FAQs About the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety

FAQs About the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety

FAQs About the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety

This page is copied and pasted from the Remake.org website to foster information about this topic.

What is the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (aka The Accord)?

The Accord (or Bangladesh Accord) is a groundbreaking agreement on workplace safety launched in the aftermath of the worst industrial accident in fashion history, the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster. The Accord has been hugely impactful, protecting the lives of 2.7 garment makers in 1,600 factories in Bangladesh through factory inspections, upgrades, and training, putting a stop to the cycle of fires, building collapses and other accidents that senselessly take garment makers’ lives. The Accord agreement was first signed in May of 2013 between unions and more than 200 global apparel brands, including H&M, Zara, American Eagle, PVH (parent company to Tommy Hilfiger), C&A, UNIQLO, Primark, and Adidas. The Accord first expired in 2018, but a successor Accord agreement was extended again until 2021. We are now demanding the Accord’s continuation and expansion!  

When and why was the Accord developed and what is the Rana Plaza disaster?


On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed with thousands of people inside. At least 1,134 people died and thousands more were injured. It is the worst industrial disaster in the history of the fashion industry, and it came on the heels of several other deadly factory accidents, including the Tazreen and Ali Enterprises factory fires. 

Disasters in the fashion industry are entirely preventable. Garment makers were forced back to work at Rana Plaza even though they knew the building was cracking and structurally unsound after they were threatened by management with lost wages. Rana Plaza made it clear that the fashion industry needed a bold, systemic solution to unsafe working conditions in the form of a binding agreement. The Accord was signed within a month of this travesty. The result has been eight years of extraordinary progress, with the Worker Rights Consortium estimating that hundreds, quite possibly thousands, of lives have been saved. 

What is the goal of the current Accord campaign? What counts as success?


Remake and PayUp Fashion’s campaign goal is for these five brands (H&M, Zara, American Eagle, Tommy Hilfiger, and C&A) to publicly commit to sign on to extend and expand the Accord. We are also looking for brands to not only commit to a new Accord, but commit to the most important 3 components of a new agreement, namely:

  1. Individual brand accountability 
  2. An independent secretariat to oversee the Accord
  3. Expansion of the Accord model into other countries

To see an example of what a strong and sufficient commitment to the Accord looks like, see Asos’s statement. We are also working with other labor rights groups to confirm brands’ commitment to the Accord extension is sufficient.

Have any brands committed to extending and expanding the Accord?


Yes! As of June 12, 2021, five brands have committed to extend and expand the Accord:

  1. ASOS
  2. G-Star
  3. Tchibo
  4. KIK
  5. Zeeman 

These brands have also agreed to the three important components of a renewed Accord, namely brand accountability, independent oversight and expansion into other countries. 

You can read Asos’s public commitment here, which states that “Given the importance of this issue, ASOS would like to state our commitment to continuing the progress made over the last eight years through the Accord, and to ensuring worker safety.” 

What’s also noteworthy is that KIK, a German discount clothing retailer, was producing clothing in Rana Plaza, as well as Tazreen and Ali Enterprises factories, all deadly factory disasters that happened in 2012 and 2013 in Bangladesh and Pakistan that led to the Accord. After seeing the success of the Accord, Kik continues to strongly support this agreement, saying that they “support the expansion of the Accord model to other production countries as we have witnessed the Accord’s success and effectiveness.”

What other organizations support the Accord?

The Accord has broad international support. In addition to global labor rights organizations like the Clean Clothes Campaign, which has led the #ProtectProgress campaign for years, global unions industriALL and UNI Global Union support The Accord, as do local unions and factory-level worker groups in Bangladesh representing hundreds of thousands of workers, including Awaj Foundation and Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity. Even politicians support the Accord: Most recently Agnes Jongerius, a Member of European Parliament for the Netherlands (S&D), issued a strong statement in support of extending and expanding the Agreement. 

Why target H&M, Zara, American Eagle, Tommy Hilfiger, and C&A?

