People Tree are recognised as a pioneer of both ethical and fair trade fashion. The brand was set up by Safia Minney in 2001 to improve the lives and environment of the artisans and farmers in developing countries who work to make the products. It builds on the success of Fair Trade Company KK in Japan, also trading as People Tree, founded by them in 1991. The brand has won numerous awards for ethics, sustainability and social entrepreneurship.
People Tree – The Secret Behind Their Success
Part of People Tree’s amazing success must be to do with the beautiful and wearable fair trade fashion that it creates, a far cry from what many of us might expect from a fair trade fashion label. People Tree dresses are chic, sophisticated but also wearable and affordable. They look great for work, holidays, casual or parties. The brand makes the most of artisan skill and the talents of the people making their clothes from the hand woven fabrics to the hand knitted jumpers and cardigans and the intricate hand embroidered details. These skills are passed down through the generations in India, Bangledesh, Nepal and Peru and the designers cleverly incorporate them into fair trade fashion that so many people love to to wear.
People Tree believe that
Fair Trade doesn’t just mean paying a fair price. It is an entirely different way of doing business, where the objective is not profit at any cost, but to help people in the world’s most marginalised communities escape poverty and promote sustainability.
They actively support actively support 50 Fair Trade producer groups, in 15 developing countries by training artisans and their organisations so they can improve their skills, and strengthen their businesses and social impact. They also regularly make 50% advance payments on orders, to help farmers and producer groups to finance Fair Trade. They support local schools, giving children access to education and finally they have realistic time scales, allowing producers to create beautifully hand crafted clothing and accessories.
The brand is particularly recognised for its designer collaborations which have included Orla Kiely, Zakee Shariff and most recently Peter Jensen.