Sunday, 28 February 2010

Fashion Victims Conference

On friday 100 14-18 year olds from across the South-west congregated at UWE in Bristol for the Fashion Victims conference organised by ourselves, Fashioning an Ethical Industry, Soil Association and Bristol Fairtrade Network.

The event was in effect a sequel to last year's highly successful Cotton On conference, but this time we focused on a younger audience specifically - and asked them to bring their teachers too so that they could learn about sustainable fashion as well!

The conference was opened by Tara Starlet who spoke about her experience of working in the various stages of the Indian textiles/garment industry courtesy of BBC's Blood, Sweat and Tshirts reality-tv show.

After Tara, Anannya Bhattacharjee a garment workers organiser from Delhi spoke about her work in the slums of Delhi and the conditions that garments workers there are subject to. Davo Vodouhe then gave a presentation about his work in Benin with organic cotton farmers and the advantages that organic farming has for the health and finances of small scale cotton farmers there. Davo's work is supported by Pesticide Action Network UK.

The morning's workshops included Designing for Sustainability with Rose Sinclair of Goldsmith's Design Department. In her workshop students worked together in groups to come up with approaches to ensuring that environmental, social and economic sustainability concerns are included in the design of garments from the very outset of the design process.

After lunch People and Planet and the Fairtrade Foundation led a session on introducing Fairtrade cotton into schools and colleges. At the same time, Lyla Patel of TRAID led an interactive workshop on climate change and textile waste in the UK. She had several interesting examples of how we can make the most out of the wardrobes we have already without having to buy new clothes, including Sheena Matheiken who is wearing the same black dress in a different way everyday for a year. Inspired by this, all the participants were asked to customise the same little black dress for a barbie doll; Lyla then photographed all the results and will post them online.

The day ended with a clothing customisation/up-cycling workshop led by UWE staff. So far all the feedback we've had has been very positive, photos will follow shortly. Thanks to everyone who came and participated.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Fairwear Fashion Show

The Fairwear Fashion Show held at Bristol Cathedral on Thursday night was a sell-out success. An audience of 500 people from across the South West watched a show that featured collections from People Tree, Spunky Tshirts, Life's Not Fair But My Knickers Are, and many more. The evening was hosted by model and actor James Redmond. Here are some photos of the Bishopston Trading Company Spring Summer 2010 collection.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Swap your socks!

Sally at Shared Interest is into day 3 of her Fairtrade Fortnight of swaps. And today's swap is a pair of our organic Fairtrade cotton socks, read her account here and watch her test-run them as part of her training for a 10k run.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Fairtrade Fortnight

It's upon us, two weeks celebrating and promoting Fairtrade. This year the focus is on swapping: swapping your usual purchases for the Fairtrade equivalent.

Our friend Sally at Shared Interest is blogging about her daily Fairtrade Swap, read her posts here. And she's also keeping a video diary, the first installment of which you can watch below.

With literally hundreds of different Fairtrade products now available on the high street and online, Sally's blog is a great way to find out more about the breadth and variety of everyday items that we can purchase to ensure our buying power is part of a sustainable solution to poverty.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Fairtrade Frocks for Barbie

Even the world's most famous blonde knows that this season's must-have frocks are those made from organic Fairtrade certified cotton!

Currently our collection of outfits for small dolls such as Barbie, are available on sale at only £3.00, have a look here.

The outfits come neatly packed in a carry-all bag, so your doll can take them with her wherever she travels, and if she wishes to do so by elephant, you can find a whole family for her here!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Valentine's Thoughts from Fred

Roses are red
Violets are blue
A Fairtrade present
Says, "I love you!"
Show you passion is all-pervading
With a Valentine's gift from Bishopston Trading.
Pursue your passion
With Fair Trade fashion!
Think your wardrobe needs upgrading?
Do it now at Bishopston Trading.
Show your love is far from fading
With a Valentine's gift from Bishopston Trading.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
A Fairtrade frock
Says, "I love you!"

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

College Partnership - Part 2

Here's Sonia's finished organic Fairtrade cotton Renaissance blouse, beautifully modelled by Rosie.

I was mistaken in my last post when I said Sonia is a tutor at Filton College, in fact she's a mature student there, sorry.

Friday, 5 February 2010

College Partnership

As mentioned earlier this week, preparations are well underway for this year's Fairwear fashion show here in Bristol. Last year students from Filton College used our organic Fairtrade cotton handloom cloth to make a stunning collection of outfits. This year their remit is more focused and they're using our white handloom to produce a range of smart white shirts for men and women. Here's a sneak preview of a couple of samples made by their tutor Sonia: her inspiration was the Renaissance Era.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Bishopston Baby Returns

My name's Rebecca, as of today I'm 19 years old and I've been working at Bishopston Trading since September. However, as my mother has repeatedly reminded me, I am no stranger to the company. For the sake of historical accuracy I am reluctantly releasing into the public domain these photos of me aged 1 and 2, decked head to toe in Bishopston gear. Even at that age I'm clearly loving my Fairtrade digs!

It's been lovely to return several years later to such an admirable company of which I was clearly a frequent visitor in the past. Although honestly the bit I always remembered most fondly was the playhouse.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Fairtrade comes to Hogwarts!

Emma Watson, the actress famous for playing the part of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise, has launched herself wholeheartedly into the Fair Trade fashion arena with a clothing collection for People Tree. A glimpse of the range can be caught on the guardian online site today, but more excitingly it will receive its UK catwalk premiere here in Bristol at the Fairwear Fashion Show on February 25th.

The fashion show is being organised by the Bristol Fairtrade Network of which Bishopston Trading is a member, and follows on from last year's successful show that included a range designed and made by local fashion students using our organic Fairtrade cotton cloth. This year's show promises to be even better than last year's, with celebrity hosts and collections from the brightest and best in Fair Trade fashion. Our new Spring 2010 range will be making its first public appearance. 2010 marks 25 years of Bishopston Trading Company so we're extremely happy to be taking part in this high-profile event.

For us, these outfits designed and made by local students from our organic Fairtrade cotton cloth were the highlight of last year's show.