From sweatshops to Photoshop, Birdsong is taking on important issues and making fashion a force for good.
Set up by Ruba Huleihel, Sarah Beckett and Sophie Slater in 2014, Birdsong is an ethical fashion marketplace. The co-founders created the business steadfast in their belief that it must do more than just facilitate sales. As a result, Birdsong is supporting women across the world in a number of ways.
Clothes are sourced from women’s groups in the UK – including groups for women recovering from eating disorders and substance abuse – as well as from international manufacturers who are selected because their workforces are majority women from very low-income backgrounds. Every purchase from Birdsong gives 50-85% back to the women who made it, whether that be printers in Malawi or seamstresses in the Midlands.
E-commerce puts hundreds of miles between the customer and their goods, but, building a marketplace dedicated to highlighting the provenance of the fashion, Birdsong raises consumer consciousness and helps them make informed decisions.
Aside from sourcing and sales, the three founders believe in representing the woman’s body in a real and relatable way. This belief is the inspiration behind Birdsong’s ‘no sweatshop, no Photoshop’ ethos. Only ‘real’ women are used to model the clothes and only female photographers are used.
There are 14 brands represented on the Birdsong website with the founders looking to expand.