Why You Need to Know About People Tree & Giveaway time!

I want to talk about People Tree. They are a Fair Trade clothing label who work incredibly hard, with all their hearts, to establish fair pay and decent working conditions for garment workers across the supply chain. Oh, and I’m an ambassador for them…But I’d be writing this even if I wasn’t!

I shot for their catalogue around 3 years ago, and fell in love with their clothes as well as the team. I think it showed, because they’ve booked me a few times since, including taking me to Bangladesh just over a year ago in order to see their Fair Trade factories in action. You can read all about my wonderful experience on their blog, The Thread, as well as watching the video…

The fashion industry is a global industry. A picture of my latest shoot can be seen instantaneously, worldwide.

But the industry doesn’t always embody this global reach, remaining, at times, exclusionary and unjust. Looking through magazines, we see that most models are white, which to me and many others, doesn’t reflect the international nature of fashion.

And it’s undeniable that many people are exploited to create our garments. Creeping slowly in the car through the polluted streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, I found myself averting my eyes from the abject destitution I saw there that showed me all to clearly: the profits from selling clothes don’t trickle fairly throughout the supply chain.

I think by now it’s pretty well known that, if an item doesn’t carry a Fair Trade logo, it’s probably been produced in a factory that won’t be paying a fair wage to its workers. And now we can see images of these appalling conditions, notably the recent Rana Plaza factory collapse, we should be hyper-aware of the conditions experienced by the people that stitch our garments.

But we’re not, because it’s easy to close our minds to that. I know it is, because I’ve done so myself countless times!

ranaplazaThe Rana Plaza collapsing horrified many, but it’s easy to shut our minds to it – this image doesn’t really equate with the jazzy crop tops and dresses on display in high street stores.

Since working with People Tree, however, I find it much easier to stick to Fair Trade clothing. There’s none of your bogey green hemp here, instead there’s an enormous choice, from professional suits to fun T shirts and jumpers. Plus the quality is brilliant…I have dresses that are now 3 years old that haven’t worn down at all!

wedI wore this lovely People Tree dress and blazer combo for my bro’s wedding! 

People Tree also use organic cotton wherever possible – the pesticides used by farmers in third world countries are so toxic, they have been banned in many other countries. But it’s hard to regulate the chemicals used when these farmers are struggling against pests to feed their own families – even though, in the long run, they will ultimately lose the quality of soil and source of their income.

So! People Tree support these small scale farmers in the 5 years it takes for land to become organic. It’s typical of the sort of work that they do: supporting farmers to become self-sufficient, ultimately empowering them in the long term.

I’m not telling everyone to burn their high street clothes, or even to stop shopping there completely. I’m just saying…Think about your choices. Your purchase has a direct consequence on the lives of others. By choosing to shop at People Tree and choosing Fair Trade products you’re helping build a better future for us all, on a global scale.

So! It’s GIVEAWAY time! I have this gorgeous Ruthie Zig Zag dress in a size 8 to giveaway. It is SO flattering and comfy and glam – I’d rock it in the day time with clompy boots, but it’d look just as awesome with bare legs and a heel for cocktails!

All you have to do to win it is tell me – why is Fair Trade important to you? Comments below!

Ruthie

Rebecca x

Lots of my info was taken from the book Naked Fashion by Safia Minney.

peopletree.co.uk

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!



10 Comments

  1. Caroline A. wrote:

    Wow! I have never heard of People Tree until now. So very often we buy clothing on mere price and look without much consideration for the means to which the garnet was made and what materials are used. People Tree are important to me because their clothing make women look great while giving their workers a much improved quality of life. It’s also amazing that it’s all organic cotton too! Go People Tree!

  2. modeltypeface wrote:

    So glad it’s made you aware of why garments might be priced so low Caroline! Your name will be put in my hat on Friday – good luck! xx

  3. Fair trade is important to me as it is trading that is fair. And being fair is good.

  4. Tamsin Carter wrote:

    fair trade has always been important to me as it helps so many people in the long run, companies like people tree will not only supply high quality goods but support communities but giving the artisans the means to control their own future and invest in local schemes that improve their healthcare system, their housing and their schools. Fair trade also supports sustainable practice which minimises our environmental footprint which is also very important to me.

    • modeltypeface wrote:

      What a brilliant, considered comment Tamsin, and I agree with all you say! We have to look at the wider implications including the environment and what legacy we leave our kids! xx

  5. Roisin wrote:

    Having had the opportunity to work with the friendly people of Bangladesh, I have come to understand the impact that high street retailers have on their everyday lives and the impact I have made with my choices when shopping at such retailers. Fair trade is important to me because I believe in a fair go for all people, providing them with fair wages and a fair livelihood, and including the importance of providing a safe a secure workplace for garment factory workers, such as those in Bangladesh who produce the clothes on our backs. I’m not saying the high street retailers should leave these countries – that would be devastating to the average family in Bangladesh, but we, the western consumers do need to start changing our mindset and thinking consciously when we purchase a new item of clothing, to items of fair trade, as we are the only ones who can truly change the conditions for the people producing things we often take for granted.

    I love this dress too and thank you for sharing important topic!

    • modeltypeface wrote:

      Dear Roisin, thank-you so much for your comment! I agree with everything you say, and good luck with winning the dress! xx

  6. Roisin wrote:

    Congrats to whoever won the dress!

Leave a Reply