how much would you pay for this sweatshirt?
This project, launched in 2014 but continuing throughout next year, will explore the value we, as consumers place on craftsmanship and skilled labour.
The original sweatshirt, which you see here, was stitched in our Brooklyn studio, while a limited production run (without the embroidery) has been sent to artisans in Brooklyn, Peru and Afghanistan along with an image of the embroidery, a fixed dollar amount to cover labour costs ($24, which equals 2 hours of labour in New York) and instructions to stop working on the piece once they have reached the limitations of the wage in their respective country.
In Peru this means 10 hours of labour, about the equivalent of what you see in the picture. In Afghanistan it is closer to 15 hours, so the embroidery will continue on the back of the piece.
The finished pieces will all be sold on the Study webshop for the same price so customers can choose their level of embellishment and which country they wish to support. Each piece will have complete supply chain transparency.
minimum wage* in New York USD 12.00
minimum wage** in Peru USD 3.26
minimum wage** in Afghanistan USD 2.55
*for a starting salary apprentice position or internship
**for a well paid skilled garment worker or artisan
This is the beginning of what I hope will be a long conversation about labour issues, artisan craft collaboration and the value of workmanship. Who wants to have this conversation with me?