the fashion feed - episode 2 with sophie slater of birdsong london
My second guest on The Fashion Feed podcast is Sophie Slater of the eco - fashion brand Birdsong London.
Sophie started the brand with Sarah in 2014 as they were inspired by the great skill and creativity in women’s community groups but frustrated by their financial insecurity in the context of budget cuts and rising rents. With the fashion industry addicted to Photoshop, and wholesale exploitation of millions of female garment workers worldwide, an ethical fashion brand championing women from worker to wearer was born. With Designer & Head of Production Susanna on board, the team is on a renewed mission to create beautiful, sustainable clothes that empower the wearer, the worker, and the community that binds us together.
Starting with just a couple of grants in the bank, and the experience of the Year Here programme for social entrepreneurs, Birdsong has to date channelled tens of thousands into women’s organisations in London, whether funding retirement home improvements in Enfield, or sewing classes in Bow.
I first came across Birdsong London after seeing their pop up event in Beyond Retro, Dalston in the run up to Christmas last year. I’d only been self employed for 3 months and was looking to widen my network as much as possible
Having checked out their website and saw they were working on some really cool projects I knew I wanted to make the effort to go and meet them! It was pouring with rain and the overground was delayed (surprise!) but I wanted to support them too on their opening night!
I turned up to the shop with sweat dripping down my face after being on a packed train and the team were SO friendly, offered to take my coat and gave me a fair-trade lemonade - very on brand even down to the tiniest details! The shop looked amazing and had large photos of the female makers and producers of the garments with a bio and Sophie told me about each person individually, I could tell there and then how much it meant to them to be working personally with these women & making a change.
At the beginning of this year I got back in touch with Sophie to interview her for the podcast as the team have such an interesting & important story to tell.
We met in their eclectic office off a quiet side street in Euston & in this episode we cover :
Diversity, transparency & controversy within fashion
Getting nerdy about ethical sourcing in London
Building a company around your own personal values & beliefs
Starting from a point of feminism & how that shaped the brand
Charity projects that the brand has supported since 2014
Poverty & exploitation in the UK manufacturing industry
Sophie gives some epic advice in this episode and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)
American Apparel owner - sexual harassment article
Is sustainable fashion strictly for the wealthy?
Birdsong Brexit Campaign
You can listen below or click through to Apple Podcast here
I would welcome any feedback on the podcast so please leave a review or drop me a message and let me know your thoughts!