People Tree Goes Designer

Even though we all know that eco-fashion does not consist of hemp bags and tie-dyed shirts, some people still persist in this obsolete view. People Tree has been key in moving green, Fair Trade fashion into the forefront. Now they have taken it a step further by working with Japanese Vogue and 4 international fashion designers, Thakoon, Richard Nicoll, Bora Aksu and Foundation Addict to create exclusive Fair Trade fashion pieces bearing their names. The limited edition collection--only 100 pieces per style will be available in the UK--will appear in the June 2007 issue of Japanese Vogue modelled by supermodels, Helena Christensen, Lily Cole, Shalom Harlow and Anne Watanabe. Now that's high fashion. People Tree and Vogue Japan approached the designers a year ago to ask if they would be willing to participate in this experimental and challenging project. These designers would have to modify their patterns so that the tailors and dressmakers in the third world countries would be able to make them, since skill development is a key component of Fair Trade and many of the designs required new and different tailoring and finishing techniques. They worked with Fair Trade producers familiar to People Tree in Bangladesh and India. Bora Aksu, who is Turkish,chose an organic cotton jersey fabric in summery colours for his layered dress (right), with a simple belt made from vintage sari fabric. Thakoon chose a sweet minidress with puffy sleeves(left), in white with a black band around the hem. The designers were delighted with the results. As Thakoon says: "What I was surprised by was that the quality is quite beautiful, for both the fabrics and the creation of the dress. I know they all wanted to do a good job on this, and it shows!" :: People Tree

Tags: Fair Trade | London