When people in the West throw their clothes away, their cast-offs often go on a journey east, across the oceans, to India’s industrial interior. In her film Unravel, Meghna Gupta traces a humanising path through this little-known phase of the global supply chain.
From the Kutch District of western India to the northern city of Panipat, garment recyclers turn into yarn the huge bales of clothes that come from people and places distinctly strange. Sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ludicrously large, the fabrics leave them curious about the people who threw away their clothes ‘practically unworn’.
With little exposure to Western culture other than the Discovery Channel, the garment recyclers rely on their imagination and the rumours that travel with the cast-offs to create an an intriguing perspective on the West.
Crafted with humour and compassion, and featuring a vibrant original score from Eleni Hassabis, Gupta’s film won awards at the Brief Encounters Short Film Festival, RiverRun International Film Festival and Women’s Independent Film Festival, among many others.