About our mission
It’s estimated that 60 million women worldwide – aged 18-35 and working in the garment industry – make less than a minimum wage. These women are making the clothes we see on the high street everyday, and are hidden in the fashion supply chain. We know it’s near impossible to track where your clothing comes from and who made it – and that’s why we’re here. We work with skilled women makers in the UK that face barriers to employment, and pay them a fair wage. Together, we can change the way fashion works.
... and no photoshop?
Most women and girls see between 300 – 3500 adverts a day. The women in those ads look nothing like 95% of women in reality, because they’re mostly super thin, airbrushed, and not diverse. That makes most women feel pretty crud. There’re studies to prove it.
We think all bodies are good bodies, so we show the women who model for us (who are often pals, activists, friends of Birdsong) as they are.
If you’d like to see yourself represented, or think there’s more we could do, email email@example.com. Find out more about diversity in the fashion industry, and why it’s needed here.
So how are you different?
All the women we work with are paid a London living wage, or choose to donate their revenue back to the charities that support them. They also work in the comfort and safety of their women’s group or charity. That often means they’re around counsellors, friends and professional mentors.
Our labour costs go directly to the women who make our clothes, or to their women’s charity. At least 92% of women’s organisations in London have had funding cuts or a crisis in the past 5 years, so they can really do with extra revenue. To find out more about how important women’s services are, click here.
Some of the groups we work with include two knitting circles run by elderly women, a group of low income migrant mothers who paint at their children’s school in Bow, and a group of migrant seamstresses who act as a support network for each other in Limehouse.
Can I find out more about the groups you work with?
We’d love to introduce you – here they all are.
What about menswear?
We hope to do menswear at some point in the future All our t-shirts and jackets come in unisex sizing, but our clothing is intended for any gender.
What about the environment?
Fashion is more polluting than all international flights combined. Naturally, being a tiny company means we guzzle less energy than most giant corporations. However, we know we can always improve.
We have a partnership with Traid so that we can make garments out of perfect, second hand fabrics that would otherwise go to landfill. We also try to use organic, natural and sustainable fabric options where we can, and manufacture most of our products with UK women’s groups to cut down on air miles. We’re pretty good at taking the recycling out too.
What’s the deal with organic?
People have been thinking about not putting things with creepy chemicals in their bellies for a while now, but what about wearing them on your skin? Traditional cotton uses harmful pesticides that can cause all sorts of problems for people growing it and the planet. The cotton we use for our t-shirts is both GOTS certified and EU Ecolabelled.
Here is a bit about the GOTS certification: Only textile products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibres can become GOTS certified. All chemical inputs such as dyestuffs and auxiliaries used must meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria. The choice of accessories is limited in accordance with ecological aspects as well. A functional waste water treatment plant is mandatory for any wet-processing unit involved and all processors must comply with social criteria. The key criteria of GOTS, its quality assurance system and the principles of the review and revision procedure are summarised in this section.
Can I get in touch about featuring you for a blog/magazine/TV show/Kardashians cameo?
Please do. Get in touch with our head of marketing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you make things for other people or companies?
Need uniforms for your school, company or social enterprise? Want some cute little tote bags hand painted by migrant mums here in London? Fancy some t-shirts made, a talk or a workshop run on ethical fashion and marketing? Get in touch with email@example.com for wholesale or bespoke enquiries.
Ok I think I get it...so who are you? Whose idea was it?
Birdsong began life as a feminist brand making slogan tees, shouting about photoshop and hell-bent on paying women workers a fair wage. A commitment to ethical and sustainable fashion is still at our core, but today we’ve grown to create a collection of original wardrobe staples to totally transform your (out)look. It’s about thoughtful clothes in bright colours, edgy silhouettes and art-inspired prints made from natural fabrics.
Back in 2014, Sarah worked at an elderly day centre, and noticed the granny’s knitting circle there made a megatonne of scarves. They had knitted stuff coming out of their ears. The knitting is calming, meditative, helps with arthritis and helped the women there, like Edna, feel purposeful. But after learning they were shifting them at bring-and-buy sales for a fiver a pop, she thought of a better idea.
At the same time, Sophie was working for women’s charities, but every group she met saw their funding get cut to shreds. During this time she saw some domestic violence services shutting down after decades of supporting women. They often had remarkable crafting skills but weren’t sure of the best way to turn it into cash.
She had just finished working in an “ethical” fashion shop that sexualised their staff and models, and had a notoriously creepy CEO. She’d also been a model for a while, but went off it after being made to feel her bum was too big, amongst other things. She quit, moved to London and met Sarah.
Sarah and Sophie started selling things for the charities online, using their friends and activists as models. They blogged about feminism, decided their models didn’t need airbrushing, and came up with a catchy slogan for what they do. They got a bunch of grants, customers came flocking, and Edna was even featured on the BBC. Now they’ve sold in 28 different countries, been featured in press across four continents, and raised a successful crowdfunding campaign. They’ve grown enough to hire production manager and head designer Susanna, who joined the Birdsong flock in 2017.
Why are you doing this?