Quite simply these five brands–H&M, Zara, American Eagle Outfitters, Tommy Hilfiger, and C&A–are well-known global apparel companies that source a lot of apparel in Bangladesh and throughout Asia. They are all original signatories to the Accord and they all tout their social and environmental leadership. We expect them to fulfill those lofty goals by continuing to support The Accord. As experience shows, once these leading brands sign onto the Accord, the rest of the industry will follow.

H&M for example has made public statements on the Accord extension, but the companies appear to favor the replacement of the Accord with a voluntary initiative that has no binding element or accountability for brands. We can’t let this happen. Individual brand accountability is the defining feature of the Accord, and what made it successful, and what we are asking brands to commit to.

C&A has made a similar public statement saying they support the replacement of the Accord with a locally run body. What that means is that C&A wants the binding agreement to fade away and be replaced by a voluntary initiative. What’s more, global unions will withdraw from that locally run body in August (the Readymade Sustainability Council) if the RSC fails to agree to a new legally binding Accord agreement on safety, as promised.

So far, Tommy Hilfiger and American Eagle have remained mum on the issue of whether or not they will #ProtectProgress and sign onto the Accord. Zara recently said they support a strong new agreement with individual accountability for brands

 Should we be pressuring other companies to support the Accord? 

Yes! We encourage folks to pressure any and all of the 2018 Accord Extension Signatories to support the Accord. Here is the full list. Within the list, we will be tracking the support of 25 large brands in total on the PayUp Fashion website: 

Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters (Aerie) Benetton, Bestseller, C&A, Carrefour, Cotton On, Esprit, Fanatics, Fruit of the Loom, H&M, Hugo Boss, Inditex (Zara), Loblaw, LPP, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, New Look, Next, Otto, Primark, Puma, PVH (Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein), River Island.

  1. Adidas 
  2. American Eagle Outfitters (Aerie) 
  3. Benetton
  4. Bestseller 
  5. C&A 
  6. Carrefour
  7. Cotton On
  8. Esprit
  9. Fanatics
  10.  Fruit of the Loom
  11.  H&M
  12.  Hugo Boss
  13.  Inditex (Zara)
  14.  Loblaw
  15.  LPP
  16.  Mango
  17.  Marks & Spencer
  18.  Mothercare
  19.  New Look
  20.  Next
  21.  Otto
  22.  Primark 
  23.  Puma
  24.  PVH (Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein)
  25.  River Island

How does the Accord keep garment makers safe?

The Accord is extremely effective at protecting workers’ lives and well-being for a few key reasons. Most importantly, the Accord is legally binding (meaning it has a contract behind it obligating its participants to fulfill their responsibilities) and it’s enforceable against individual brands, meaning brands can be held responsible if they don’t follow through. It has teeth and real consequences for brands that don’t comply with its conditions to upgrade factories and make them safe. Under the Accord contract, brands can even be sued in court by unions if they break their promises. In fact, several brands have been sued since the Accord’s inception to remedy life-threatening workplace hazards. Voluntary initiatives have in the past been unable to prevent mass casualties in apparel factories, and the Accord by contrast proved what’s possible with a contract between brands, unions, and suppliers. 

What has the Accord achieved?

It’s important to celebrate the dramatic progress made by the Accord. The initial inspection of Bangladesh’s factories back in 2013 found more than 87,000 safety issues, including more than 50 factories that were at immediate risk of collapsing. By 2018, the vast majority, 85% of all the original hazards identified had been eliminated. Today, more than 90% have been eliminated. It’s estimated that hundreds, if not thousands of lives, have been saved in Bangladesh by the Accord. In order to expand the Accord to other countries, the agreement needs to remain in place. 

  • The Accord covers 1,687 factories, providing building and fire safety inspections, remediation and training
  • More than 38,000 initial and follow-up inspections have been conducted for fire, electrical and structural safety
  • More than 90% of factories found to have safety problems have remediated those problems. That amounts to 1,260 factories. 

When will the Accord expire? How and why was it extended for three more months?


