International Women’s Day 2019 – Today Women call for Equality & Democracy

Yes, I am a #GlobalFeminist – for the sake of Humankind

Safia Minney writes: How many women are in the management team? How do you address women’s rights and inequality? Why are women in the lowest paid roles? What do they need to get into the higher paid roles?


How do we stop undermining women so they can be trained alongside men? What are the barriers to financial literacy? What are the child care and schooling facilities here? What about breastfeeding mums, how can they continue to work and breastfeed? How does a woman deal with menstruation here? How is a Workers’ and Women’s committee resourced and how are their voices reflected in management practice and future planning? What are the key barriers to the advancement of women in your community? Who are their role models?…

These are some of the questions I would ask as gender equality and Environmental sustainability have always been the key motivators in helping me decide which new suppliers People Tree work with.

We would then partner to build capacity to deliver high social impact and low environmental impact.

This predates the Sustainable Development Goals, I would interpret the Millennial Development Goals as though I were running a multinational corporation. Why not? If People Tree could do it, what was stopping other businesses doing it? Good intention and lofty goals are never a substitute for action and making Equality & Sustainability core to your business.

The principals of Fair Trade, through the World Fair Trade Organisation, guarantee equality and we worked hard to bring that to reality whilst challenging chauvinist cultural norms. I met hundreds of women with great courage and energy who would stand up for themselves and each other. They would hold management, too often, dominated by men, accountable. They would help start programs of awareness on domestic violence and health and welfare. Women would discover their voice helped improving their children’s future and make their communities more supportive of women.
That’s why I dedicated my life to Fair Trade and it’s the unfair trade and women trapped in modern slavery that inspired me to write Slave to Fashion.

This IWD, I’m reminded of the progress women have made and the attention that the ‘me-to’ movement has drawn to women’s plight in the global south. The women who make our clothes, shoes, food and all we consume each day deserve a living wage and freedom of association so that their rights are recognised and they can provide for their families and earn a living wage.

We need to become their voice and put pressure on businesses and governments to reform our out of date trading and financial systems to reflect human rights and sustainability. And as we draw closer to the point of no return with global warming and climate change we start to see the true cost of a world run mostly by men stuck in the old paradigm of corporate interests at any cost.

We need women – and teens – to have an equal voice to transform our dysfunctional capitalist system and put us on the road to Sustainability together with ‘woke’ men!

Illustration by ALICIA REGUERA @aliciareguera for Safia Minney
#SheDeserves #BalanceForBetter #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2019

#mentoring#event #coaching #debate#womensupportwomen #w4w#networking #inspo #womeninleadership#genderparity #genderequality#everybodysbusiness #letstalk #equality#diversity #changethestory #herstory#equalityforeveryone
#balancedworld#empowerment #equalpay #womenunite#diversityandinclusion ⁣
#IWDGreatDebate ⁣

Useful LINKS

Check out The Circle NGO founded by Annie Lennox

Join the Clean Clothes Campaign

Support Extinction Rebellion

And Schools For Climate Action and

Greta Thunberg

Human Trafficking : Episode 3 in our series of videos

Human Trafficking

Safia Minney writes:

There is a poster at one of my favourite Fair Trade projects that always haunted me.

beware of traffickers Warning villages to beware of human traffickers and to protect their children from them. I couldn’t imagine how in this beautiful village of craft industry children and young women could be vulnerable. But sure enough as I carried out my research for my book Slave to Fashion, I found a recent case of a desperate mother whose son had disappeared in the middle of the night. All she had had from him in 4 months was a call from India where he had been taken there to work. He had thought his wages would be sent to support her, now she was beside herself that she would never see him again.

To follow the root of human traffickers means going to the villages of India and Bangladesh to hear how families made vulnerable by poverty and sickness fall prey to criminal gangs. It was sickening to see that these families often had no where to turn, realising that the local police were often also corrupt and they would be lucky to see the child again – the dream of earning a decent wage and sending money home was an illusion. Human trafficking is modern slavery and its cause is poverty and lack of law enforcement.

