Here at Fashion ComPassion, we can’t quite believe it’s July already! The first half of 2013 has just flown by! So, as we near the end of this month, we thought we would take a moment to look back over the last 6 months and see what Fashion ComPassion got up to.
We kicked off the year by adding Inaaya - a socially conscious fashion brand which combines classic Sindhi design and embellishment techniques with artisanal production and interprets them through the lens of contemporary fashion – to Fashion ComPassion’s online shop in January.
The Inaaya brand derives its name from the Arabic word for empathy, the capacity to recognize and share the feelings of others. Inaaya’s philosophy is simple - create progressive designs using traditional materials and techniques. By buying Inaaya jewellery, Fashion ComPassion customers are not just shopping with a conscience, they are also preserving another rapidly diminishing virtue; Compassion.
At the beginning of February, Ayesha spoke at ‘Social Business – The Power of Business to Create Social Change’ event, hosted by BNP Paribas. Together with other representatives from social responsible companies, including ‘Who Made Your Pants?’, ‘From Babies With Love’, ‘Ethical Art’ and ‘NaviStar Legal’, Ayesha talked about her own experiences in establishing Fashion ComPassion as a social business.
The invited panelists also talked about the obstacles which their social businesses faced and how they had overcome them.
Later on in February, Fashion ComPassion hosted its first joint event with renowned art gallery Debut Contemporary. ‘Wonder-Lust’ was the first in a series of collaborative events which aimed to bring up-and-coming creatives to the London fashion and art scene. This launch event showcased socially responsible fashion brands from war torn and under privileged communities together with stunning pieces created by emerging artists from Debut Contemporary.
The evening was a huge success, with many bloggers, press reporters and fashionistas discovering exciting new brands and artworks. ‘Wonder-Lust’ even made it onto GEO news!
In April, we added Sarah’s Bag, an intimate line of hand crafted, custom-made women’s fashion accessories which are stylishly aware and socially responsible, to the Fashion ComPassion’s online shop. Feminine, fresh and fashionable, Sarah’s Bag aims to be distinctive, vivacious, and elegant with a hint of retro glamour and street-wise sensibility. Each piece makes a unique statement, requiring 10 to 15 days of meticulous embroidering, beading, crocheting, and hand stitching to produce. The Sarah’s bag brand acknowledges that every woman is unique and responds by creating designs that are equally innovative and original. Every woman who wears, makes, supports and contributes to the success story of Sarah’s bag helps prove, once and for all, that social businesses can be fashionable, vibrant and glamorous.
May proved to be a very busy month for Fashion ComPassion. After the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, Ayesha spoke to Sky News about what consumers and manufacturers should do to prevent similar industrial tragedies from happening. During the interview, Ayesha called for big retailers to focus on ‘responsible sourcing’ of manufacturers as well as the advocate the need to educate ourselves to become conscious consumers and to think more carefully about the clothes that we buy.
Fashion ComPassion was then a part of ‘Ethical Fashion Show & Industry speakers: Raising Money for the Rehema Project’ evening. The event showcased both men and womenswear from a range of sustainable brands including People Tree, Beulah, Komodo, Junky Styling and Zoe Boomer. All the money raised by the Ethical Fashion Show went towards funding the Rehema Project, a charity which helps vulnerable women and children in Tanzania.
To the celebrate the launch of Fashion ComPassion’s new collection of eco-friendly handbags, we unveiled our “Win A Bag A Week” competition in mid May. For 4 weeks, we gave away 4 limited edition Melie Bianco handbags through Fashion ComPassion’s various TV, radio, print and online media partners, including our new partner CityFM89.
Each Melie Bianco handbag is eco-friendly and made from premium vegan leather without the use of harmful chemicals. Moreover, by paying careful attention to craftsmanship and using high-end hardware and lining, Melie Bianco handbags are always on trend and stylish from season to season.
Towards the end of May, Ayesha spoke at the ‘Putting the Soul back into business: Small Steps – Big Impact’ event at the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Hosted by the alumni of Harvard and Oxford Universities, the evening offered the opportunity to hear how individuals were putting the human element back into corporate social responsibility and exchanged ideas about the positive changes people can make.
Along with fellow panellists, Ayesha talked about her experience as a social entrepreneur and how she established Fashion ComPassion as a social responsible company.
June also proved to be a busy month for Fashion ComPassion. At the beginning of the month, Ayesha spoke at the ‘Tech Talkfest’ event at the Google Campus London, an event which looked at the overlap between technology and fashion – how technology enables individuals to be more fashionable, and how fashion influences technology.
Fashion ComPassion then hosted ‘ECO-FAIR', the second collaborative event with Debut Contemporary. ‘ECO-FAIR’ showcased Fashion ComPassion’s collection of exquisite eco-friendly & sustainable fashion brands, illustrating how ethics and fashion can be combined to create chic high end products. These products were displayed together with stunning pieces created by emerging artists from Debut Contemporary – the innovative professional development platform that mentors and supports aspiring creative stars of the future.
The night was very successful, with a fabulous crowd that loved the collection. By showcasing brands which combine design and eco-friendly production, Fashion ComPassion brought sustainable and socially responsible fashion one step closer to the forefront of the main stream fashion industry.
Finally, we get to July! Ayesha was invited to be a part of the “Fashion, Finance & Diversity” event, hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London. Along with other invited designers from The Fold, Mo Saique, Bestow Elan and Math Collective, Ayesha spoke about her views on fashion, finance and diversity, as well as shared her own experiences as a social entrepreneur.
For Ramadan, Fashion ComPassion partnered with The Citizens Foundation (TCF) to help educate children from marginalized backgrounds. With every purchase of a Fashion ComPassion handbag, a small donation would be donated to the TCF which, in turn, would fund their schools and provide education for 2 pupils for a month.
Most recently, Ayesha was on the panel for the Retailer forum as a part of the SOURCE Summit 2013 conference, one of the most important event for fashion and sustainability. The Retailer's forum aimed to bring retailers together with entrepreneurs and brands to debate about what needs to happen to increase the availability of sustainable fashion on the high street and online. The Summit united leaders from the largest global retailers to the most pioneering brands and suppliers, from all over the world and every part of the fashion industry supply chain, to build upon and accelerate this momentum.
So, as you can tell, Fashion ComPassion has been incredibly busy over the last 6 months. We hope that the next 6 months are equally exciting and busy!