How our products are made

People Tree designers create livelihoods from sketches. Click on the images below to learn more about how People Tree's unique garments and accessories are made...

Design for Development

People Tree loves fashion. But we do fashion differently. We believe that fashion can be used as a tool for sustainable development, protecting people and the planet. Our values lie at the heart of every decision the company makes. People Tree considers peoples’ livelihoods at the very beginning of the design process, from the moment a garment is sketched.

Like most fashion companies, People Tree is passionate about fit, fabric and detail. We love experimenting with new materials, and spare no effort in creating truly beautiful garments.

But People Tree designers dig a lot deeper when they sit down with an empty sketchpad: They consider how to create work in developing countries. Our designers embrace that every choice the make, affects the lives of the producers making their creations.

Hand Skills

People Tree designers create beautiful clothes using hand skills for a simple reason: traditional skills such as weaving and embroidery provide livelihoods for artisans in rural areas across the developing world, meaning that they do not have to travel to the cities for work.

If one of our designers is presented with two ways of creating something, and one method requires more labour – such as hand weaving – then they will specify this method of production. People Tree’s designers are constantly looking for opportunities to add hand work – such as embroidery and block printing – to garments to create work. For example, by adding hand embroidery to a simple top, People Tree can provide income to a family and help fund a school in Bangladesh.

It takes a lot of time for Fair Trade producers to create garments by hand. Our design process begins more than a year before our products are made available to customers – and more than four months before conventional fashion companies. Producers are given time to create products and paid a fair wage for highly skilled labour.

Hand skills are better for the environment. The production of fabric using a hand loom rather than a machine saves one tonne of Co2 per loom, per year. Buying a dress made with hand woven fabric or a cardigan that is hand knitted in a simple way to protect the environment.

Reviving Traditional Skills

Traditional hand craft skills and techniques are dying out due to mechanisation. Design, technical input and marketing support through Fair Trade is helping thousands of artisans keep their craft tradition and their communities alive.

Learn more about who makes our products >