The original Accord was a five-year agreement that expired in 2018. At that time, a three-year extension was signed by more than 100 of the original signatories, and that agreement was set to expire on May 31, 2021. Three days before the expiration, the Accord signatories announced they would continue to negotiate a new agreement for three more months. Advocates and consumers have until August 31, 2021 to pressure brands to extend the Accord and negotiate a strong new agreement. 

According to the Worker Rights Consortium, a witness signatory to the Accord, the three-month extension has allowed more time for a strong successor agreement to be negotiated: “This will maintain the brands’ binding obligations for worker safety in Bangladesh through August 31. We are hopeful that a new agreement, preserving the crucial provisions of the Accord and expanding its reach, can be achieved during this time frame.” 

You can view the text of the three-month extension agreement here and the overall Accord agreement here.

Why should the Accord continue? Aren’t factories safe now?


If the Accord expires, brands will no longer be responsible for addressing safety hazards in factories where our clothes are made. We risk the occurrence of another Rana Plaza factory collapse, and perhaps most importantly we will miss the opportunity to expand the Accord to more garment makers, including those in India and Pakistan.

What’s more, the work is not done. A recent report by the Clean Clothes Campaign showed that significant safety issues, including blocked exits and missing sprinkler systems, remain in some factories in Bangladesh making clothes for major brands, including H&M, Bestseller, C&A, Joe Fresh, and PVH, among others. What’s more, the Accord is effective. That alone is a reason to keep its life-saving safety measures in place and protect progress. 

Undoing the Accord now will prevent its expansion into other garment-producing nations. Unsafe working conditions continue to kill garment workers in other countries, highlighting the need to not only extend but expand the Accord. Recent workplace tragedies in North Africa, including 28 workers killed by electrocution in an illegal garment factory in Morocco in February 2021, 20 workers killed in a fire at a garment factory in Egypt in March 2021, and 8 people killed in a collapse later that month in the same country show the urgent need for brands to commit to not only extend but expand the Accord to other nations.

Why are some brands resistant to continuing the Accord? 


Some but not all apparel brands do not want to be held legally accountable or financially responsible for keeping their garment makers safe. They hope to replace the Accord with a safety plan that is not legally enforceable on them. We don’t believe that they will keep their promises if they can’t be brought to court individually, as their factory audits, voluntary initiatives, and empty promises failed to prevent Rana Plaza before. 

Other brands make a similar argument that all of the Accord’s functions and operations have been effectively transferred to the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC), which was established in Bangladesh in 2020 to implement the Accord. But the RSC was never designed to replace the Accord agreement itself and if the Accord agreement expires on August 31, 2021, the RSC will just be another voluntary safety program, which we know doesn’t work to keep garment makers safe. 

“Brands are proposing a type of [Accord] agreement that we know from before 2012, one that is no longer legally binding upon individual brands and has no independent secretariat to oversee brand compliance. Under the guise of setting up a lean structure, brands are in fact returning to self-monitoring, in direct contradiction of what upcoming [mHRDD] legislation is demanding,” says Ineke Zeldenrust of Clean Clothes Campaign. 

I have more questions and I want to know more. Where can I get answers?

  • The Clean Clothes Campaign, a witness signatory to the Accord, has an extensive Q&A on the Accord available here
  • The Worker Rights Consortium, witness signatory on the Accord, has an extensive list of reports and memos about the Bangladesh Accord. Their latest update on the Accord is also very helpful reading.
  • The campaign website RanaPlazaNeverAgain.org also has Action Kits, FAQs and a petition that goes to a number of brands asking them to protect progress. 

Quotes & Testimonials About the Accord 

Please use these quotes on social media; just make sure to give proper credit to the speaker! You can cut them down to a shorter length if you need to, but please try not to change the intention of the speaker.

