The Perfect Storm - Birdsong Open Letter

The Perfect Storm - Birdsong Open Letter

The Perfect Storm - We Need Your Help

Hi, we’re Birdsong, one of the UK’s leading fashion social enterprises. Since 2014 we’ve been valuing charities and grassroots communities. We create clothing for people who dress with joy, support makers and protect the planet. We work with expert women makers who face barriers to employment, with a focus on low income women in London. From artists and printmakers to seamstresses and painters – and pay them London living wage to bring our designs to life. We have been supporting makers for just over 8 years now. We never could have imagined a time like this.  

We were founded to create lasting cultural change in the fashion industry. Changing a culture is not for the faint hearted. At Birdsong, we have strived for 8 years to create a brand that is deeply rooted in investing in people, promoting diverse fashion that isn’t damaging to women’s self esteem. We operate in a system that doesn’t value that. 

We share the same challenges that businesses up and down the country face, but for us we have even higher staff costs as we have chosen to do things differently. Along with the increased raw materials costs, inflation, rising energy bills, increased wage bills, shrinking EU customer base post Brexit and the cost of living crisis affecting so many in our community. All of these issues intensified through poor leadership, global pandemic, brexit, climate inaction and the war. It’s a ticking time bomb for many small businesses that are running out of the cash to survive. 

In the last 12 months, we have provided £47,079.05  in London Living Wages and revenue for local charities, kickstart employees and community groups in our supply chain. Since we started we have provided over £150k to the groups that make our clothes.

We believe in the power of small business, of culture change, of community. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, we generate localised wealth at a higher rate than multinationals, we are disproportionately involved in sustainability innovation and contribute immensely to culture and community. We hope that this small business Saturday you will choose to shop small. Invest in your community. If we don’t take action, make changes, many of them won’t be here next year. If you can’t shop, please review brands, comment on social media, even just five minutes a week could make a big difference. 

Make this year count. Shop small* impact filled brands.

Birdsong team x

*Heres some of the best places you can shop small.
Birdsong for them, for her, for him. Owni (second hand and one off samples) | So Just Shop for Homeware | Jollie’s Socks | Socko Socks | Fat Macys (Dining Gift Cards) | The Darkroombc (Cyanotype Photography kits) | Donate to Hackney Migrant Centre (who welcome the most vulnerable and marginalised folks, helping them to access rights and overcome injustice in the immigration system) or buy our ‘Feed Your Soul’ T-shirt which donates | Donate to: Marsh Zhinok (providing shelter and support to women throughout the conflict in Ukraine) OR buy our ‘Budmo!’ T-shirt.

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