Safia Minney’s “Slave to Fashion” Book Launch at the Duke of Cambridge

Slave to Fashion Book launch 24 April 2017

Safia writes:

   It’s an historic day to launch a book.  The 4th anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh killing over 1,000 garment factory workers who work under highly exploitative conditions to make the clothes we buy, often for the price of a lunch, on our high streets.

I started the project excited to understand what the impact of the new UK Modern Slavery Act* meant to companies in changing their business practice and delivering fundamental human rights to their workers.  After having spent over two decades visiting factories and setting up ethical and Fair Trade supply chains, I feel a window of change is here. 

Friends and long-time campaigners, were calling me excited that the term ‘modern slavery’ was being used and that finally some progressive business leaders wanted ‘social dialogue’ and a level playing field and to enable them to look at their supply chains for slavery – whether it is ‘risk management’ or a sense of ‘wanting to do the right thing’ this has the potential to change things at the grassroots.  The principles of Fair Trade have never been more relevant. My hope is that the Slave to Fashion book provides a snap shot and promotes awareness on how can industry, campaigners and consumers can help eradicate slavery.

Published by New Internationalist and with the help of over 500 supporters through Kickstarter, what was clear was that a large number of people want to know more about modern-slavery in fashion supply chains.  The research took myself and Miki Alcalde, photographer and film-maker, to India, Cambodia and Bangladesh. I interviewed leaders in the anti-slavery movement, trade unions, progressive businesses and tech start-ups working on transparency.  Also, some of the most moving interviews were with people who themselves are caught up in slavery and lawyers and activists working to free them, rehabilitate them; and on prevention.  What’s clear is that the principles of Fair Trade and better business would radically help to do this.

I am deeply grateful to the supporters of the book, the team and contributors across the world that helped me to research and write Slave to Fashion.

Watch the Slave to Fashion launch event hosted by the Duke of Cambridge, Angel, Islington in London and supported by New Internationalist and Po-Zu ethical shoes.

Safia Minney’s “Slave to Fashion” Book Launch at the Duke of Cambridge.

The inspiration for Slave to Fashion came to me in a dream. The faces and hands of women, children and men reached out to me, calling, smiling, asking for solidarity, not charity, and for me to witness and tell their story. (It was not a nightmare; nightmares leave you trying to forget. In this dream I wanted to remember the feelings and the colours, and to reconnect with the people in it.) They are us and we are them…

Safia Minney, Author, and Managing Director of www.Po-Zu.com

Slave to Fashion book launch

To name a few, special thanks go to:
Caryn Franklin, Livia Firth & the Eco-Age team, Lucy Siegle, Geetie Singh-Watson, Andrew Morgan & The True Cost team, Baroness Lola Young, Cindy Berman, ETI, Quintin Lake, Tamsin Lejeune & Harold Tillman, CBE of Ethical Fashion Forum, Matt Morgan, Fact Studio, Walton Li, Liz Wilkinson, Wendy Chapman & the one-and-only Miki Alcalde for all their support and faith.

Useful links: 

Follow us on instagram http://www.instagram.com/SlavetoFash

Follow us on twitter http://www.twitter.com/SlavetoFash

Buy the Slave to Fashion book here in the UK

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/30/contents/enacted  *UK Modern

Slavery ActBook Cover Slave to FASHION

What people are saying about ‘Slow Fashion – Aesthetics meets Ethics’

What people are saying about ‘Slow Fashion – Aesthetics meets Ethics’ at the Book Launch in the Duke of Cambridge, Slow Food Mecca of London

23rd March 2016

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80 people gathered at The Duke of Cambridge, the slow food mecca of London to launch ‘Slow Fashion – Aesthetics meets Ethics’, written and creative directed by Safia Minney, MBE, Founder and Director of pioneer ethical fashion brand People Tree.

