Sophie Slater, Co-Founder
I grew up in North Tyneside, but it was in Manchester during my studies that my activism led me to work with women and girls, on community zine projects, and at a Rape Crisis centre. I then moved to London to work on women’s strategies for homeless charities as part of the Year Here fellowship in social innovation. It was here that I met my co-founder Sarah and we developed Birdsong together, using our insights across the social sector and activist world. I have gone on to write about feminism and ethical fashion for Refinery29, i-D and The Guardian.
Birdsong is a fashion brand for people who expect more from their wardrobes, working on a promise of no sweatshops & no photoshop.
All our clothes are made by women’s groups with rare skills. We pair their expertise with our designs, creating wearable pieces with a mind to the future. From migrant seamstresses to knitting grannies, we connect women from worker to wearer.
Birdsong currently work with 17 women’s organisations, reaching 483 female makers on the margins of society. This includes elderly, migrant and low income background women in East London, and globally, women recovering from addictions, single mums, sex workers, and survivors of human trafficking.
The £55,000 we’ve made directly for women’s organisations has been used to fund living wage employment, IT and English classes, counselling, new furniture, facilities and volunteer expenses.
100% of our makers agree that they are proud of the work they do with us, with 83% saying their quality of life is directly improved by working with Birdsong.
These women hold a wealth of highly sought after skills, from hand-painting, to traditional embroidery, pattern cutting and hand knitting. They manufacture our collections to the highest industry standards.