Behind the scene with Mini Stitches
FASHION, Kids, To shop
A pioneering new project revolutionising the UK’s ethical clothing supply chain. Mini Stitches brings you a new and fresh approach to children's wear, designed and made at East London charity, Stitches in Time.
The Mini Stitches collection is made entirely by local women that are involved in the charity and on their training program. The free training program is for local unemployed women facing multiple disadvantages. Empowering local women, whilst creating on-trend kids clothing.
Tower Hamlets is an area of high deprivation. An estimated 44% of households are in income poverty, the highest rate in England. Female unemployment in the Bangladeshi community in the area is 75%. The women they work with face barriers that prevent them from working. Including not having English as a first language, little or no educational qualifications, and little or no employment experience. The charity is addressing these issues through their work.
And more than just learning garment production, the charity provides holistic support for women.
The classes are confidence building and therapeutic. They combat social isolation, are a chance to practice English and an opportunity to work together towards common goals. Raising aspirations, and progress women towards employment.
Stitches in Time do this by providing industry standard training in garment manufacture. Along with English classes, confidential one to one and I.T support, work experience and mentoring opportunities.
Led by a colourful team of people with expertise in fashion, charity, community arts and sustainability. The women in training have created a collection of contemporary kids clothing.
This innovative manufacturing model addresses the growing desire for ethically made clothing. Made in the UK and reasonably priced. All profits are reinvested back into the project with the aim of growing into a nationally recognised ethical children’s wear brand.
I had the pleasure to meet Kelly Shaw from Mini Stitches in their workshop in the Limehouse Town Hall. An amazing old building in East London.
Kelly was leading a training sewing class as part of the charity Stitches in Time. Mini Stitches launched at Dot to Dot London for Spring/ Summer 2018 and has 4 stockists at present. They are also developing an exclusive women’s wear line in collaboration with boutique Luna&Curious in Shoreditch.
Kelly just returned from a research fellowship funded by the Winston Churchill memorial trust. Investigating global trends in responsible practise within the fashion supply chain. She visited women’s coops in rural Bangladesh to develop their prints. And also researched organic hand spun cottons and Khadi prints in India. These are dyed with natural dyes to in-cooperate in their future collections.
Mini Stitches brand new Autumn/ Winter 2018 Collection is launching soon …. and here is a preview. I must admit I SO LOVE IT.
See the Mini Stitches collection here.