by Anna Bartalini

The first meeting between the two tailor’s shops involved in the project was held on 7 September, as part of the “Mending the future” project, funded by the Modena Foundation and the European Union: the social tailoring Manigolde, based in Finale Emilia, and the Renascer Alfaiataria tailor’s shop, based in Antula, a district of Bissau. The meeting was eagerly awaited and finally gave the seamstresses the opportunity to see and get to know each other, and start together a process of exchange of knowledge and experience.

Both sartorial realities arise from great motivations: the Manigolde, in fact, are a tailor’s shop that is particularly attentive to the themes of reuse, the circular economy and environmental protection; Renascer Alfaiataria, on the other hand, pays special attention to the local population and women, with the desire to support the latter in achieving socio-economic autonomy.

The meeting took place online and, after a first round of introductions and some initial hesitation, probably due to the physical and linguistic distance, the will and curiosity to observe different models of clothes and fabrics, and to learn new technical notions, prevailed. Later, various fashion shows, paillettes and mutual compliments, and at the end the final judgment.

The seamstresses of Antula were particularly fascinated by the use of crochet, a technique that the Manigolde juggle with great skill. On the other hand, the Manigolde were eagerly waiting to explore the use of some of the bright fabrics seen in the videos, which the seamstresses of Antula use daily for dresses and other products.

There are many meeting points between these two apparently distant realities: the two tailor’s shops, both highly-creative laboratories, are united by passion, desire to experiment and a strong sense of community.

Thanks to this will, the path that began on September 7th will be able to continue in the coming months, also through online tutorials and guides that both tailors are producing to facilitate and ensure the exchange of knowledge. The hope for the future is that we can arrive at the creation of a common garment.

Group photo of the women participating to the trainings in the tailor’s shop Renascer Alfaiataria in Bissau.
A screenshot of the meeting.
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