Posted August 16, 2012 by Caitlin Clark in Fashion

The IOU Project: Artisans v. The Machine

iou project weavers india artisans madras

Artisans make espadrilles in Spain


ou know when you buy a top or a dress for a night on the town only to see another girl wearing the exact same thing? Well, if you shop the IOU Project, that is GUARUNTEED not to happen, and you’re doing something good for the world. Sounds pretty cool, right?

The IOU Project starts with one particular piece of hand made fabric called the “madras check” from weavers in southern India. Once collected together, these pieces of fabric are taken to manufacturers in Europe, where individual items of clothing are cut from the fabric, ensuring that no two items will be the same. It’s the snowflake of fashion!

Once you choose to order an item on the IOU Project website, you can trace it using the IOU Project app. Each item is identifiable by a QR code, which can access pictures of the artisan who created the design and the weaver who made the fabric. After you get your item, you can complete the story by uploading a picture of yourself so that the artisans and weavers can see where their hard work went.

These items are not super chic and they all involve madras (a look that should probably be worn in moderation) but they promote the artisans and weavers whose jobs are often taken over by machines. Plus, the IOU Project cuts out the middleman by doing all their business online, putting more money into the pockets of the artisans and weavers.

After watching this video, I dare you not to find room for a little madras plaid in your closet.

iou project chinos

Or just buy your guy some chinos!

(photos via)

Caitlin Clark

Avatar photo
Caitlin Clark is contributing author and Social Media Director for YouPlusMedia, focusing primarily on Style, Uptown, and Arts and Entertainment.