People Tree is a Fair Trade ethical fashion brand making products with the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish. Their designs are contemporary and versatile while using playful, exclusive prints inspired by the V&A archive. They were the first fashion company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation product label. Originally set up in Japan, they expanded their business to the UK in 2000.
People Tree employs producers and manufacturers in 7 developing countries around the world, including India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Kenya*. They highly believe supporting producer partners’ efforts towards economic independence and control over their environment and to challenge the power structures that undermine their rights to a livelihood. Moreover, People Tree respects the traditional techniques and commit to protecting and sustaining the traditional skills in poor communities in India and Bangladesh. By using skills such as hand weaving, hand knitting or hand embroidery they also create employment in rural areas where work is often scarce.
They use only natural fibres, and ensure GOTS certification throughout the supply chain. People Tree uses certified organic cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell, Fair Trade Denim, Linen, and responsible wool which are then made into final products using traditional artisan skills such as hand weaving, hand knitting, hand embroidery and hand block printing.
While People Tree uses plastic, they have addressed what kind and the reasons behind their packaging. They use recyclable plastic packaging as they employ sea-freight for the majority of their products. This means they have to pack them in plastic to protect them from moisture damage in transit. In addition, they use plastic made from polypropylene which is actually recyclable and biodegradable. The garments come in a brown paper packaging which can also be recycled.
It is part of their mission to protect the environment and use natural resources suitably throughout trading. They also focus on environmentally responsible initiatives to create new models to promote sustainability. People Tree also avoids using polluting dyes, only using GOTS and azo-free dyes. The eco-friendly and biodegradable materials they use limits the amount of wastewater and chemicals in the production process.
People Tree believes in ethical practices at the core of their business. Their mission is equally to protect the environment and provide a supportive environment to its producers. Moreover, they set an example to business and government of a Fair Trade model of business based on partnership, people-centred values and sustainability.