We've been so excited to announce the launch of sustainable womenswear brand, Birdsong London, that we'vebeen shouting about them on Instagram, including an exclusive LIVE interview with co-founder, Sophie. If you missed the LIVE, don't worry - it will be available on our podcast page here! For a quick fix of the low down on Birdsong, we couldn't leave you hanging! With words by Sophie Slater, Co-Founder, herself; discover the story behind the brand and why Fashion Revolution week is so imporant!
We have three “Christmases” in the Birdsong diary. These are times of peak interest and sales - (regular) Christmas, International Women’s Day (feminist Christmas) and Fashion Revolution Week (ethical Christmas). When we came up with the idea for Birdsong in 2014, it was 18 months after the Rana Plaza collapse, and the disaster was still fresh in our minds. As someone who’d always been on the Lisa Simpson side of human rights and eco anxiety, it definitely felt like a turning point.
Back in the beginning, no one really seemed to know or care what ethical fashion was. We started out working in charities, working face to face with women who wanted to be creative, make their own livelihoods, and be engaged in dignified work. So that’s what we set out to do - finding women’s organisations who were supporting people facing barriers to work to do just that. There are so many talented people out there - migrants and older women especially - who have remarkable making skills but no route to market. These are the people in our supply network we befriend and work with and cherish through our label.
We could only ever get column inches because of the fact we never photoshopped our models, and used “real” activists, friends and our older knitter Edna in our campaign. Which was great, but what we saw as the first frontier in consumer feminism. Then came sustainability as a massive buzzword, and suddenly everyone wanted to talk about our fabrics, local production, and made to order model which helped negate waste. Again, brilliant. But something that I think Fashion Revolution Week has always centred, and has highlighted in this global crisis more than ever, is the human rights behind fashion.
Fashion Revolution was like a big sister as a movement and organisation. They inspired us to set up Birdsong and the work that we do, and now, they’re a great network of support also. I have to pinch myself when we’re quoted in their branding materials, or work with their founding members on panel events and blog posts. It’s been really interesting for us as a brand to grow up alongside Fashion Revolution Week and see the movement swell and inspire. We both concentrate on 'Who Makes Our Clothes' - because at the end of the day, the main problem in fashion is disengagement from this fact.
80% of brands have slavery in their supply chain. Orders are being cancelled, causing humanitarian crises in countries let down by European brands. Micro plastics from polyester are clogging up our oceans. Fashion Revolution Week has been an essential, people powered and people focused movement to bring these issues to the light. it’s never been more important to support small brands, creatives, and the people who need it most. That’s why we’re so proud to be joining Lone Design Club during our “ethical christmas”. We can’t wait to join a community of people eager to shop differently, instead of propping up the old system. Hopefully this time, ethics won’t just be for Christmas.
To discover Birdsong's collection head to their brand new page on our website. Discover their beautiful products and support an independent sustainable brand by pre-ordering a fantastic new piece. Welcome in any wardrobe, guilt free.