All images: http://www.peopletree.co.uk/
We typically don’t associate words like ‘sustainability’ and ‘fair trade’ with ‘fashionable’. True, with increasing concerns like climate change, there has been quite a bit of corporate greenwashing, making ‘eco-friendly’ a catch word. But apart from the stereotypical tree-hugging hippie style, it’s hard to picture what sustainable and fair trade fashion actually looks like.
Enter clothing label People Tree and its line of garments that are made with respect for both its manufacturers and the environment. People Tree takes its fair trade designation seriously, not just by paying fair prices to the producers who make their garments, but also by supporting local charities for a better quality of life. An example: its partnership with a group called Bombolulu Workshops that empowers the physically disabled in Kenya. By building and maintaining lasting relationships with the communities that create their garments, People Tree is transforming the business side of the fashion industry.
But if you thought that was enough to set them apart, People Tree is also committed to reducing its ecological footprint. By producing hand-made clothes, they are making use of human energy rather than electricity. By supporting organic cotton growers, they are decreasing the amount of chemicals that get absorbed by the earth. And, by recycling most of their outputs, they are reducing the amount of trash that ends up in landfills.
There should be more clothing companies doing what People Tree is doing. But don’t take my word for it- check them out for yourself! Here’s to hoping that the UK-based outfitter makes its way to Vancouver soon, or better yet, that more clothing labels take the same direction!