Fairtrade Fashion is all Wrapped up this Autumn
08 Sep 2009
It was after spending time in India in 2007, that Nieves Ruiz learnt more about fair trade and the positive impact it can have on communities.
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It was after spending time in India in 2007, that Nieves Ruiz learnt more about fair trade and the positive impact it can have on communities. ‘It motivated me to start up an on-trend label that was 100 per cent fair trade,’ she says, ‘and create clothes that look great, but don’t cost the earth.’
The company began working with a co-operative in India, reaching out to women and giving them the option of learning new skills and becoming self-employed. Nieves’s designs are elegant, as well as ethical and new to this season is a range of beautiful and luxurious knitwear.
‘Doing winter collections is hard in India, as it is never very cold,’ Nieves explains. ‘They don’t have supplies of winter fabrics. So, I thought about Nepal, a country close to India, where they have a history of producing knitwear. After a long search, I discovered a co-operative that works mainly with underprivileged women, who come from rural areas.’
On her first visit, Nieves stayed and lived with the women for three weeks, immersing herself in Nepali culture and life. ‘I got to know what they could do and understand how they work,’ she says. ‘This helped to build stronger business relations. For me, it’s fantastic to have found such a great team ñ one that can produce fashionable knits, all by hand and with the warmest Nepalese wool. I’m lucky that they have taken me into their lives and offered me their friendship as well as their hard work.’
Contact: Bibico, 14 Park Avenue, Bath, BA2 4QD. Tel: +44 (0)1225 421467
Far left: part of the Bibico collection
Photo: © Pablo Madariaga
Nieves with some members of staff
Photo: © Bibico
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