Established in 2007, we are a responsible fashion brand who continues to lead
the way in sustainable and ethical fashion putting people and our planet first.
We partner with artisans and suppliers primarily in India and Nepal
to create contemporary and stylish clothing for women using natural,
organic and sustainable materials.
2007 - HOW IT STARTED
Snow (Nieves) quits designing for leading high street retailers. Believes there can be a better way. Believes in the importance of treating suppliers with respect and fairness. Strongly believes in working with natural fibres and not cheap, synthetic fabrics. There’s a better, fairer way of doing this. That’s what Snow believed when she left her role as a designer for a leading high street fashion chain. Fed up with the relentless churning out of new designs for clothes made from cheap, synthetic fabrics and sourced from questionable factories, Snow decided to make a change.
2008 - AN IDEA BECOMES A REALITY
Travels around India to find suppliers. Difficult to find authentic suppliers that could produce quality goods and keep consistency. Hears about a wonderful women's cooperative in Mumbai who is working with women from the slums. Visits, realises the possibility of utilising her high street commercial design skills whilst supporting an organisation that empowers women from a disadvantaged community.
We wanted to change the tide of fast fashion and focus on creating clothes that were timeless, that would last, were made from natural fabrics, and were kinder to the environment and most importantly were produced ethically. We travelled around India to search for suppliers but it was difficult to find suppliers where we could guarantee that the workers were being treated fairly. Then one day we discovered a cooperative in Mumbai who worked with women from the slums. Their handicraft skills were exceptional and we soon realised that by working with them we would be able to produce the clothes we wanted and not only work with an ethical producer but go one step further and work with a social enterprise who were helping disadvantaged communities. BIBICO was born.
2009 - Knitwear for Good
Having spent years designing knitwear we wanted to add knitwear to the collections but we wanted to work with an ethical ideally fair trade supplier. We heard about an organisation in Kathmandu, Nepal who worked with women from rural areas around the Kathmandu basin who knitted jumpers and accessories. The cooperative supported women from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds. With their amazing handicraft skills passed from generation to generation, and Snow’s eye for commercial products we developed our first knitwear collection.
2010 - On a roll
BIBICO wins best ethical fashion brand in Paris at the ethical fashion show and developed a collection for French retailer LA REDOUTE.
2013 - New partners
Our hand knits were getting very popular and our ladies in Nepal could not knit any faster so in addition to our hand knit collection in Nepal, we started working with a small family-run knitwear supplier in Europe focused on using 100% wool & other natural yarns.
2015 - Going organic
Concerned about the negative environmental footprint fashion was leaving we introduced organic cotton to our collections. We developed an organic jersey range and knitwear collection.
2016 – Treading lighter
Changed to sustainable packaging, we started sending our orders out in paper mailers and used recycled paper stationary.
2017 – Our new home
Opened our shop in our home town of Bath. Tucked away in one of the most beautiful parts of our city, full of independent shops and cafes. We also started adding new sustainable fabrics to our collections such as Tencel.
2020 – Giving back
Started to sponsor a children's school charity in the Mumbai slums. This school was established by the ladies who work in the cooperative to provide education and food to their kids and other children in the area. In India state schools are not free so access to education is not possible for all, especially children who come from slum communities. We believe a good education is the only way to overcome poverty. It’s early days but we’ve already sponsored 60 children to go to school.
2021 - How it’s going. Still small, but growing.
After a major recession in 2016 and a global pandemic in 2021 (still on-going) thanks to our amazing customers BIBICO is still here, working with the same two women’s cooperatives we started with at the beginning of our journey. We’ve grown but we’ve grown slowly and sustainably which in many ways reflects the nature of our clothes and the vision which we think will lead the fashion industry to a more sustainable future. Our relationship with them is stronger than ever as we believe the only way to come out of these difficult times is by working in the interest of each other and helping each other. At the heart of our business are our customers but also our producers. We strive to offer you good quality clothes that you will cherish for years to come knowing that you have given back to underprivileged communities as well as the world.
As we navigate these times of uncertainty we strongly believe that the world needs more businesses like ours and this is what keeps us going. We do slow fashion and we work over 18 months ahead. Our values will not change and we will try to adapt and improve as we go. We know we have to improve a lot of aspects of our business but for a small company like BIBICO every little change is a massive milestone.