Fashion changes so rapidly with consumers needing to own the next big trend that it’s inevitably associated with disposable culture – which in turn drains resources and contributes to climate change.
That’s why Safia Minney founded People Tree over 26 years ago. It’s a pioneering company that puts ethics and the environment at the heart of everything they do.
Safia was the first to develop organic supply chains and collections, and received the first Fair Trade certification for People Tree’s entire operations.
They’ve now become the go-to brand for organic printed cotton dresses and tops, handwoven jackets and hand knitted heritage jumpers. They’ve collaborated with other designers and celebrities including Orla Kiely, Emma Watson and Zandra Rhodes, and have recently released a V&A collection which has been a best seller online and through numerous stockists including John Lewis.
The rest of the fashion world are working hard to make their businesses’ greener – to meet environmental targets and appeal to customers. People Tree don’t need to catch up – they’re leading the way.
They’ve proven that consumers care about where their clothes come from, and have shown that you can achieve the balance of producing great products, whilst campaigning for a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry.
Safia is also MD of Po-Zu, a footwear company that follows the same pattern as People Tree (pun intended!) by putting ethics and the environment at the heart of what they do.
She said: “We have worked with Ecotricity as the leader in green energy. Working with pioneers is essential to transforming business practice into something sustainable and giving fashion a human face. We are delighted for your [Ecotricity’s] support in promoting ethical fashion.”
If you run a business, you can make it greener too – here are some ideas we’ve come up with, inspired by Safia:
Look at your supply chain to make sure everything comes from an ethical and sustainable source – for example, People Tree use organic fabrics which come from sustainable sources.
Work with your partners to help each other be greener – you can support each other’s campaigns, and work together on social media to engage your current customers and encourage them to get involved.
You can be accredited for any ethical and environmental initiatives too – just like People Tree have Fair Trade and Soil Association certification – they’ve even received an Observer Ethical Award!
We’re excited to be working with both People Tree and Po-Zu throughout London Fashion Week, to call on the fashion industry to switch to green energy, and to encourage everyone to do their bit for the environment.
If everyone can take some small steps in reducing their carbon footprint – especially when it comes to fashion – it can make a big difference to fighting climate change.
Thanks to Safia Minney MBE, Founder of People Tree, Managing Director of Po-Zu, Author & Activist