“I firmly believe that if the accord stays, then we will not have to die in fire accidents and building collapses.” – Ronjona Aktar Hashi, a Bangladeshi garment worker at the Alliance Knit Composite factory

“Eight years ago, the Accord was established for good reasons, to protect workers against dangerous working conditions and to put their safety first. Especially in these uncertain times during a pandemic, it’s extremely irresponsible for brands to backtrack on the one agreement that is holding brands accountable to their promise to keep workers safe in the workplace.” — Agnes Jongerius, a Member of European Parliament for the Netherlands (S&D)

“The Accord has played an outstanding role in preventing fatal accidents since its creation in 2013, and the work must continue. This three-month extension is a very important commitment. It demonstrates that we will not allow the safety and health of the Bangladeshi garment workers to be jeopardized while we continue negotiating a successor agreement with the brands, preserving the achievements in Bangladesh and also expanding them to other countries.” Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general secretary 

“The Accord saves lives. Why on Earth would we walk away from something that works so effectively to keep garment makers safe?” — Elizabeth L. Cline, journalist and author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion  

“The one thing I’ve experienced after the Accord started working here is that our workers have a voice now. If there’s a crack in the building they can say “no” to the factory managers, I will not come back until you fix it.” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“Because of the Accord, the work environment has improved very much. Before there would be sacks lying here and there in the aisles, there would be three machines instead of one. There was no way out. We would have to jump over one another to make our escape. Now the aisles are clear, the workspace is clean. Now we are working in a safer environment” – Parvin Akter, Assistant Secretary of Workers Union at Ananta Apparel

“Binding obligations for companies work much better than voluntary promises. As a result of that process [of the Accord], we now have vastly safer factories in Bangladesh.” – Scott Nova, Executive Director of the Worker Rights Consortium. 

“Bangladesh has experienced one of the most effective campaigns of the globalized era to improve labor and safety conditions.” — Lizzie Patton, The New York Times

“We can talk freely to Accord officials. When we file complaints to Accord officials, they respond very promptly. They don’t get easily convinced by the statements of the factory management. They regularly check compliance issues during factory inspections. We strongly believe that the Accord should stay and operate in Bangladesh.” — Mim Akter, garment worker and union leader, Dress, and Dismatic factory, Bangladesh 

“The Accord is a landmark agreement because it is a binding agreement. It’s not like the empty promises brands have been making to workers about their safety for years. That alone speaks volumes. ” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“We need brands to sign on the international Accord and continue to protect the progress that has been made in our country. ” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“Brands and retailers must make sure that an incident like Rana Plaza can not happen again, here in Bangladesh, or in any other production country. Our workers’ lives are important.” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“If we had had the Accord before, we could have saved all those lives that were lost in the Rana Plaza collapse.” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

Important Links:

Sign the petition at RanaPlazaNeverAgain: www.RanaPlazaNeverAgain.org

Videos to Share and Watch:

Please feel free to post these videos on social media with credit and attribution. 

  • Never Forget Rana Plaza. Credit: Remake
  • Rana Plaza & Tazreen Survivors Speak. Credit: Remake
  • Why the Accord is important. A worker explains. Credit: Clean Clothes Campaign

Additional accounts to Follow for Accord Updates:

INSTAGRAM
@CleanClothesCampaign

@remakeourworld

TWITTER

@CleanClothes

@BHRRC

@4WorkerRights

@kalponaakter

@awaj_fdn

This page is copied and pasted from the Remake.org website to foster information about this topic.

More Pressing Matters

More Pressing Matters

It has been over a year since I moved out of the living room into the new studio. Although we didn’t get a chance to have a big opening party in the new digs. Honestly too, at first, it was such a mess to move and there was so much to do last Fall that I thought the opening should be at the beginning of the year. 

 

It’s the best studio for my business and situation, not wanting to overextend myself I have to keep it within reason until we grow beyond the immediate square foot space. Did I mention how close to home it is? Less than one mile alongside streets perfect for riding my bike there (wearing a bicycle vest of course) or I can walk. Someone said to me recently “But you never do?” Wrong. I ride my bike a lot and walk often but as with going anywhere I often have ****loads of stuff to carry, more than I can carry on a bike or in a backpack.

