Every now and then a designer or label appears in my inbox with a story so moving and beautifully written that it becomes very clear that all I need to do is get out of the way and let it speak for itself. This is very much with the case for SEDA ; a slow fashion label working with indigenous artisans and on a mission to take you back to your roots.
The following words are from SEDA’s founder, a Uyghur/Uzbek migrant WOC named Denara. I hope this story lights you up like it did me.
Words by Denara Amat
“My name is Denara, I am an Uzbek/Uyghur migrant who moved to Australia when I was 12. I was born and raised in a country called East Turkestan. You may not have heard of this as it is a country that no longer exists. Like Tibet, my country is being wrongfully occupied, my people have been turned into slaves, living in detention camps and forced into labour for major fast fashion labels.
When I migrated to Australia 15 years ago, I didn’t even know I had my own country, this was the level of brain washing I had been fed. Whilst adapting to a new country and learning English, I was also learning and unlearning so much as well as coming to terms with the fact that I will never see any relatives again. On top of that (classic puberty blues) I was very lost and confused.
After taking linguistics at Uni (I love learning languages so much) I went to Colombia to travel and to learn Spanish. I ended up being so welcomed by different indigenous communities who shared with me their stories of colonisation, survival, food and their traditional art and crafts.
They taught me to turn my pain into my power. They really empowered me to find my voice again.