I’ve always steered away from fashion photography. I struggle with the pressure it impresses on people - young people in particular - to look a certain way, with the objectification of models, the hierarchical nature of the industry and exploitation behind so many big clothing brands. But that's a conversation for another time… It does however, neatly neatly take me on to the topic of my next shoot - fashion. Ha.
Luckily, there’s a bunch of ethically minded people out there trying to change the face and ethics of the industry. We all need clothes and I appreciate how you dress can be an important form of personal expression. If there's a healthy way to do this without feeling guilty about the people who’ve been exploited and the environment that’s been destroyed along the way, then I'm on board.
I’ve been working with Rupa for about 5 years now. She’s an amazing woman, who works around the clock to promote ethical practice, sustain local traditions, pay fairly and respect the environment, in the tough world of fashion. She works with artisans and businessmen and women around the world, in the likes of Ethiopia, Tazjikstan and Guatemala, to develop local industries and promote the importance of ethical practice. Importantly she works with her team to help them market to a Western audience and make a living from their work.
Enter InclusiveTrade.com. The product of Rupa and her team's combined expertise, passion and hard work, launched this week! A new fashion e-commerce platform for people with a conscience, like me, and hopefully, you.
I’ve been lucky to be a part of this wonderful project from the beginning and to advise and capture imagery for the whole site. The following photos are a snippet from one of the lifestyle shoots. Everything was shot with the ethics of the organisation (and myself) in mind. We worked with real people as opposed to professional models, we worked in real locations and with natural light. We were wearing and photographing beautiful hand crafted products, with wonderful stories behind them. We genuinely had fun!
Here’s some of my favourites from just one of the shoots (thank you to the brilliant Tina)... lots more on www.inclusivetrade.com!