Rebekah Lazarus from Highams Park explains the inspiration behind her new ethical clothing brand
My dream of launching a clothing brand started when I travelled to south-east Asia on a mission trip in January 2018, working with children and young people.
I was inspired by the people and their hospitality, the vibrant colours and the scenic views. The experience impacted me greatly and I knew I wanted to return as soon as I arrived back in London. However, during my trip, I quickly realised the injustice and pain many people face, from poverty to exploitation and illness. I saw this and wanted to do something about it. I have always loved creativity and fashion, starting my first Depop account selling vintage and retro clothes when I was 17.
While I was abroad I read an article about a British lady who started an ethical and sustainable clothing brand, based in India and specialising in organic cotton. It was a ‘light bulb moment’ for me where the idea of combining my two passions, creativity and justice was born. Eighteen months later, Pure Hope Clothing was born.
I work in partnership with Ashanari, a social project in Jaipur India that runs a women’s empowerment sewing project, providing free education for women and children living in slum areas. I spent two weeks there in August, sourcing recycled fabrics for the collection, spending time with the women and volunteering. The Pure Hope collection is handmade ethically by the women from the project using sustainably-sourced, up-cycled fabrics (I picked and bought the fabrics while in Jaipur). The women get paid fairly for everything they make. We even use buttons made out of coconut shells for the boiler-suits!
It’s great to partner with a project that gives women an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families, and children to learn for a better future. It is a dream of mine to continue working with artisans, see them make a livelihood through their craftsmanship, where their talent can be showcased and they can have an opportunity to come out of poverty and into financial independence.