Posts Tagged ‘safia minney’

WGSN Global Style Awards – People Tree WINS Most Sustainable Brand


Matthew Langille and I celebrate People Tree's win!


What do you do when you’re in a foreign city, no friends…. yet… and you’ve had a really unfriendly experience years back? Here I was again in New York after 22 years – because WGSN organisers had been encouraging me to come to their new Fashion Award ceremony.

Most Sustainable Brand at the WGSN Global Fashion


People Tree has won the most prestigious fashion award to date – ‘Most Sustainable Brand’ at the WGSN Global Fashion Awards.

Here’s word from Safia in New York…

“Yay! From the grassroots People Tree wins the WGSN Sustainability award in New York. Our network of 3000 organic farmers + artisans are turning fashion on its head! Showing that fashion can be a tool for Change, not just gorgeous to wear.


Safia interviewed by the Dispatched team

People Tree has always campaigned to raise awareness of the exploitation of garment workers in the developing world but I was deeply shocked to find this happening right under our noses in Leicester. You might want to watch Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secret’  – an excellent piece of journalism, the kind we need more of.

There is a small contribution from me and a bad contribution from my hair! This wasn’t a bad hair day it was a mad hair day!  But seriously the key issue is why the trading system is so unfair and why people feel they need to leave their own country and come to the UK to work for less than half the minimum wage. I remember my father telling me he refused to help his cousin in Mauritius (who was an excellent tailor) come to the UK back in the 50’s knowing he would end up worse off. I would very much welcome your comments on whose role is it to make a change; businesses, the government or consumers.


Crazy for Hand Knits

Our partners KTS in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal sent us a crazy pair of 2 metre tall mittens! A work of art as they were made completely of patches – each patch made by one of their hand knitter members. In a spirit of competition each woman was asked to be their most creative, show new knitting skills and go for it!



So there I was – with my design team judging each and every patch of the giant mittens. We picked four winners! Congratulations to KTS winners

1st prize: Luxmi Deiy Dangel
1st prize: Luxmi Deiy Dangel
2nd prize : Gyani Shova Shakya
2nd prize : Ms. Gyani Shova Shakya

3rd prize : Shreejana Shakya
3rd prize : Ms. Shreejana Shakya
Special Masako prize : Sita Singh
Special Masako prize : Ms. Sita Singh

These brilliant designs are significant because People Tree then build them into future designs and products for future collections.



I love hand knitting and my favourite product by KTS knitters in this current collection are:

B281UE red RGB LR

Fairisle cardigan

Crochet Scarf
Crochet Scarf
Jewel Embroidered Cardigan
Jewel Embroidered Cardigan

By the seaside – Shooting our spring/summer 2011 catalogue with Angela Farmer

We left Tokyo at 5.30am having slept for barely three hours! We were off to the Japanese seaside, 1 1/2 hours drive away in Chiba. For most location shoots big fashion houses have a bus with all the creature comforts – toilets, hair-dryers, cocktail cabinet. We have our beaten up, old People Tree van, which was a little bit of a shock to our top model Angela, not to mention the gusty wind that met us at the beach and nearly blew off the People Tree summer clothes she was modeling! P1020236

Miki strikes a pose to plan the shot


The team squeezed into our location van!


Riding up front


Me, shooting our Kenya Kiondo bags


Angela and me – after the shoot in her warm jacket

What a great day! Angela is gorgeous – inside and out, and modelled for our summer Japan and UK catalogues. She’s really into yoga and was named after her godmother Angela who runs an amazing yoga school with her partner in the US.

Final snooze in Bangladesh

We’ve had four hours sleep a night, done two photoshoots, had meeting after meeting and consumed far too much great local food in 32 degrees heat with monsoon rains. The rains should have stopped by now but still haven’t, bringing more insects than a usually hardy, but urban gal like me is used too – even after more than 15 years of visiting Bangladesh.

We’re exhausted, listening to Jazz (Dexter Gordon) in an air conditioned sleeper train and hoping for 8 hours of blissful sleep.

Pcitures and more on the trip later when our feet hit the ground…

Update on the MDG’s campaign

Ben - UN

Here’s Ben from Pants to Poverty presenting our signed Millienium Development Goal postcards at the UN Summit in New York last week.

Thanks so much to all who sent their cards in and signed the petition online – we’ll keep you updated on any future developments!

Emma Watson & Safia Minney interview for People Tree

Millenium Development Goals Postcards

pants stillMDG

Today Ben of Pants to Poverty came round and unpacked his Guiness World Record breaking biggest pair of pants in the world with a 20 metre waist! They were made out of organic and Fair Trade cotton and were the perfect backdrop for the Fashion FT100 Millenium Development Goal campaign. Fashion FT100 is a network of pioneering Fair Trade companies, urging leaders attending the UN’s MDG’s conference to acknowledge the huge contribution Fair Trade fashion makes in delivering the MDG’s. Despite making a formal commitment they’ve done little to promote better business practice, over 2000 signatures were collected in total.

Carry of Pachacuti also joined us to represent all the Fair Trade Fashion companies in the UK, in our bid to get world leaders to clean up the fashion industry. The fashion industry is worth £20 billion in the UK alone – we could make a lot of difference if we change the way we do business.

Autumn – vintage style

As Fair Trade fashion pioneers we love anything that makes wearing clothes ethically inspiring. So of course we love anything vintage!



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