IOU Blue
April 12, 2011 6:03 PM   Subscribe

The IOWEYOU project. You can't go to a shop and buy these clothes. Because each textile is unique they have an app that allows you to trace your garment right back through the production process to the actual weaver that hand-wove the fabric. You can see some of the delightful people involved in the project at their YouTube channel.
posted by unliteral (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
So... what does the clothing LOOK like?
posted by desjardins at 6:10 PM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

And how much does it cost? Can I actually buy, say, a shirt? All I see is a promotional video.
posted by Scientist at 6:13 PM on April 12, 2011

What they said.
posted by oddman at 6:20 PM on April 12, 2011

MarketingFilter, albeit unintentional.
posted by anigbrowl at 6:23 PM on April 12, 2011

Just to add some material for discussion, a possibly relevant quote from William Gibson about appreciating the "honest maker":

"I’ve always assumed that’s our version of the Arts & Crafts movement, and that the Arts & Craft movement couldn’t have happened prior to Modernism -- so William Morris was a full-on modernist, and it expressed itself in the fetishisation of traditional crafts and their makers."

When marketing the making becomes more important than the items, that's worth noting. (Says the woman who's expecting her loom to arrive this week.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:40 PM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

I have this brilliant idea but I can't act on it, so I'm giving it to you, Metafilter.

I read somewhere that a study had shown that people would rather wear a shirt that had been dipped in dung than a shirt that had been worn by a serial killer. In both cases, the shirt had been properly washed. So there's a sense of magical contagion... that proximity to a bad thing imbues an object with similar badness. Likewise, proximity to a good thing imbues the object with goodness.

My immediate reaction was to start a used clothing shop where each article of clothing came with a personal history: "This dress was worn by a woman on the night she met her husband. They danced until midnight. The stain at the bottom happened when he told her she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, and so giddy was she that she spilled her wine."

This would really work, I know it. The history of a piece of clothing really does mean something.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:44 PM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thanks MonkeyToes and twoleftfeet, that's what I was looking for.
posted by unliteral at 6:46 PM on April 12, 2011

unilateral, I've been thinking a lot about this topic lately, especially because I've just finished William Gibson's "Zero History" and because I'm someone who enjoys learning how to make. The promo here is slick and really well done, but I am a little disturbed by the ratio of story (in Gibson's sense, above) to product; it would be more interesting, as with twoleftfeet's suggestion, if the clothing could speak for itself, aided by the stories behind it (especially if they're not woeful, but that's a different conversation). For myself, I appreciate the *making* and the degree of difficulty as well as the philosophy behind it, but I need to fall in love with the materials, too. It's hard to get a handle on this interesting project in the absence of these possibly lovely textiles, and to be seduced by the story (bits of Luddism over the *internet*, anti-imperialism, pro-independence, empowerment) seems somehow wrong. And yet the spirits of John Ruskin and William Morris live on...

All the same, I can't help wondering "Who is the Hubertus Bigend of the IOWEYOU Project?"
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:58 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

MonkeyToes, Bigend is Kavita Parmar.
posted by unliteral at 7:12 PM on April 12, 2011

Oh, sure. Link the cute lady weaver. What about handsome #888, A SARVANAN, or #338, P. AUDIYAPATHAM, otherwise known as Mr. Insanely Cute Graying Temples?
posted by zylocomotion at 7:28 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I walked into a store that had gorgeous scarves the other day... and a not-overly-friendly lady working away at a giant loom in the corner, making more of them. It was tempting to just sit in the store and watch her work, but she didn't seem overly keen on being watched at her work despite being a sort of living advertisement.
posted by MadamM at 8:10 PM on April 12, 2011

I read somewhere that a study had shown that people would rather wear a shirt that had been dipped in dung than a shirt that had been worn by a serial killer.

Depends on which one and when they wore it, but I would pay good money for one of, say, Son of Sam's tee shirts. But I also already have shirts that have been dipped in dung.
posted by cmoj at 9:53 PM on April 12, 2011

You lost me at "app."
posted by bicyclefish at 10:40 PM on April 12, 2011

Finally I'll be able to put a face to "Inspector #4" who's been leaving little tags in my clothing for years.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:55 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

So... what does the clothing LOOK like?
Like this
posted by unliteral at 6:21 PM on April 13, 2011

I'm not in love with the clothes, but I'm now lusting after the Lungi Carro mobile display. Fascinating, useful, beautiful. unliteral, I wish the conversation about this project/marketing strategy had grown, but thanks for the interesting links.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:18 AM on April 14, 2011

C'est la vie MonkeyToes.
posted by unliteral at 4:43 PM on April 14, 2011

FWIW the site is completely live now.
posted by unliteral at 4:26 PM on May 12, 2011

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