Birdsong is for independently-minded women who want their clothing to make a statement about their values. They deliver original wardrobe staples that are ethical and sustainable, made by expert women makers in the UK.
Birdsong mostly works with migrant women in Tower Hamlets, which has the highest rate of child poverty in the UK. They also work with older knitters who make all their scarves and jumpers. The charity warehouse they work with in Camden for packaging provides training, living wage work, and emotional support for adults with learning disabilities. In 2020, Birdsong paid £34,134.22 to their UK makers and the charities that support them. By 2022, their goal is to provide 11,000 hours of living wage work annually across the UK.
Birdsong manufactures ethically and locally with sustainable fabrics like bamboo, Tencel, organic cotton, hand-woven fairly traded Khadi (from women’s co-operatives in India) as well as reclaimed fabrics from charities like Traid. In 2019, they switched to using 100% natural or reclaimed fibres and diversified their use of innovative materials. The brand has also continued to cut down on waste by releasing limited editions, an entirely pre-order collection, and turning scrap fabric into bags and scrunchies.
All of Birdsong’s packaging and postage is done ethically by Mail Out. Mail Out offers people with learning disabilities support and apprenticeships in warehousing. They also use recycled packaging materials for every order. The brand is currently looking into switching to a provider who also offsets their carbon usage.
Birdsong exclusively uses sustainable and recycled fabrics. The brand has adopted a pre-order production cycle, thus eliminating waste from their supply chain. They hope that this will help normalise zero waste garment production, as part of their wider mission. By cutting and sewing all garments locally in East London, Birdsong is able to cut 14,000 miles of air travel, on average, for each garment, compared to high street brands. They are also developing a repair service for garments, provided by their makers.
Birdsong aims to create a new world where the fashion industry feels inclusive, dignified and also transformative for local economies. They see themselves pioneering the future of fashion. With help to scale up, the brand can provide industry-beating lead times for their customers, with locally produced clothes being made to order within a week.