• Rebecca’s Bangladesh Diary: Day 4

    People Tree Model and Ambassador Rebecca Pearson travelled Bangladesh to model for our summer catalogue, which is landing on our customer’s doorsteps today. Each day this week, we are sharing notes from Rebecca’s Bangladesh diary. Missed our earlier posts? Read about Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

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    Day 4: Back Again

    We are up early once again for our final morning’s shoot. For the shoot, I hold a young boy’s hand. He poses like a seasoned pro. Dean, meanwhile, is in trouble again for teaching the kids how to perform press ups – not really advisable in 35 degree heat – and sweating his t-shirt up.
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    The last shoot is the worst part of my entire trip. I am swollen and so hot from all the humidity, and must squeeze into skinny jeans. Andie, our stylist, laughs at my complaints and helps me wriggle them on. Safia gets the shot done in two minutes flat, and pain turns to happy relief as I slide on my loose People Tree dress.
    I love People Tree clothes so much. All the money I earn goes back into the company, and not my rent! Even here in Bangladesh, I am plotting which of the clothes I’ll buy of the ones I’m modelling. I especially love a pink dress with pockets in the front (I do love a pocket).
    We have a bit of time off, so I go to the Swallows shop to buy some of their products. It’s tough to decide what to get! I end up buying tonnes of things for my boyfriend, some scarves and pillowcases and a top for myself.
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    After a train to Dhaka – and a blissful night in an air conditioned hotel room – we return to London. I will never forget this experience. I am full of respect for Safia and People Tree, but most of all for the people of Thanapara, who are building a sustainable and responsible business – something many UK companies could learn from.

  • People Tree Atelier | Exclusive Capsule Collection for Spring Summer 2014

    People Tree’s Spring Summer 2014 Atelier Collection is a selection of contemporary silhouettes, designed for the modern woman who wants a timeless, elegant look. People Tree Atelier presents a bold variety of styles, ranging from a delicately embroidered shirt to the statement evening dresses. This sophisticated collection is a fresh and innovate look for People Tree.
    The collection uses the finest hand-woven cotton, organic cotton and hand-woven silk. All embroideries are hand-stitched with stunning glass pearls, glass diamante and clear glass cubes.

    View the Atelier Collection look book here.

    Shop the Atelier Collection here.

  • Rebecca’s Bangladesh Diary: Day 3

    People Tree Model and Ambassador Rebecca Pearson travelled Bangladesh to model for our summer catalogue, which is landing on our customer’s doorsteps soon. Each day this week, we are sharing notes from Rebecca’s Bangladesh diary. Read about Day 1 and Day 2, and come back tomorrow for Day 4.

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    Day 3: Shooting

    I awake before sunrise. The day is ridiculously humid and hot, and the physical work of modelling – running backwards and forwards, squeezing into clothes – is tiring. I have modelled for 13 years, so I’m rather used to it. The local farmers and their children are fascinated by my modelling; I feel motivated to show them how it’s done. We finish by 10 am and then have breakfast.
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    I visit the local school and day-care centres funded by the profit from People Tree orders. I loved meeting all the kids in the school! The kids here are well-behaved and speak amazing English. I let some of them tickle me, and get told off, because it makes them too wild for their poor teachers to control! Kids follow us around everywhere, always smiling and cheering. Dean lifts them in the air and becomes an instant hit.
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    The women here can work more freely than in a garment factory – fitting their work around childcare, allowing them to supplement their factory income. Nearby is an informal school for children who have fallen behind because they are required by their families to work the land. It’s a tiny room, but decorated with garlands and paper chains. It’s interesting to see how vulnerable sections of an already poor society are supported.
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    Late afternoon means more shooting, this time in the section of the factory where women do embroidery. Women sit together on beds and embroider the hand woven fabrics. It seems very communal and supportive. I am tired and dusty by this point, but a cup of sugary tea helps!
    Dean and I act couply for the camera at a local market. It’s great to see a bit more of Bangladesh. I don’t enjoy the hustle and bustle of the market after Thanapara, which is a serene village. However, I sit in the back of a rickshaw for the journey back, starring at a starry sky while fireflies twinkle in the trees around us. Then it’s time for dinner and early to bed.

  • Rebecca’s Bangladesh Diary: Day 2

    People Tree Model and Ambassador Rebecca Pearson traveled Bangladesh to model for our summer catalogue, which is landing on our customer’s doorsteps soon. Each day this week, we are sharing notes from Rebecca’s Bangladesh diary. Read about Day 1, and come back tomorrow for Day 3.

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    Day 2: Getting to Know Thanapara

    Smugly I lie in, while everyone else works before breakfast. The guesthouse is comfortable but is not exactly 5 stars. I fast become used to washing using a bucket of cold water. I entertain the thought of adopting this bracing method when I return to London (this doesn’t happen!).
    Breakfast is fruit, sugary tea (this becomes addictive) and curried onions (not something I’m mad about). We then tour the factory, and see the entire process of making a garment, from the dying of threads through to the weaving, sewing and embroidery. It is wonderful to see how much effort and care goes into making each garment.
    Hand weaving is usually a male occupation – it’s tough work and the women work half a day weaving and then thread bobbins for the other half of the day. Dean, our male model, attempts to weave, but cannot master the co-ordination and speed that seems so effortless when the women here do it!
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    We then sit together with the women of Thanapara. Safia tells the artisans what People Tree have been doing to develop Fair Trade in the UK. I find this interesting because it shows how collaborative and equal the whole process of making People Tree garments truly is. Each of us models was then invited to say something to the women. I describe meeting ethical fashion activist Livia Firth when we were both wearing People Tree dresses.
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    In the evening, we take a boat trip and watch the sun set over the water. I get used to Dean being my ‘boyfriend’ for the shoot. Angela, People Tree’s Japanese model, looks serene and elegant, whilst I trip over, hair flying everywhere. Finally it’s time for dinner and an early night. We’re set to start early – 4:30 am – the next day…

  • People Tree Summer 2014 in Bangladesh

    Models and People Tree Ambassadors Dean Newcombe and Rebecca Pearson traveled to Bangladesh with Safia Minney, People Tree’s Founder and CEO, to shoot the lovely images for our Summer 2014 Catalogue. In this lovely video, we go behind the scenes at our Bangladesh photo shoot to discover what makes People Tree garments so unique. Follow our journey to Bangladesh and meet the people who hand weave, hand embroider and tailor for People Tree.

    Credits: Film by Miki Alcalde, Creative Direction and Production by Safia Minney, Models Dean Newcombe (Intrepid Model Adventures) and Rebecca Pearson (Bookings), Make-up by Lou Dartford, Styling by Andie Redman.