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People Tree, founded by Safia Minney, is a pioneer of fair trade fashion. With high-profile collaborations, like that with young celeb/environmentalist/social activist/Harry Potter star Emma Watson, People Tree have long been a part of a fair trade movement. What’s more, People Tree have been trailblazers in making it cool to be ethically responsible. Gone are the days when environmentally-friendly and socially-conscious clothing meant the stereotypical â€œhippieâ€ style. Today, with more and more companies drawing on People Tree’s business model, the variety of fashionable clothing available is endless. For instance, People Tree has a collection dubbed ‘Sophisticated Bohemian,’ and it creates the type of look that’s suitable for most working environments.
People Tree has expanded to jewelry, menswear, kid’s clothing, and other accessories, creating more than just clothes, but a sustainable brand that has enormous staying power in the current consumerist conditions. But enough about the brand—let’s get to the substance, the nitty-gritty of the significance of People Tree. What about the social and environmental activities that People Tree works toward?
Firstly, People Tree is fair trade and they work according to the criteria laid out by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). People Tree creates lasting relationships all along the supply chain—everywhere from growing cotton, weaving, dyeing, stitching and embroidering. In terms of People Tree’s ecological impact, they keep their principles fairly simple. People Tree’s production process consists of fair trade and certified organic cotton, safe and natural dying products and the use of local, biodegradable and recycled products over all others in order to respect the forests and water supplies in the places areas that they source their materials from and work in.
It’s clear that transparency is an equally important principle. People Tree’s website overflows with Social Reviews, mission statements, environmental policy and various credentials. What’s more, People Tree outlines the intriguing way in which fashion design is different when it involves working in the less-industrialized world, using fair trade labor standards. Some of the techniques include weaving, knitting and embroidering by hand.
What is most important about People Tree is the recognition that clothes are made by people, and that, by buying clothes in the industrialized world, there are enormous implications—even if they seem invisible—on the lives of those in the Majority World.
People Tree Website
5 Huguenot Placeâ€¨
17a Heneage Streetâ€¨
Telephone: 0845 450 4595 or 020 7042 8900
Fax: 020 7377 6303