Our MD Bird has a chat with Birdsong, the super ethical clothing brand.
Bird, Thanks for getting in touch and nice to meet you again. It’s been about 5 years I think! You guys have been around a few years now, didn’t you get hatched from Bethnal Green Ventures ‘tech for good’ incubator? Tell us what you guys are and do…
Birdsong, We started on the Year Here programme in social innovation and then were supported by Bethnal Green Ventures as budding young entrepreneurs. We’re an online clothing brand for people who dress in protest. We design original wardrobe staples that are ethical, sustainable and made by talented women paid a Living Wage. We work with local women’s charities and community organisations to make most of our goods.
Bird, Talk to us a bit about your vision for ethical clothing and fashion…
Birdsong, Our vision is to create ethical clothes that women feel good about wearing, and use our brand to inspire and implement change in the fashion industry. Whether that’s lowering our carbon footprint with sustainable materials, producing locally, creating clothes to order to minimise waste, or paying a Living Wage, unfortunately these are all practises at odds with the current fashion industry. The fashion industry accounts for more carbon output than all shipping and international flights combined, releases microplastics into oceans through 50% of clothing being produced in polyester, and is causing a humanitarian crisis through chronic underpaying of garment workers currently.
Bird, that’s bad… but you’re good. How’s this CV19 scenario impacted you, as a business?
Birdsong, We’ve shut down all production and shipping as a precaution to keep our makers safe. We’re still banking orders for a brighter day, to be able to financially support them when the crisis is over, but as a non essential service it’s disappointing to see other brands continuing to push sales and put their warehouses and factory staff at risk. We’ve also set up a Patreon to keep in touch with our community and raise emergency funds for our makers over at www.patreon.com/birdsonglondon
Bird, very decent of you, you really are Good Birds. What do you think the future will be like, post CV? Will it be business as usual? Is there any substantial changes in society that’ll last?
Birdsong, I think the amount of coverage that the fast fashion industry, and indeed our current rate and model of consumer capitalism is getting, will change people’s minds a little about what we need to prioritise during our time left on earth. I think that people might make the connection between global disasters, migrant rights and climate change, hopefully without straying into eco-fascism…
Bird, Hark… How would you like that future to look?
Birdsong, I really hope that we collectively work together to prioritise stable, dignified, Living Wage work, healthcare systems, benefits security nets and mutual aid and connection. I hope to see more grassroots challenge of the current political set up too.
Bird, Hark to that as well. Anything you would like to add?
Birdsong, Living wages / benefits for all!
Bird, How can we help one another today?
Birdsong, Thanks for contributing to the Patreon – spread the word if you can.