The women who make the clothes we see on the high street everyday are hidden in the fashion supply chain, making it near impossible to track where your clothing comes from or find out who made it – but that’s why we’re here. We’re proud to work with skilled women makers in the UK, and pay them a fair wage. That’s why all of our clothes come with a label that tells you who made it.
Putting a name and a face to an item of your clothing can be so important; it gives your clothes character, lets you know it was made with love, but most importantly, a transparent supply chain makes it harder to greenwash unsustainable or unethical business practices. That transparency is so important to the work we do, here at Birdsong, so we thought it’d be a good idea to start this new series over on our blog: Meet Our Makers. We’ll introduce you to all the incredible, skilled women who make our clothes, and ask them some questions so you can get to know them better. We hope you’ll be able to put a name, a face and an incredible story and personality to all the clothes they make.
So, we’re happy to introduce you to: Liz & Georgie.
The knitwear in our SS21 collection was made by Liz & Georgie from the Knit and Natter community group in Enfield. Knit and Natter chose to donate revenue from the items to a different charity of their choice each month.
MEET OUR MAKERS: Liz & Georgie
What's your first memory of an item of clothing?
Liz: I had a navy blue dress with white flowers, it was sleeveless and there was broderie anglaise across the sleeve and neck. My aunt bought it for me, from a department store in Ilford, I think I was about 5. I just loved it.
And then, as a teenager, I used to be a Teddy girl. I used to wear this tight slim pencil skirt. It looked like those old pillowcases because it had white piping on the seams. I wore it with black heels, they were so high, and Indian bracelets. Lots and lots of Indian bracelets; the more you had, the more you were with it.
Georgie: There’s a photograph of me, when I was 5 or 6 years old. I’m in my grandparents garden, and I’m wearing a white dress and a pair of slip on shoes. They didn’t have laces, and no laces felt so grown up! These were shoes I could just slip on. They were like a moccasin, dark, and the tongue was white, so it matched the dress. But it was all about those shoes.
Is there a thought or phrase that you rely on?
Georgie: ‘Let’s get this show on the road’, which is something my lovely aunty used to say.
Liz: My mother used to say to me ’when you’re small, you’re a small heartache; when you’re big, you’re a big heart ache’. It might not make sense to you, but it means a lot to me.
Where does your mind go when you're making? What do you think about?
Liz: I don’t think of too much, but any time I have busy hands, I think ‘god I’m like my mother’ because she was always good with needle.
Georgie: I can’t sit in silence, I have to have music or an audiobook or TV, just something. Otherwise the mind meanders all over the place. If I’m on my own, I have to have background noise. I think it comes from working in theatre, there used to be all that noise around you, and these loud tannoys. There was always so much going on, and you get used to it. So you do miss the noise. I’m never thinking of anything in particular, but just paying attention. It’s like when you’re in a busy office, you learn how to switch off. It’s like meditation, you’re busy but listening.
Tell us about a woman who inspires you.
Georgie: there was a wonderful lady who ran the costume department at the Royal Opera House, Janice. She was wonderful, so inspiring to work with her. And then there’s Monica mason, who was artistic director of royal Ballet. But most of all, my mum! Because alongside being my mum, we were also very good friends!
Liz: Judy Garland, if I’m reincarnated. I’d like to come back as Judy Garland.
What would you like the world to be like?
Liz: in 3 words: quiet, peaceful, pleasurable.
Georgie: I think someone once said, when we die, we go to a world that’s just like this one. It’s just like the world that we live in now, but there are no wars, no illnesses, everyone’s together. It’s life, but it’s a wonderful life. I’d like to see it like that. Everyone just getting on with each other.