In recent months we have had the pleasure of getting to know Lindsey Fout, the brains and brawn behind Last Chance Textiles. Lindsay is a textile designer, researcher, and educator. Originally from rural West Virginia, Lindsey spent her youth crafting and combing antique stores for fabrics and materials to reuse. It wasn’t until she moved out west and attended school for fashion design that she realized she could turn her love of textiles into a career.
After spending some time designing for an activewear company, Lindsey knew she wanted to focus more on the physical process of making clothing. Finding textile design felt like “a culmination of [her] career and deeply rooted traditions.” Most of her designs are inspired by historical events or motifs that tell a story about a time and place, and it’s really the “why” that precipitates the “what” that keeps Lindsey engaged in her projects. She puts time and research into each of her designs to create products with depth, which is what drew us — along with many others — to her work.
When talking about a possible collaboration with Handyma’am, Lindsey wanted to make sure that the background behind the project was given just as much precedence as the finished product. “The backstory is part of what keeps things interesting for me,” Lindsey told us. In honor of Labor Day, we decided to draw inspiration for our latest bandana from female movements that have worked for labor conditions and standards we often take for granted.
The roses, wheat stalks, and banners in the bandana’s design are a nod to recurring motifs in women’s rights movements and union campaigns of the early 1900’s — such as the Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912 (sometimes referred to as the Strike of Bread and Roses). The vignettes of hands symbolize labor, cooperation, and strength. The phrase “for women, by women,” (along with being one of Handyma’am’s personal mottos) is a nod to the Woman in Industry Service, which was a cooperative-based bureau that fought to create better conditions for women in the labor force. The organization became known in 1920 as the U.S. Women's Bureau, and is still in existence today.