Fashion with a humanitarian backbone.
Sometimes one can’t help thinking that the world does not need another eco-fashion label. But then the story behind the brand comes out, and you realize, again, that there are so many people out there trying to do their bit for the environment and the world.
Beulah London started with two rich upper class women who went to Delhi, India, and were so moved by their experiences that they started an ethical designer clothes business to employ former sex workers.
Ethical fashion label Beulah London is a new luxury (what else?) brand created with a social purpose as well as a fashionable one. Their first collection is called “Amazing Grace” and will be out this summer. The clothes, made of fine silk and cotton, are mainly cocktail dresses and long gowns, already seen on movie stars such as Sara Jessica Parker. The dresses are colourful, with flowing lines, and have that California luxury vibe to them, even though they are made partly in the UK and partly in Kolkata, India.
Right now the young (12-16 years old) former sex trade workers are being taught to make simple starter items. There are 150 girls learning to make pink and white canvas bags in which the dresses will be packed for customers. The long-term aim is to teach them the skills needed to make the dresses too. Beulah London would like to see the main production of the clothing taking place in a small cottage industry in Kolkata, creating employment in the area, and teaching and using local skills from silk looms, to screen printing.
The sex trade in India is big business and preys on poor young women and girls.Official figures, according to the Dalit Freedom Network (DFN), show that in India there are approximately 3 million prostitutes, of which 1.2 million are children. One report says that 200 girls and women enter prostitution each day, 80% of them against their will and 35% are under the age of 18.
A portion of the profits will be donated to community-based projects in India (and the UK) that deal with, and try to solve issues regarding the trafficking of women and children.
The two founders are already making a name for themselves. Beulah London was amongst 5 runners up in the United Nations Business Leaders Award, nominated for their efforts to combat human trafficking.