I am deeply grateful to Freeset and the people featured here who stood up to tell their stories and show the difference that Fair Trade and a good livelihood in rural areas makes to prevent Human trafficking.

Please watch and share this video and read more in my book Slave To Fashion about modern slavery in fashion supply chains.

Follow Safia on twitter @SafiaMinney and instagram @Safia_Minney

Slavery still exists – The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Here we are nearly 70 years later.  December 2, The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, marking the adoption by the UN General Assembly for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of Others in 1949, yes, 1949! That was after WW2 and before the globalisation of supply chains as we know it today.

Thankfully, the UK Modern Slavery Act in 2015, and similar, growing initiatives around the world, are taking on the plight of 43 million people still caught in modern slavery. In the UK, we are requiring businesses with a turnover of £36 million or more to publish a report on what they are doing to eradicate slavery from their supply chains.

Yes, slavery still exists and should be front of mind for us all when we buy clothes, shoes, chocolate and fruits and veg, go to a nail bar or get our car washed. Shockingly, it is easier today to buy products made by slaves, than to buy slave-free products, because our dysfunctional profit-at-any-cost, capitalist economy ensures that the biggest exploiters can build the biggest empires and distribution systems – and market the crap out of their products to make them commercially more accessible than the fair trade equivalent. That’s where we conscious consumers come in. We need to buy from Fair Trade companies, and progressive businesses, that have their workers interests and sustainability running central to their mission. We need to buy less, and we if we buy new it needs to be sustainably and ethically produced. We need to invest ethically too and hold our banks accountable as they are capital in the wrong hands is promoting slavery also. Fund managers are beginning to understand the risk of slavery in the supply chains of the companies whose portfolios they manage. Frankly, it’s embarrassing that it’s taking this long..

The main forms of Modern Slavery are bonded and forced labour, child labour and human trafficking. Yes, it is ‘illegal’, but even though national and international laws exist, they are NOT enforced, because it’s not in the interests of those that hold the power. The result is an estimated 43 million slaves today and a growing acknowledgment by CEOs and corporate boards that modern slavery exists in their supply chains. In my book ‘Slave to Fashion’, I wrote about modern slavery in the fashion industry, interviewing people trapped in slavery and leading campaigners to help us understand the violence faced by the poor and how we can avoid being complicit in it.  Copies available HERE.

Last week, a group of friends and fellow campaigners gathered at Claremont Project to show their favourite, most treasured and ethically produced outfit to take a stand against slavery. We are big supporters of The Clean Clothes Campaign, World Fair Trade Organisation, Fair Trade UK, and the Ethical Trade Initiative that are in different ways campaigning for corporate responsibility and promoting better practice.

Ali-Clifford-slave-freeCivil society, we, the people have built the Fair Trade movement, that have shaped the standards of best business practice today, and we are making a personal commitment to supporting slave free products and a slave free economic system.

We also believe that social justice goes hand in hand with environmental justice as we urgently build new sustainable systems.

WATCH Safia Minney talking about Slavery laws

Slave to Fashion Claremont

Claremont anti slavery

My Vision For Slow Fashion and Fair Fashion

Slow fashion is low in environmental impact and high in social impact. That means that each garment uses local, sustainably produced fibres and fabrics and the making process offers creative income generating opportunities for people in rural areas as well as people working in factories. This would transform lives and communities and give rural people their political voice.  The current fast fashion model is dysfunctional, being highly exploitative of people and our planetary resources.

Notes to reader

Forced labour

Alongside traditional forms of forced labour, such as bonded labour and debt bondage there now exist more contemporary forms of forced labour, such as migrant workers, who have been trafficked for economic exploitation of every kind in the world economy: work in domestic servitude, the construction industry, the food and garment industry, the agricultural sector and in forced prostitution.

