Contacts and information and ideas to help us develop a successful and sustainable ethical fashion label
About me / About business or organisation:
I run a small UK charity called Shika. We provide educational opportunities to disadvantaged communities in Tanzania. We support around 150 people in Arusha. One of our projects is a sustainable clothing design business. We work with a group of talented but disadvantaged tailors and craftspeople to produce wearable clothing to be sold in the UK. All the profits generated by the clothing business support our educational projects.
Career history / Company history:
In 1996 I indulged my interest in fashion and studied an MA in fashion journalism at Central Saint Martins. Following this, I began a career in tv production with BBC Entertainment in London. I remained with BBC production until 2005 after producing a series on African Music. Following this I took a year out to work in international development with an HIV/AIDS homebased care organisation in Tanzania. The beautiful East African fabrics rekindled my interest in fashion and my volunteer experience fuelled my passion for development. Both inspired me to register an educational support charity called Shika and alongside it, a fair trade fashion enterprise, "oh so Shika", in 2006. My professional career has since reflected my interest in development and television production and in 2006 I joined Comic Relief as their Broadcast Manager. There I managed their tv production for the Red Nose Day and Sport Relief campaigns. I continue to undertake freelance work for Comic Relief, most recently producing appeal films for them for American Idol Gives Back and working on ongoing campaigns. I spend the remainder of my time developing our new social enterprise "Fair", a fair trade fashion boutique and retail outlet in Brighton, and developing Shika's educational programmes and oh so Shika's clothing line. I split my time between the UK and Tanzania.
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Hi Michelle! I think the girl talking about fairtrade cotton from tanzania was possibly me. There isnt as yet any FairTrade certified cotton in East africa, but we're in discussion with FLO about it. We use the Bio Re organic cotton grown in Tanzania which is fairly traded - farmers are paid a premium and financed, social community projects are undertaken etc but even better its organic too! Drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 020 7224 8991 and we can talk more. You could also find some information on our website www.mantisworld.com about the organic cotton range we hold in stock in the UK made in Tanzania (its called TLC).
Hello there Michelle,
I have been working with natural fibres in Nepal for a long time now and can supply you with fibre, yarns, textiles, as well as finished goods. Please have a look at www.heavenhemp.co.uk and www.wildweaves.co.uk to get an idea of what we do. I work with hemp, nettle, cactus, banana, bamboo . Hope to hear from you and would like to be your friend. Take care,
Hi Michelle, having originated from East Africa, I am really interested to hear about your project and involvement in Tanzania. I have recently started my own accountancy firm in Lymington, but my main focus is on assisting small businesses to start up and grow. If there is anything I can do to assist you with your project, I would welcome the opportunity. Kind regards Andrew
Hi Michelle, I really like the sound of your project.
You may be interested to know that I designed a Tanzanian tartan using the colours in the Tanzania flag which I use to generate funds for projects. The cloth is now being woven in Africa and I hope to introduce it to designers, dressmakers and manufacturers in Tanzania. If you would like to know more have a look at www.tartansforafrica.com and e-mail me at email@example.com