Fair trade fashion at its finest: meet People Tree
Fair trade fashion has arrived. After 25 years of campaigning for fair wages and safe conditions, finally, the fashion side of Fair trade is moving from the margins and into the mainstream.
This year is even better. It marks the beginning of an ambitious three-year campaign to introduce a living income for all – called She Deserves a living income.
The She Deserves a Living Income campaign demands that everyone is paid fairly. At its core, this means all people should thrive, not just survive.
It means everyone – no matter where you are or what your background is – should have access to an income that supports you and your family. This living income means that producers, farmers and all people should have access to good: food, healthcare, schooling for their children, safe water and so on.
A living income is not an option. A living income is a human right.
Fair trade fashion at its finest
People Tree have been campaigning and working with suppliers who provide a living income since day one! Today, this brand is on the frontier of what Fairtrade Fashion means and how we can embrace it.
Founded over 27 years ago, People Tree has Fairtrade in all aspects of its DNA. Every purchase makes a difference and benefits their producers.
From fair pay, equality in the workplace, good working conditions and much more, People Tree have thought about and taken action on it all.
People Tree are one of a small group of brands that are Fairtrade certified. This means the farmers they work with get a fair deal because Fairtrade is the only certifier to provide a safety net of a minimum price for farmers in times of global price decline.
To accompany this, the Fairtrade certification body also puts an extra amount of money on the product that goes directly to the farmers to invest in business or community projects of their choice. So looking for the Fairtrade mark when you shop means that you are directly supporting a living income.
Fair trade and hand made
Creative Handicrafts is a great case in point of how People Tree works with Fairtrade suppliers.
Creative Handicrafts – a social enterprise based in Mumbai – works to empower disadvantaged women of slum communities through economic independence. Through working with People Tree and others, there are now over 270 women working full time with strong skills, salary, and a safe working environment.
At Creative Handicrafts, it’s not just women who benefit but their families too; especially their children – with over 150 children in education sponsorship programs.
In keeping with its mission, Creative Handicrafts also started a catering service managed by women who could not pick up the skill of sewing. This project is now run under the name ‘ASLI FOODS’ and is managed independently by the women themselves.
“At Creative Handicrafts, we are grateful for a continuous flow of orders from People Tree as it is here that we can give hope to women of less fortunate backgrounds. Their orders make the women push their technical and tailoring skills to a level they did not see possible and they are thoroughly surprised with the beautiful garments they are able to produce by standing up to the challenge.
The People Tree team, constantly innovating, give our women an opportunity to learn and women with little or no basic education have a chance of becoming financially independent. Through our work, nameless, faceless individuals are able to find an identity of their own. Truly there is no better joy than to experience smiles on their faces when they speak about becoming financially sustainable and thereby being able to educate their children and create better prospects for them.” – Amanda, Creative Handicrafts
As featured in Stylist magazine, these structured trousers are a perfect wardrobe staple.
The V&A X People Tree SS19 designer collaboration is a perfect vibe to put spring into your step. Not only is this made by Amanda and the Handicrafts team but it’s also made from the sustainable 100% TENCEL™ Lyocell fabric.
The perfect spring skirt made by the Handicrafts team. Team up with the matching set or white tee for seasonal vibes.
The classic shirt dress with a Fairtrade twist. Made with love.
Looking for a new work vibe? These 100% organic cotton and Handicraft team production are a solid option for whatever the day throws at you.
What’s next for People Tree?
There is no doubt that over 27 years, People Tree has gone from strength to strength when it comes to Fairtrade and sustainable fashion.
As the godmother of the Fairtrade Fashion movement, People Tree are leading the way of bringing Fairtrade to a mainstream audience.
From collections with the V&A to their latest collaboration with BBC Earth, they are always looking ahead and seeking out new ways to define Fairtrade in the 21st century.