Rachel Breen and Nickey Robare, Behind the Seams
How did your t-shirt get made? Who sewed your jeans? How many miles did the raw cotton travel from the field to the factory to the mall?
The garment industry is the world’s second largest contributor to climate change and employs millions across the globe for incredibly low wages. Behind the Seams, presented at Northern Spark 2017, created a pop-up garment factory in the streets of Lowertown, where participants could watch garment workers – paid a fair minimum wage of $15/hr – sew re-purposed t-shirts. While they wandered the factory floor, they chatted with the garment workers about climate change, “fast fashion,” and labor standards.
After visiting the factory, enter the boutique and choose a personal commitment to help change the garment industry. Before you leave, select a shirt from the boutique and “pay” with your commitment, joining fellow Northern Spark attendees in creating a more just and environmentally friendly garment industry.
Nickey Robare has been sewing and creating unique fashion since childhood. After making a commitment to sew all her own clothing, she started The Fashion Ration, an alterations and tailoring business. Offering body positive and queer friendly sewing services, Nickey wants to help everyone embrace their truest selves through fashion.
Rachel Breen investigates social justice issues through drawing, installation, performance and public art projects. Experimentation with mediums and processes is a core aspect of her studio practice. Her main tool is a sewing machine. She is a Professor at Anoka Ramsey Community College where she teaches painting and drawing.