After seeing my paintings online, VIDA asked if I’d like to collaborate on fabric design.
You can wear a ‘Marie’! >> see the full collection on Vida Voices. Or visit my wearables page for the full list, plus a link to the paintings. Or, go to my Facebook Shop!
I’m happy to report that my designs have gone into production and are beginning to sell!
What is VIDA?
VIDA is a global partnership of artists, producers and consumers.
What does that mean? It means it is a new technology company that connects shoppers with socially responsible apparel that has been designed directly by artists from across the globe. I’m now one of them!
Essentially, the customer purchases a one-of-a-kind clothing item in a fabric that has been designed by the artist. Then the fabric is direct printed in a textile mill using ‘Digital Fabric Printing,’ and sewn into clothing by people who earn livable wages in countries where this might not otherwise be possible. VIDA provides workers with literacy classes so they can learn to read, write and do basic math, helping to build a better life for themselves and their families.
About the Founder
VIDA founder Umaimah Mendhro is from a small town in Pakistan and was home-schooled much of her life because there were no proper schools. She taught herself how to cut, sketch, sew, stitch, block print, screen print, oil paint, and more, yet she couldn’t fathom pursing art as a profession because she was afraid she couldn’t make a living at it. Her background also made her acutely aware of the hundreds of millions of people employed in textile and garment production who could not get out of a cycle of poverty.
Education was important to Umaimah’s family. She was the daughter of a physician; the first of his family to go to college. She attending Cornell and Harvard universities, then worked in tech and business industries, all the while dreaming of being an artist and designer. Finally she was ready to take the leap and follow her passion. In 2014, with the help of funding from Google Ventures, she launched VIDA.
Today VIDA is doing more than catering to fashion enthusiasts. It’s bringing real-world benefits to the people working on its products. Emphasizing how this goes beyond monetary compensation; Umaimah explains
Scarf-makers in Karachi, Pakistan, for instance, earn literacy classes for every 15 scarves produced. Customers can even see how many workers receive classes based on their purchases.
Umaimah believes fashion can be responsible, accessible and innovative. So does the target customer – urban, design-conscious women shoppers who are mindful of their impact on the world – like me!
Her vision is reflected in the company’s name; in Spanish, vida means life; in Persian, it means a rare find; in Hebrew, it means beloved; and in Sanskrit, it means wisdom.
Thus I’m proud to present my collection to you. I hope you find beauty and meaning in it, and consider making a purchase.