EFF Logo

Business Leaders

Safia Minney is one of the most well known ethical fashion pioneers in the UK. Her company ‘People Tree’ works with over 50 producer groups in over 15 countries and has been trading in the UK since 2001. Minney has been hugely successful in raising the awareness of fair trade issues both within the media and amongst leading new designers; several of which, (Richard Nicholl, Thakoon and Bora Aksu), have contributed designs to People Tree’s SS08 collection.

Bora Aksu is a designer whose clear talent has allowed him to secure New Generation sponsorship for his collections four times. His signature look is ‘the antithesis of fast fashion’ Last year Aksu spent time with the fair trade label, People Tree, devising and developing designs that were in keeping with the capabilities of small scale co-operatives. His capsule collection for the label will be on sale this summer.

Rachel Liu teamed up with Antoinette Giorgi with a shared vision to create stylish, easy to wear and affordable clothes to
fair trade criteria. They founded the fashion brand Ideo, and worked with their producers to develop a strategy for growth in
accordance with fair trade principles. Ideo collections were amongst the first to showcase organic velvet, cord and broiderie anglais, and the company has pioneered with the development of an exemplary ethical production unit in India.

Carlos Miele is passionate about social empowerment and preservation of the traditional techniques practiced within his
homeland of Brazil. This results in truly unique and desirable collections which have been shown on catwalks across the world.

Miele’s commitment to social justice began in 1997 when he used disabled models in his campaigns to raise awareness and helped build hospital wings for the underprivileged. He then went on to work with an Artisan’s Co-operative, (Coopa Roca) which supports women who work from home in the shanty towns of Rio de Janeiro. During his involvement with Coopa Roca, the number of women supported by the co-operative increased tenfold.

Minna Hannila is a Norwegian-Finnish fashion designer who is inspired by sixties and seventies fashion and organic forms found in nature. It was perhaps this desire to “preserve a healthy interaction between man and the environment” that led her to work with the fashion label FIN to produce the world’s first organic, certified fair trade, carbon neutral, high fashion collection in Norway.

7. Fashion pioneers

Some of the inspirational people behind the ethical fashion movement.