 

The workspace is on the ground floor with the ability to move rolling racks in and out without any steps which are almost worth its weight in gold alone. There are two rooms, a separate room for photo/video shoots with a big green screen besides all social media planning and posting. I do have the automation setup. First I usually have Fiverr finish the copy on many of the posts, I’ll edit visuals with Canva, and schedule with Tailwind on my Pinterest account. 

 

This year we staged many zoom calls and conferences there too. We do not keep anything valuable there because we carry our little equipment back and forth. On a side note my son has discovered the joy of the studio making videos there in the evenings. 

 

But all that was slow going as I had to help my mother while the pandemic was looming. Instead of making masks that everyone was looking at us to make. The tides were turning.

 

More pressing matters, a pun I love because I always have pressing going on! But in this case, my mother had some urgency to sell her house and put the wheels in motion between x-mas and New Years’! 

 

I knew she needed my help which would eclipse anything I had going on. My business had been in the slumps before, actually kind of always ebbing and flowing. So I put my excellent daughter’s face on and we got to the business of selling our family home. Not an easy task really, it had been the home of my mother and stepfather for forty plus years and had the memorabilia of ten kids, tons of grandkids, and a few great-grandkids to put in respective boxes. 

 

My mother is an artist and had a studio in the garage and in a room in the house full of all the shows she had exhibited, priceless artwork, and measurable career documents of noteworthiness that needed cataloging. I was amazed at all the work she has done with documentation just strewn about in two five-foot file drawers and stuffed everywhere else. So with the help of about twenty bankers boxes, I got to work. Putting her artwork photos in one box and friends of the art scene in another, work-related exhibits, commissions, and lectures she has given went in another. 

 

Fortunately, I live for times like these in the organizational world. With my mom, not my own house I could be slightly more objective and discern the trash from the keep important papers, photos, and writings. I separated other photos with bankers’ boxes at the ready. Our one side of the family broken down into individuals, and the other side of the family broken down into three boxes, one of the framed photos, unframed, and their dad’s memorabilia. 

 

Of course, I had scores of boxes and sorting stations in the garage where everything would end up and be the last room to clean up. 

 

In the house, I had a humongous donate pile by the back sliding glass doors for any and all stuff. And I had black trash bags throughout the house for trash. Some black bags in one room for the stuff she absolutely wanted to keep. No one was to move the bags around until they had my directions. Which implies I had help. The kind of help where my mother would want to “clean” up and start moving stuff around or the well-meaning friend who thought they would take the trash out. Even though I had masking tape labels on most bags we did not want to confuse where they were by mixing them up. 

 

This was about the time Covid hit and the donation centers were not accepting anything. Our pile grew as we gifted neighbors with thoughtful choccies for being there for us, and we called friends to come over to take whatever they wanted, asked the handyman to take any and all, then we finally saw a junk collector drive by and flagged him down to take it all but no we still had a lot to carry to the alley in the hopes somebody would walk by and take boxes of greeting cards, more plastic dishes and plates that never ended. 

 

The one black bag filled to the brim of plastic stuff spilled over into another black bag. Well, I know my mother and she loves plastic. She once had a “formal” dinner for my in-laws all in the plastic of every kind for all the types of “glasses” needed, serving dishes and plates, napkin ring holders, and homemade plastic flowers made from old Clorox bottles. It was pretty cool and why we didn’t always take pictures of every table she ever set I don’t know. We have a lot of the time, but not that one. My mother cares more about ambiance and decor than how good the food tastes. The plastic was hardly ever the throw-away kind, it was washable. 

 

That one setting was her response to a dinner she had at my in-laws who have beautiful dishes and glassware. My mother joked she was going to get lead poisoning from the glasses. Who knows what chemical poisoning we get from all the plastics? 

 

So it was important to sort all the plastic out from a huge pile on the floor. Most of it I just gave away. She may have kept one tray. 

