Not a Shirt but a Freespace
"Of course, it's a great honour to be invited to the Biennale. But it also means a lot of time and money, which small offices can barely afford. That's why I wanted our efforts to at least benefit others, and decided to use the international attention to present our NGO, Didi Textiles, to a large audience."
With her strong Bavarian accent, Anna Heringer reveals her origins in the small village of Laufen, located close to the Austrian border near Salzburg. Not only does she value its simple, everyday life for herself, she also tries to support others in their daily existence in developing rural regions.
Heringer wears a sleeveless T-shirt by Didi Textiles; another one is mounted high up on a bamboo rod. But Heringer emphasizes that "It’s not a shirt – it’s a freespace!" The fabric from which Didi Textiles shirts, dresses, bags and pillows are sewn is sourced from old saris and blankets, which are then cleaned and transformed by women in Rudrapur, Bangladesh. Not only is each shirt an individual work of sustainable design for the customer, it also represents a small freespace for the seamstresses in the textile industry. In Asia, this is usually characterised by inhumane working conditions; here, on the other hand, they can sew independently in the company of their children and elderly family members.