Long-horn Miao, Guizhou province, China

In March 2015, I travelled to China with Jessie Helyar and Kartika Putra, two young Australian women attempting to preserve history through fashion. Their fashion label, Wolftress, seeks out traditional textile-making skills of ethnic communities around the world and utilises their fabrics in their collections. By working with these communities Wolftress hopes to encourage and nurture ancient artisan skills but they face an uphill battle. Traditional ethnic communities and their textile making skills are being threatened by a modernised world and its desire for cheaper products regardless of authenticity. For their latest collection, Jessie and Kartika travelled to the Yunnan and Guizhou provinces of southern China to find the textile designs of the Bai, Yi, Miao, and Bouyei ethnicities. I was lucky enough to join them. We discovered a China struggling to uphold its cultural and historical identity in the midst of a modern culture of mass production and manufacturing famous for the tagline, Made in China. Follow the Wolftress China Diaries to find out more.

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