Published by New Internationalist, Slow Fashion profiles the designers, labels and eco-concept stores across the globe that are taking the lead in providing consumers with a more sustainable alternative to fast fashion. Working with high profile operators in the industry, Safia’s latest book is an incredinbly important part of the huge movement that is sustainable and ethical fashion

The audience of journalists, fashion bloggers, campaigners and contributors sipped on organic Prosecco cocktails whilst Caryn Franklin asked the author questions about the book.

Other speakers included Lucy Siegle, journalist and social justice advocate, who MC’d the event; Mike Gidney, CEO Fairtrade Foundation; John Hillary, Director of War on Want; Jean Lambert, MEP for The Green Party; Romy Fraser OBE, Founder of Neal’s Yard Remedies; Lord Peter Melchett, Director of the Soil Association and Orsola De Castro, Co-Founder of Fashion Revolution.

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Slow Fashion reflects Safia’s expertise, intimate and intuitive knowledge of supply chains and her supplies through Fair Trade and her 25 year history of campaigning for ethical business. Slow Fashion brings you the future of the fashion industry. We’ve got something out there: the next tool to get this message out there. We need to get this book out there. We have to fight to get this book on the playing field. Safia, you always have an answer. You are an unstoppable force. I hope we can all pay Safia back by getting this book out there.

Lucy Siegle
Journalist and Social Justice Advocate

Safia brings a radical compassion and a humanitarian approach to everything she does. I’ve had the privilege to work with her for 15 years. She has a remarkably clear eye and focus on turning a mission into ethical business with such dedication. Slow Fashion, her new book, is partly manifesto and partly how to – it’s a must read for all!

 

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Mike Gidney
CEO Fairtrade Foundation

Slow Fashion is definitely a great read and watch, there are films to inspire us, and help us to act. At a political level public pressure is helping to create policy and enforce standard in the garment supply chain – we need to keep up that energy.

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Jean Lambert
MEP

I really recommend reading Slow Fashion. Safia has been fearless in shining the spotlight on what is unacceptable business practice in the fashion industry. She holds up a mirror to unfair trade and shows us that fashion can be fair, ethical and equitable. Few people are able to go the extra mile and put their principals out there like Safia can and Slow Fashion is a testament to that. Slow Fashion is such a rich book, like a delicious plate of slow food!

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John Hilary
Director, War on Want

I am delighted to be here. What an amazing book…

Safia’s understands that cotton comes from the people on farms… The people who started it. It takes horrendous tragedies to get people to pay attention to what happens to the people supplying our clothes. Thousands of people die each year on non-organic cotton farms… the death and illness and destruction that non-organic chemical causes particularly in developing countries.

When I first got involved in the Soil Association, Safia gave me a sense of determination that we are going to change things for the better. It’s a wonderful book.

Peter Melchett
Policy Director, Soil Association

It’s an honor for me to be here. I do feel that I am with friends and have been friends with Safia for 25 years. This is just another exciting episode of Safia’s life – particularly from a retailer’s point of view. As a retailer, you are the interface with the customer. It’s about trust. With Safia, I trust that she knows what she’s doing. She knows the people at the beginning of that chain. We don’t usually know where these products come from – we don’t know the stories. But Safia unravels what’s behind each of those products we buy on a whim. When you featured retailers, that was really exciting to me. There are other retailers there who care.

Romy Fraser
Founder Neal’s Yard Remedies & Trill Farm

Safia and I have both been called pioneers and it seemed so lonely for so long… But tonight we are all here together. The difference between slow fashion and fast fashion is like a one-night stand and a relationship… We want to know the person, who they are, who made them, their taste in things and where they want to go. You want to build on something. Asking the question ‘Who made my clothes?’ call allow you to follow the thread of your jumper back to the person who has woven the cotton. I hope that in the future, we will re-own the [fashion] industry. The supply chain, the fashion industry, can really ignite solutions.

Orsola De Castro
Co-Founder Fashion Revolution

 

Slow Fashion is available to purchase from local bookshops, Amazon and direct from New Internationalist.