There’s no two ways about it. Fashion has had detrimental effects on humanity – from exploited women workers to materials and practices that harm our planet. But it’s also an important form of expression and a tool for change (think of the Black Panther’s berets). We don’t want to get rid of it, we want to make it better.
Information about Klarna Payments
Who is Klarna? Klarna is a Swedish payment service provider that takes end-to-end responsibility for your payment. Klarna is the provider of Smoooth payments to more than 100,000 online stores. Over 60 million consumers worldwide have trusted Klarna to securely handle their payments.
How does Pay later work? Once your order's confirmed, you'll receive an email with payment instructions within two days from Klarna. You'll then have [14/30] days to try on your order and only pay when you’re happy. Complete the payment online, at your convenience, with no extra cost. You can pay via credit or debit card at www.klarna.com/uk
Am I eligible for Pay later? To use Pay later you must be at least 18. Whilst this option is widely promoted, Pay later is subject to your financial circumstances. When choosing Pay later, our assessment will not affect your credit rating.
How can I increase my chances of being accepted for Pay later? Klarna is unique and offers Pay later based on a number of factors such as the order value, previous order history and item availability. If you are 18 or over, you can improve your chances of being offered Pay later by ensuring you provide your full name and accurate address details and shipping to your registered billing address. All orders are assessed individually. Just because you have had Pay later before does not mean it will be offered for every order and in turn, as it is denied does not mean it will be denied for all future orders.
What do I need to provide when I make a purchase? If you want to make a purchase with Klarna, you'll need to provide your mobile phone number and your email address. The mobile number is required in case we need to reach you. All statements will be sent to your email address. It's very important that you give us the correct details, as otherwise you will not receive the payment information and so will be liable for delayed payment fees.
Will a credit search take place against me? Klarna may run so-called unrecorded enquiries (or soft credit searches) that do not affect credit scoring and are only visible to you and Klarna, but not visible to other lenders. Neither Klarna nor [MERCHANT] run credit searches against you that could impact your credit rating.
Why have I not been offered Pay later? Although Pay later is widely promoted it is not always universally available. The Pay later method is automatically generated by algorithms that are dependent upon a number of factors including amount of order, the online store, previous order history and item availability. Alternatively, you are able to complete your order by paying by credit or debit card at the checkout.
What are my payment options with Klarna? You can pay with debit or credit card immediately in the checkout or take advantage of our Pay later payment option, where you can pay for the goods once you have received them via credit card or debit card. What happens if I cancel or return my order? As soon as [MERCHANT] have accepted your cancellation/return, then Klarna will cancel the statement or refund your payment.
What happens if I don’t pay for my order? Payment is due [14/30] days after the item is shipped. To help you pay on time, we'll alert you two days before payment is due – you'll receive email reminders to pay – and, if very late, we’ll also send you a text or letter, too. If you fail to pay Klarna for your order, your credit score will be affected.
I have been asked to go to Klarna's site. Is this correct? If you have chosen to Pay later, Klarna will send you an email with further details on how to pay. Your email will contain a link to Klarna where you can settle your payment with your credit or debit card.
What do I need to provide when I make a purchase? If you want to make a purchase with Klarna you need to provide your name, address and email address. For some orders you may need to provide your mobile number or date of birth, too. All information will be sent to your email address, including payment reminders and links to your online statements. It's very important, that you give us the correct details, as otherwise you will not receive the payment information.
Is my payment information safe? Payment information is processed securely by Klarna. No card details are transferred to or held by [MERCHANT]. All transactions take place via connections secured with the latest industry standard security protocols.
Can I pay before the due date? You can pay for your order at any point after you receive the email from Klarna with the details of your payment on. Just follow the instructions on this email to pay for your order.
Have you received my payment? If you pay by card, [MERCHANT] will confirm your order right away. If paying by Pay later, Klarna will send you a payment confirmation to the email address that you have used for your order. If you have made a payment but not received the payment confirmation, you can always check the status of your order and payments by logging in at www.klarna.com.
What happens to my statement, when I've returned the goods? Once [MERCHANT] has received the return (partial or full) and you have received their confirmation of this, an updated statement will be sent to you by Klarna if you've made a partial return. With a full return, your statement will be closed.
I've received a statement, but I've not yet received my goods. You have [14/30] days to pay, so you don’t need to pay right away. If your due date is near and there is no sign of your goods, please call [MERCHANT] to check on delivery. You can also contact Klarna’s Customer Service so that we can postpone the due date on your payment.
I have cancelled my order. How long will it take until I receive my refund? As soon as the store has registered your cancellation or your return, the refund will be processed within 5 business days.
I have asked for a refund. How will I be refunded? If you have paid for your order with card, the refund will be made back to the same card. If you have not paid the statement yet, then the refund will reduce the statement or cancel it completely.
I haven’t received an email with my statement/payment information. If you do not have your statement number to hand you can log in at www.klarna.com/uk, where you will find all of your orders and be able to make payments.
I still have questions regarding payment, how can I get in touch? Visit Klarna’s Customer Service for a full list of FAQ’s, live chat and telephone options.