 

We only had about a month, and I canceled a few of my events before we were going to list the house. While also planning a big event of hers. A ninetieth birthday party and art sale all on one weekend in February. We spent around a thousand dollars to mount all the artwork, buy scones and champagne for two days of an open house, signs, and some platters of sandwiches, and pizzas for the family who were going to be in town. The pizza and champagne were her ideas of the perfect spread. We ended up selling about three thousand worth of work at firesale prices and only had a few leftovers. Plus a nice sampling of friends and family showed up. She gave each kid one of their picks of artwork. Still, she had a lot of work to get rid of because it had nowhere else to go.  

 

We eventually did get a storage unit for said boxes and artwork. My husband put a lot of his artwork in the unit, and our transient kids put a lot of their stuff in as well. The expense and rationale for a storage unit. Worth the cost? 

 

We avoided getting a storage unit for so long, most all our lives trying to keep the crap down instead, but getting a unit changed everything for the better and freed up so much space without the regret of losing something important. 

 

It helped us stage the house easily. We only had some bare essentials and artwork hanging which made the house very chic and huge. We removed everything practically. Only my mother was living there and she knew she was extremely downsizing so we took advantage of the fact and made the house seem functional and modern because nothing was there. 

 

The garden windows had three vases each instead of seventeen. There were seven paintings on the wall instead of twenty. The pillows were only a few, and you get the idea. No personal photos. Only one set of dishes in the kitchen cabinet. One set of towels. One set of sheets. The closet had only a few clothes instead of bursting at the seams. 

 

The window treatments were brand new and in neutral gray shades. We kept the dining room table permanently set. All daily clutter we put in one box in a lower kitchen cabinet. That is how my mother had to live through a few weekends in February after her birthday/sale party and few real estate open houses.

 

It was a success, selling for the asking price on the first day, and not bothering with any other offers. My mother moved to independent living on March 15 with so many restrictions on how we had to move her in. We couldn’t go up to the apartment and help her arrange anything. But they managed to hang all her art and set everything up (without me). Although the pandemic made us nervous the house closed on March 31.

 

Each Piece Deserves a Story

Each Piece Deserves a Story

I’m constantly thrown into my past, thinking about the foundation of Salad Bowl Dress, and building a business while parenting. I have three kids, now all young adults who still need help and parenting, but when I was starting my business again they were all little and needing so much more attention. I’m very passionate about the importance of early childcare — invite me to a dinner party and hear me talk on and on about the absurdity of maternal leave being called disability, the joke that parents only have 12 weeks to bond and nurture their new children before being forced back into work, and the insanity our society making childcare inaccessible or too expensive for working parents. I mean, it is hard to care for little ones no matter how you cut it, but we’re making it especially difficult!

One documentary called No Small Matter illustrates the harm of not spending enough time with our children. Not only to the child, but the harm it has on the greater good for society.

Being encompassed in this world of work and children was one of the huge driving forces I had designing and building my garments. I try, in so many ways, to give each piece a story. In my mind, I consider them a mom (or dad) garment first, then teacher, gardener, and ultimately creator. Each aspect of every piece carries with it thought, and intention.

Each piece deserves a story, a film, an explanation of why the particular transformation was right. The clothes deserve their own photoshoot, to be worn and seen.

I work on finding the right garment for each person who crosses my path, and have developed somewhat of a knack for finding what someone was looking for. But I’m still growing and so is the world and space around me. Sometimes, it’s true, I didn’t have the right piece for the right person, but this is one way how I think and create the future lines of SBD.

Fitting people with the right garment leads naturally into more photos being taken, and more stories to be told. Online, people browse through clothing with no personality, no content, no story, but people might try on a vest and take photos with different angles, could see how it looks through their own eyes.

People want to see that, they want something that can be an extension of themselves. It is part of the process of buying one of our pieces, and it is always the process that one usually finds enjoyable and unique.

I often work with my own experiences, inspiring the bulk of my collection to be sturdy and pocket-filled. But I love listening, learning, and discovery. I love making clothes with a purpose, and I love contributing to people’s lives and individual stories. I’m working to create these pieces for people who are looking to grow and create.

So here we go, please enjoy yourself and ride on this rollercoaster of living through this blog.

