Ethical retailer of the week: People Tree
Are fashion and sustainability compatible? If you use organic and 100% Fairtrade materials as ethical fashion firm People Tree does, then the answer is yes.
People Tree started to sell ethical and ecological fashion in the UK back in 2001, building solid relationships with farmers and artisans and making 50% of payments in advance to help them doing the job.
The firm is committed to improve lives of disadvantaged communities in developing countries, currently helping 50 producer groups in 15 nations and participating to the funding of educational project, such as the Kumbeshwar Technical School in Kathmandu.
Protecting the environment also plays a crucial role in the ethos of People Tree. Goods are thought to have a small carbon footprint, while the production of fashion pieces is carefully managed to avoid pollution and waste and regulate water supplies. Organic cotton and pesticides-free products are a must, to protect the environment, health and farmer’s finance.
Founder and CEO of People Tree Safia Minney left the advertisement sector to try making the world a better place, as she states on the company’s website:
“The price tag on the fashion you buy rarely covers the real social and environmental costs – and here is why. Developing countries end up competing with each other to be the world’s garment factory, in what has been called a “race to the bottom” for wages, health, safety, job security and environmental protection. The system that keeps the world’s people poor also destroys the environment.
“Rather than being part of the problem, we can be part of the solution. It seems like a very small thing but, choosing a t-shirt or a dress made of organic cotton rather than conventional cotton made through Fair Trade can make a big difference. The environmental impact of fashion is something that should concern us all.”
Since People Tree was born, even some celebrities have collaborated with it. Harry Potter star Emma Watson and Irish fashion designer Orla Kiely have both taken part in the production and release of a series of designs and collections with the brand.
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