel bags to better suit the active lifestyle of our consumers. We hope that The Packing Man can make a difference and inspire other brands and consumers to rethink the way they produce and consume. In a world where things have become increasingly generic and mass produced, we hope that our efforts will help keep the stories of local heritage and culture alive.
We hope to be an integral part in valuing and cherishing the stories, symbols and techniques of native communities across the globe. If we lose our past then we stand to lose much of what makes us human.
We are a small team of active entrepreneurs with a burning passion. We wish to share our concept with the world and to create a movement through the storytelling surrounding each textile.
With your investment:
With your support and investment we can continue with our cause. We aim to:
- Do more collaborations with artists and organizations who are making a positive impact on the world
- Continue sourcing textiles from NGO supported artisans for upcoming collections
- Expand our product range Share the story of the makers and micro-entrepreneurs weaving dhaka and allo in rural Nepal through our upcoming documentary entitled 'Until we meet again'
- Maintain high-quality and artisanal products Market our brand Create an ethical fashion cycle and a new movement
With your investment we will be able to go deeper and discover even more crafts and stories to further share with the world!
We look forward to growing with our surroundings, our audience and you!
Risks and challenges
One of the key problems the fashion industry faces today is the lack of transparent supply chains - the average consumer is not aware of the process of creating a garment from thread to the final product. This is what the Packing Man is striving to change with our focus on sharing the stories behind the textiles we work with, from the Nepalese dhakas to the Indonesian ikats. Our biggest challenge is working against the current of the incumbent fashion consumption cycle and creating an ethical process where each member of the production process is treated fairly and, ultimately, is able to improve their quality of life.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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