An Interview with Snow of BIBICO (Part Two)

There have been large tragedies such as the Rana Plaza collapse, which was the largest garment factory accident in history with over 1,000 dead and more than 2,500 injured. Others were the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (1911) and the Pakistan Garment Factory Fires (2012). Women and children are the majority of the exploited and violated work forces. Children are the most vulnerable population. Women tend to have less status than men in societies including the right to decent working conditions, decent pay, to vote, and so on. What is the relationship between the need to implement women’s rights and children’s rights?

In BIBICO, we work with WFTO organizations, see link: http://wfto.com/. The ladies’ organization that we work with in India and Nepal make sure that all of the principals of fair trade are applied every single day.

The core of our business is social, really making sure that no kids are involved in the production of our clothes, and making sure that there is zero discrimination. 99.9% of our staff are ladies. Ladies that come from the street and thanks to working with the cooperatives they get the chance to come out of poverty through work and lots of social coaching to try to bring them out of the poverty chain.

The fact that some of the major high street brands have been abusing people to produce their low cost clothes ranges is unhuman. Everyone should know that behind a t-shirt that cost £5 there should be someone on the other end been exploit.

The story behind kids and ladies exploitation on the fashion world is a long one that cant be explain on an interview…I’ve seen myself how desperate mothers prefer to send their kids to work to earn some money rather than send them to school…

Handwoven scarves. Designed by Snow, crafted in India

Handwoven scarves. Designed by Snow, crafted in India

We are really talking the bottom of the human pyramid….but it really exists. It is there!!!! To make those mothers understand that education is the way to get them out of poverty is hard to understand when you don’t have anything to eat……but it all comes from education, and in our ladies’ cooperatives we not only educate the mothers, but we also offer a free in-house kindergarten for all ladies’ kids, and schooling service for mature kids.

Women’s and kids’ right are a must…everyone in this world should have rights…but in these societies we are talking about how they divide themselves in the caste system, and depending on what caste you are born you have rights or not…. It is not just up to us in the West to help them with their rights. It is their own developing society that needs to change. They need to support each other and bring some balance.

What personal fulfillment comes from this work for you?

With all the work that I’ve done, and the super long hours that I put into the business, I often forget what is behind BIBICO. We are not a charity, we are a business so often I forget all the social work and care that is behind each product. But deep down I feel super proud of helping others with my work, I wish I could help more, but we are only a small company trying our best to change the way fashion works.

What other work are you involved in at this point in time?

I’ve started to work with a supplier in India that work with a charity of underprivileged kids. In India, life could be very harsh for lots, and more for families with disabled kids. This organization gives them schooling and work. It is a really great organization and I am proud to be part of it.

Any recommended authors or fashionistas?

We are not into the crazy fashion work. I’ve been there already when I started to work on fashion at the age of 18. Now, I just believe in nice, simple, wearable quality products to wear now and in 10 years. We are not a fashion lead company.

Any recommended means of contacting BIBICO?

You can contact us through our website. We are always there to discuss and give advice.

Bibico Autumn ocllection

Bibico Autumn ocllection

Any feelings or thoughts in conclusion based on the conversation today?

I just wish more people could see the effort behind any ethical brand. Still to this day, people don’t know the amount of extra work involved behind in any of our products. I am working with people that don’t come from a fashion background. People that don’t wear the same clothes as us in the western world. People from a completely different culture and background…so every new design, every new piece needs to be discussed and made 10 times before getting it right. So, I will really hope that people could have the time to read more about what is behind each piece of clothing…I really hope the clothes could talk!!!!

Thank you for your time, Snow and Tim.

Thanks to you, Scott.

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About the Author

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping and gardening, and runs In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

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