Against the grain

  • Karin van Middendorp / Graphic Design / Zwolle

In India, being a widow is seen as punishment from God, and according to the Hindu faith these women bring bad luck, because women are supposed to die before their husbands. This is why many widows are ostracised and vulnerable, poor and lonely as a result. Up until six years ago, women could even choose to be burnt alive with their husband rather than remain a widow.


A clothing workshop in Chennai, a city in India, is reaching out to these ostracised widows. They receive mental support and are trained as tailors. By carrying out this work under decent working conditions they regain their value as human beings and can take care of themselves and their children.


With the Webshop Tegendraads (Against the grain), I want to support the workshop in India from the Netherlands, by selling tailored clothing online. I do this by displaying the clothing’s origin in a personal way, in which equality and attention for each other are key elements. The Webshop advises you in finding clothing that fits well with your body type after having filled in your size.


To announce this Webshop, I designed a ‘fitting’ rug that can be distributed at festivals. This rug can be used at the festival in different ways. Its distinctive label gives a brief description of the origin and maker of the rug with a link to the website, where you can meet and thank the maker.


In this way, clothing which is suitable for everyone is created: the widows provide you with clothing tailored to your body while you’re helping these women regain their dignity.