Why Write a Blog?

Why Write a Blog?

Why Write a Blog?

Of course, I had to make money the artist/mom way all these years, not the business way. 

I made one-off goods to sell. Many customers became my friends and owned multiple garments, then COVID hit. 

This year may have been my biggest year yet. I finally had my own studio again after ten years of intermittently working from home. 

I have the product, a few employees, person to person sales, wonderful Farmer’s Market venues and Artisan venues, fashion show recognition, although not any editorials simply for the lack of trying. 

I was going to make some press kits this year. Some line plans, and showroom sales. 

All of that was on a need-to basis, and quite frankly a waste of time, when I was designing, cutting, patterning, and sewing all my work. Everything was going along smoothly until I had the time to grow. 

In addition, I had some decor making ideas, besides a small sideline of organizing one’s house/closet which came naturally since I was collecting unwanted clothing. 

Having lived in NYC for twenty years I became good at home spatial planning and studied the art of organizing while trying to figure out what to do with all the stuff in cramped spaces. 

For fifteen of those years, living with an artist husband and then three kids all making artwork, in a loft in Red Hook Brooklyn. But now I am in the middle of a global pandemic realizing all the skills I’ve learned my whole life and all the interests had are all coming together in this moment of blogging and sharing on social media. 

Thinking this was also my time to make content videos on YouTube since I was a Communications(emphasis on radio, television, and film) graduate years ago, it still loomed in the background, thinking this was also my time to make content videos for YouTube always being interested in documentary film.  

Then covid hit, and in a way, I thought I could do all the things I wanted since I already had the design studio and the money I was planning to use to grow the fashion business was just going to have to help me pivot in an all-encompassing way to being a content creator. One that makes stuff for all media. 

Stuff being loosely defined, in my case as already having real stuff which is called Evergreen content ready for explanation or storytelling. How did I create these stuff / original designs and why, what inspired the one-offs I have been making for years. 

Then why did I make all the fun funky things for my house I saw in a now-defunct magazine called Ready Made and from a website called Ikea Hacks not to mention the Instructables site. This was all stuff I had made and would now be considered Evergreen content. 

Although at the beginning of this pandemic I was completely occupied by a serious turn of events of having to stage our family home, sell said home, and place my mother in a new home and rid her of all her belongings just as things were closing down. Something of a similar phenomenon was going on with my inlaws. At just this time their age had been catching up with them and it was time they all had to move to an independent living environment. 

Things really worked out with them as they all moved out of their respective homes and into full-time care facilities. The home I staged had closed by March 31 thankfully as people were in full lockdown. As a fashion business not only was I not allowed in my studio building there was time for helping my parents which were fortunate. Then after the first wave of wondering what to do, knowing making masks were what was expected I finally got started on making them deemed an essential worker, but I had to sew everything myself because my one employee was needed at her home. 

It was after sewing hundreds of masks, and selling and donating about half, I took a class that kind of changed my life. 

An online course of all things. You have heard it all before and in my case, it was the right thing at the right time. It validated that essentially I was a content creator but did not know how to go about making money doing everything that I loved. The class was from Melissa Griffen who I had met at a conference in Las Vegas. So she kind of knew me.

The validation propelled me to where I am today six months later with a new blog and validation that all the work I have done all these years trying to get the big sales or wondering why I kept going other than that I loved making it all, became a vast bank of useable Evergreen content, for my posts, pins, and videos. 

Yeah, I am a content creator who has consistently posted a blog weekly for almost three months now. Not counting the years of Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and Pinterest posts sharing my work over the years. 

Furthermore, having the most followers on my Linkedin account for really not doing anything but someone everyone always wants to have in their arsenal of skilled workers, a patternmaker/technical designer.

This new job is in high demand and helps work out any problems with where I am going in my career as someone in high demand. 

But why didn’t I do this sooner? I started and stopped blogging many times. Consistency is key with blogging and as a side hustle, there is only so much time one has as a mother and a Worker is what I called my title sometimes.