The Story Behind TheStoryBehindTheLabel.com
In 2015 I finished my bachelor degree in Media Management in Berlin. Instead of starting to work or to continue studying - my neighbor Max asked me to follow him hitchhiking direction "East" in order to elaborate on all my unanswered questions around the textile industry.
I decided to do so.
In that moment people warned me about terror attacts, no rights for women and different living-standards, -food, -hygine, -policys and policemen in “the east”.
With this trip the idea for TheStoryBehindTheLabel grew. I wanted to show, what I (was lucky enough) to see. I wanted to take people along. I had no idea of anything, but many questions, that I wasn't able to find answers online.
I knew I would have open my eyes for some countries, cultures, religions, nature and politics in a very different way. After many journeys before, I felt ready to share my experience now. I wanted show what you can learn from different cultures.
I wanted to understand textile indurstries as such - as a topic of global connection - a culture by trade. My questions are based on the campaign I joined a year before, in 2014: Fashion Revolution in Germany.
Simple. No time frame, no destination to reach, always looking for production and culture everywhere. Max packed his bags and hitchhiked from Berlin onwards. After 7 weeks I joined him in Istanbul, Turkey. We hold our thumb out and made it through Turkey, then Georgia Armenia, Iran and from there, deciding against military partol, directly to India. We mainly couchsurfed, we sometimes camped, we rarely used hostels, Airbnb or hotels. We reacted to the things/people/cultures/moments/trouble areas in the moment they happend to us and in fact that lead the way we really went.
We slept on the floor, in a chicken hut, under one blanket with seven other men, in Trucks, on finest Persian carpets and in the only motel on the Armenian Iranian border, that smelled like pee - We did not regret what we learned from each of these moments. More about that travel and hitchhike experience at Max blog.
Yes. I am afraid of an misunderstanding. This blog was not to bring the "western opinion" to the East. This blog is made for people who want to see, read and experience the East with me. Letting go of sterotypes. It is made to show the beauty behind something different than the western standard. I am taking everybody who wants to on my journey to experience something, which happens besides the loud voices of money in advertising.
Before all this “fashion” was the last thing I was interested in. Beeing pretty, buying the latest style did not satisfy me. That might sound bold, but it was something that always appeared to me for free. That means it had no value. Moreover studying in Dublin - the home of Pennys/Primark - every kind of fashion seemed possible to havefor nearly no money and not worth to think about it. It was my todays best friend, who studied Textile, who started to tell me whats happening behind the production of clothes I am wearing. I got to know about Monsanto, Rana Plaza and Fashion Industries in Africa, clothes donations and slavery. This was the first time I started to think about fashion and it impacts and realized, eventhough I simply wear "any clothes" I have a huge impact on fashion industries. I noticed there are many more, just like me, who just don't know anything about it. So I thought why not taking you with me on my journey learning about it.
I believe there is two types of people: The ones who like to stay safe. They read and get informed, think and act after making a valid decicion. And then there are other ones, who like to take the adventures path triggered by curiosity of finding out about something they might don't know. As I admire the first group for intelligence and efficancy, I clearly belong to the second group. Both are important! One in order to provide information and the other ones in order to run a fair system.
And still this also doesn't mean that advertising and money is a bad thing - TheStoryBehindTheLabel just focusses on everything what happens next to what's obvious: The actual value in value-chains.
I am German but there are three reasons to blog in English:
I am going to travel and you will find a lot of pictures from people who more likely speak English than German - And I want them to understand what is written here.
Some of my best friends are English-speaking and I want them to participate.
I am too lazy to translate everything/ to write everything twice (sorry :) )
To be honest, being naive, stupid and just not care would probably be an easier life. But I can't. I was lucky in my life. Being born in 1991 as a girl in Germany is like hitting the jackpot. I grew up in total freedom, was able to participate in higher education, enjoyed exchanged programs in school and I went half a year abroad when I was 16 to New Zealand and learned a lot about myself and independency, after school I was traveling around the world, experienced China with my two best girlfriends, I studied and took a semester abroad in Dublin and met the most amazing people on this planet, who taught me that life can still be good when everything goes wrong, then I landed in Berlin and met inspiring people in this vibrant city - like my neigbour Max, who took me on this trip with him, which makes me telling the Story behind the Label to you.
I am struggeling with the fortune of these experiences. I do not know any better to handle with this then sharing them as a little reward to all people, their countries, cultures, religion and believes I benefit and learned from.
The only skill I use, is an open mind and the willingness to respect and risk anything that might be different from my own comfort zone. It is learning before judging, but knowing that I am full of judgements.
I am dyslexic - Nothing what kills me :P But it attested me that is harder for me than others to write a text without spelling mistakes. (Actually, I think the real reason is that most of my text are written in trains, airplanes, sitting on the street in front of hostels or something like that). Wel, I wil gife mi veriiie bessst & i jusst cahn sai i m sorrrie :)
Need to be said:
Angaben gemäß § 5 TMG:
Nora Milena Vehling
Verantwortlich für den Inhalt nach § 55 Abs. 2 RStV:Nora Milena Vehling,