“I believe that ethical and sustainable fashion should be the norm, not the exception. I had a realisation a few years ago that issues of sustainability within my business were extremely important to me, and that I couldn’t continue doing what I was doing without striving towards some changes”
Rosa Hirsch-Holland - Founder and Director of Rosa Bloom.
Our hand-stitched sequin garments are made in Bali, Indonesia. Rosa spends several months there every year, working closely with the artisans who make the clothes. This human aspect of the business is something very close to her heart. “I have been working with the same women in Bali since 2010, and we have developed not just a strong working relationship, but also a close friendship.”
In order to look into ways of building on this positive working relationship, Rosa had a consultation with the organisation Fashion Revolution, to help identify any points for improvement, and also to look at areas such as materials and manufacturing processes.
“It can feel like any changes you make are a drop in the ocean in terms of the environmental impact, when many big companies aren’t doing anything to improve their practices, which can feel demoralising. But for me, the motivating factor is thinking about the power that I have to make changes that will have a tangible positive effect on people – from the garment workers who make my clothes, to customers seeing greater transparency in my business. Even if this just prompts customers to ask questions of other brands they buy from, about how and where their clothes are made, that is already progress!”
On recent trips to Bali, Rosa has dedicated a lot of time to better educating herself about the working structure and cultural and social context in which the clothes are made, in order to inform changes that she would like to implement. “Our past strategy has been that we simply pay the women what they ask to be paid. But we’d actually love to raise their wages more, as we’d like them to really benefit from how much we value the work that they do for Rosa Bloom.
“We would also like to offer more support such as health insurance and an education fund for their children – but it’s really important that we make any changes sensitively and appropriately, so as not to have any kind of negative impact on the local economy. This sounds contradictory, but it really is so much more complex than we first thought. Especially as we are coming from one culture into a completely different one, and need to understand how that society functions before swanning in with our ideals based on our cultural background, which may actually not be appropriate in this new context. The more I learn, the more I realise there is to learn – but we are making progress and I’m excited for future changes that we have planned!”
We are very honest about the fact that we have a way to go on our journey to make our business as ethical and sustainable as possible. We hope you will join us on this journey, and share in celebrating the achievements we make along the way.
Every single sequin-embellished garment that we produce is labelled with the name of the woman who stitched the sequins.
ORGANISATIONS WE HAVE WORKED WITH
On our mission to educate ourselves and make our business as responsible and sustainable as we can, we have discovered and worked with some brilliant and inspiring organisations:
FASHION REVOLUTION - www.fashionrevolution.org “We believe in a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity, and profit in equal measure. We want to unite people and organisations to work together towards radically changing the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed, so that our clothing is made in a safe, clean and fair way. We believe that collaborating across the whole value chain — from farmer to consumer — is the only way to transform the industry. Our mission is to bring everyone together to make that happen.”
ULULA - www.ulula.com “We are a team that believes in transparency and accountability as key drivers of successful business and social development.
Ulula harnesses mobile technology to help clients listen to workers and communities in supply chains”.