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Coppell Student Media

The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

Business Spectacle: Lilys Hair Studio (video)
Business Spectacle: Lily's Hair Studio (video)
October 26, 2023

The value in every stitch

At Coppell High School, it’s not uncommon to see a menagerie of unique styles as students use fashion as a mode of self expression, but many people do not understand the labor behind their favorite clothing pieces. The Sidekick staff designer Noor Fatima calls for a higher appreciation of sewing as a labor and art form. (Noor Fatima)

I had eagerly started sewing again after refilling the bobbin with burgundy thread. I am suddenly interrupted, however, by the needle piercing through my ill-placed finger rather than the fabric.

 

After getting a BAND-AID and replacing the – now bent – needle, I went straight back to work, determined to finish this project. Motivation ran through me after the close success, but ultimate failure, of my previous project, done in by a treacherous zipper.

I had been working on the current garment for the entirety of spring break. A long red dress made of four yards, or about $23 worth, of synthetic satin.  

My desk was crowded with my machine and loose threads littered the floor.  I found out first hand what the effects of sedentary work were, feeling stiff for days afterwards.

 

That day, I made a dress that was very close to being wearable. There is still a strange puff in the front where the fabric gathered incorrectly and the straps twist when you tie the back ribbon.  But I still wear it around my house, proud of my hard work.

There is a certain pride in wearing something made especially for you.

 

Beyond learning a new skill, I found that learning how to sew has made my appreciation for garment workers grow. While I have the comfort to design and sew these clothes on my own time, within my own home and to fail without any serious financial risk, the same isn’t true for many workers at major fashion companies like Shein.  

 

Inspections of these company’s factories have found human rights abuses. Not to mention the environmental impacts of overproduction and consumption created with this model of business.

“A lot of people wear clothing to just dress themselves, not really taking into consideration all of the hard work that actually goes into it,” said New Tech High @ Coppell junior Anisha Satish, who works in costuming in theater and runs a fashion blog. “All these third world countries work so hard to make sure that the clothing that they give out is sustainable and have ethical practices that have good material that goes into it. People who are interested in the fashion industry or  sewing actually understand the hard work that goes into it, but most people don’t”

 

As a Pakistani girl, and Satish being Indian herself, we come from cultures with deeper historical connections to the textile and fashion industry. In general, fashion culture in South Asian countries are very different, as they still maintain the option of buying and having fabrics tailored to you, rather than the other way around.

I would not dare to throw away the salwar kameezes my aunts have sent me, but would I feel as strongly for anything I’ve bought from the mall? I find my view of most stores changed, that the $50 price tag isn’t nearly as appealing once you learn of the true difficulty and beauty of making one’s own garments. 

 

Fashion is an integral part of culture; our clothes can transform the way we perceive and express ourselves.  It is high time we acknowledge and uplift the labor behind sewing and those who make our wardrobes possible.

 

It’s time to acknowledge the value in every stitch.

 

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About the Contributor
Noor Fatima
Noor Fatima, Staff Designer

As an excited, wide-eyed Noor walked into D115 for the first time on the first day of her sophomore year, she tilted her head in confusion and thought to herself, “I thought this was an art class, why are there newspaper awards lining the walls?” Despite stumbling into the program by accident, Coppell High School senior and Sidekick graphic designer Noor Fatima found her place in the newspaper.  

Expanding beyond her expectation of designing graphics, Noor has tried a variety of mediums in the program. She enjoys writing stories and drawing graphics.  She grew up in Canada and moved to Texas five years ago, where she joined The Sidekick in her sophomore year of high school.

 She is the secretary of The Coppell Young Writers Association, and has a deep passion for writing. She appreciates the convergence of writing and multimedia that The Sidekick has, and believes that they go together. “People often separate writing, photos, and graphic design, but I think they are amplified and speak for each other when put together,” Noor says. 

Her favorite genre of music is J-pop, and enjoys listening to artists such as  Yoasobi and Kanaria. Noor is fond of rainy weather, and she loves to spend rainy days reading a good book with a warm cup of coffee. She enjoys reading a mix of manga and the occasional novel, and doodling characters from series she likes in her sketchbook. She wishes to pursue writing, and publish a graphic novel in the future. You can contact her at [email protected].

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