Fashion designer Thao Vu works at her home studio in Hanoi Long a bastion for cheap, fast-fashion manufacturing, a new crop of designers are trying to transform the Made in Vietnam label and save the country’s rich ethnic heritage in the process. In the remote hills of Cao Bang, some 300 kilometres north of the capital Hanoi, Vietnamese designer Thao Vu is gleefully dropping swaths of hand-spun cotton into a large bucket of fermented indigo leaves. Her label, Kilomet 109, is at the forefront of Vietnam’s new ‘ethical fashion’ movement — an approach to design that seeks to maximise benefit to communities while minimising environmental harm. A Nung ethnic woman makes textile fibre from cotton using traditional methods, at Phuc Sen village in Vietnam’s northern province of Cao Bang. The 38-year-old designer has been tapping into this growing global trend by working with some of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups, each of which have their own unique textiles and traditional clothing designs. “I learn the techniques from them,” Thao told AFP, explaining how she has drawn inspiration from Nung women in Phuc Sec village, who use natural dyes and weave on hand looms. She then adds “a more modern, contemporary… Read full this story
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