In line with Fashion Revolution Week, I thought I would tell you more about who makes Bibico's clothes. Bibico are committed to ensuring the people producing our clothes work in safe conditions and are treated and paid fairly. The company started after I walked through the door of a women's cooperative in Mumbai. I had been designing for major high street clothing brands for over 10 years and had become disillusioned by how the industry had changed in 10 years; from producing 4 collections a year, to churning out new collections every week. The clothes were cheaper, the quality was worse, and there was no consideration for the people making the clothes. After visiting the women's cooperative, I knew my idea of creating a more sustainable clothing company could become a reality. Not long later, Bibico was born! Bibico offers simple, timeless, good quality pieces that are made in a safe and fair environment. We wouldn’t work for a wage from which we could not afford life's basics, so we don’t expect the people making our clothes to do so.
I visited a number of suppliers before finding the women's cooperative in Mumbai, most of which I didn't feel had the same values and visions as I had for Bibico. I had almost given up, but then I found a women's cooperative run by a Spanish nun who moved there in the 1950's. I was so inspired by their story and commitment to running a social enterprise, so they became Bibico's first supplier! I have been working with two women's cooperatives since the company started in 2008. They are both fair trade certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) and provide women with training, education and work; empowering them to move themselves and their children forward and out of the world of poverty. One of the cooperatives is based in India. It has grown significantly over the past decade and now provides work for more than 270 women each year. I visit this coop once or twice a year to meet the women working there, and to re-inspire myself to challenge the way most retailers produce their apparel, and to continue to offer something better.
Fashion Revolution started following the Rana Plaza disaster on 24 April 2013, where 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured due to the collpase of the Rana Plaza complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Fashion Revolution, like Bibico, believe that fashion can be made in a safe, clean and beautiful way, where creativity, quality, environment and people are valued equally. They want to raise awareness of the exploitation that still occurs throughout the fashion industry, catalyze change, and celebrate efforts to move towards a more sustainable future. April 18th to 24th 2016 marks Fashion Revolution Week, where people from all over the world will come together to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes and accessories. They want more brands to show us who made our clothes. Find out more online now:http://fashionrevolution.org/