Between 1990 and 2011, the U.S. lost approximately 750,000 apparel manufacturing jobs. And hence, The Whole Works was launched. A project of Something Independent, CO:BUILT explores through photography and conversation the collaborative nature of discovery by looking at relationships that began with a need for invention and have resulted in the development of new processes, products and partnerships. Their stories serve as a how-to manual on the future of work.
This CO:BUILT episode featuring Rifle, Colorado-based The Whole Works, puts a fresh lens to the American apparel manufacturing industry. In 2014, The Whole Works was launched with the intention of reinvigorating U.S. clothing manufacturing while creating sustainable, dignified jobs. To know The Whole Works is to experience their ecosystem – a passionate collective of sewers, designers, client-partners, educators and operators.
Says Sadye Harvey, Co-Founder of The Whole Works, “I think it’s really rewarding to see that this is working. Because when I see our products out at a show or on somebody, what I see is all the people that were behind it and their stories.”
Explore the full CO:BUILT photo essay to experience just what makes The Whole Works tick, or perhaps…stitch.
The images you will see are the work of Colorado photographer, Jack Ludlam, and shot in special collaboration with Something Independent. Through his photography, Ludlam brings to light the people and processes behind the production of seemingly everyday goods or services. His work captures a deeper portrait of an approach to life and work that is meaningful, reliable and inspirational.
This CO:BUILT story was also presented as a panel discussion at the Colorado Creative Industries 2016 Summit in Carbondale, CO.
The Whole Works is the 2015 winner of The Wright Award. Presented annually by Something Independent, The Wright is awarded to a Colorado company recognized for their enterprising spirit and the role they play in inspiring the next generation of leaders.