Is XR’s boycott the only way to reform the fashion industry?
At the start of the summer, Extinction Rebellion turned their egg timer on the fashion industry by calling for a 52-week boycott against buying clothing or textiles.
Their online pledge acknowledges that some “may be adversely affected by this boycott”, yet believes that only a total rejection of the fashion industry will allow people to radically change their relationship with clothes.
At Birdsong, we’re all for revolution. We believe wholeheartedly in the wider aims of Extinction Rebellion: humans have taken too much from the earth for too long. We need to fundamentally change the way we live, asap.
We too have been advocates for change within the fashion industry, but we don’t agree that a total boycott is the only way to disrupt peoples’ relationships with clothes.
Ever since Birdsong launched five years ago, we’ve made waves as a brave little brand, unafraid to call out the paradoxes of fast-fashion feminism. Yet our founding mission was to move past talking about reforming the fashion industry, to be instead a living blueprint of a fashion brand that’s helping to build a better world.
Our latest collection walks the walk. We’ve worked hard on making garments that respect the environment, feel wonderful to wear, and create livelihoods for those all too often erased from the fashion picture - the talented makers of our clothes.
Here’s why we think you should keep buying from Birdsong
Clothes that don’t cost the earthOur green credentials start with our materials. Committed to finding the most environmentally responsible fabrics, our designer Susanna decided to work with TENCEL to make our latest collection of dresses.
Using recycled water, TENCEL transforms wood pulp into buttery soft fabric that drapes beautifully and holds vibrant colour. Though incredibly durable, when TENCEL garments reach the end of their lives, they are biodegradable. With the exception of our threads, the bulk of the garment is even home compostable.
This season, we’re further reducing waste by initially offering our dresses for pre-order, to help us understand how much to make of each size.
Wardrobe staples for every body
We also want to disrupt the disposable nature of fast fashion by creating clothes you’ll love to wear again and again. As well as being skillfully made, Birdsong pieces are timeless, versatile and designed to make all bodies look amazing.
Take our latest collection of dresses. To combat the urge to buy piles of ill fitting frocks that are made to fall apart, we’ve worked hard to create a classic, comfortable wrap design that will suit all body types and can be styled for every occasion.
This Autumn, we want to go further and unlock fit and sizing for all the remarkable women who want to wear our brand. Our current crowdfunding campaign intends to make Birdsong inclusive, with sizes 6-24 in all collections going forward.
A livelihood for local womenAt a time where the world’s biggest companies begin to eclipse countries in their income and influence, it’s never been more important to consider whether the things we buy reflect our views and values.
We believe Birdsong’s model is a blueprint for a better fashion industry. Like many brands, we start by designing in house. The difference with Birdsong is that our clothes are then made by expert women makers who face barriers to employment. We pay them a London living wage to bring our creations to life. Whereas high street brands pay their makers 1-3% of a garment’s sale price, our makers receive 15-50%.
When you buy from Birdsong, you not only make an investment in the planet, you put your money where your values are and help to create a viable livelihood for remarkable women.