Child labour

Globally, one in ten children works. The majority of the child labour that occurs today is for economic exploitation. That goes against the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which recognizes “the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.”


According to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, trafficking in persons means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation includes prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. The consent of the person trafficked for exploitation is irrelevant and If the trafficked person is a child, it is a crime even without the use of force.

Safia Minney, MBE is
Founder of People Tree, Author and Campaigner
Follow Safia on twitter, @SafiaMinney and instagram here @Safia_Minney and here @SlaveToFash

Broken Fashion – sustainability and workers’ rights

With the BBC asking today “Can the ‘broken’ fashion industry become more sustainable?” Safia Minney writes:

Millie Mackintosh at Slow Fashion event
Millie Mackintosh, Slow Fashion event, photo credit BBC website

“Slow fashion has a low-environmental impact and high -social impact.

It transforms lives and communities. The current fast fashion model is dysfunctional, being highly exploitative and polluting. We need to use clothing as a tool for change by increasing the “value-added” in each item to benefit the maximum number of people making it – that means producing in biodegradable, low impact fibres like organic cotton, generating good wages for farmers and to go beyond paying garment workers who operate machines fairly. We need to design and make fashion through fair trade with artisans making handwoven fabrics, hand knitting and hand embellishments. (Making clothing that is treasured and valued is after all what we did until 40 years ago).

People Tree, is proof that this is possible despite competing in this mad MESSED UP Fashion world.”

Safia Minney, MBE is
Founder of People Tree, Author and Campaigner
Follow Safia on twitter, @SafiaMinney and instagram here @Safia_Minney and here @SlaveToFash


BBC article reference :

Further reading:


Austria, DariaDaria and the Clean Clothes Campaign

A guest in Vienna, with DariaDaria and the Clean Clothes Campaign

This week Safia visited Vienna, to speak at the beautiful arthouse cinema GartenbauKino in the heart of the Austrian city.

Safia Minney in Vienna

ENTUZIASM KinobetriebsGmbH have been organizing events  since 2016, on different environmental issues, from Zero Waste to Minimalism, from Water to the Paris Climate Conference.

daria-and-safiaSafia was invited to speak at the screening of The True Cost Movie alongside the local writer Madeleine Alizadeh (, Sabinna Rachimova and DI Gertrude Klaffenböck, MSc from the Clean Clothes Campaign Austria.

Such a wonderful event, in the entrance hall supporters were showing fair fashion, second hand, and there was a fabulous repair station – and so much enthusiasm and support for #wearfair and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Thank you so much for your hospitality and warmth Vienna.

And thank you too, for all of the support for @safia_minney and @slavetofash on instagram and to for your hospitality too.

Safia Minney and DariaDaria

2018 annual UK TOP100 corporate modern slavery influencers’ index rankings announced

Safia Minney, MBE, has been recognised as the #9 influencer in the inaugural 2018 Annual UK Top100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers’ Index.

Index recognises individuals from all business sectors, third sector, media and academia who are influencers in raising awareness to end modern slavery and labour exploitation.

top100index Safia Minney
The inaugural 2018 Annual UK Top100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers’ Index, co-created and co-curated by BRE and Sustain Worldwide, has been conceived to simultaneously raise awareness of modern slavery and labour exploitation while recognising the key influencers who are supporting its eradication. Anti-trafficking charity Hope for Justice is the official charitable partner.
The Index is based on the combination of influence on social media, as measured by Kred scores, and advocacy – policy input, speaking and media engagement – in public life, which is evaluated by desktop research. The two metrics are then aggregated via a proprietary algorithm and evenly weighted to produce the final rankings. An independent panel has verified the Index’s transparency, impartiality and robustness.

The rankings were announced on 26 September by Baroness Young of Hornsey OBE at a Recognition Dinner held at RIBA, Central London.
Safia Minney addressed more than 100 of her fellow influencers and guests at the Recognition Dinner, said:
“I am honoured to be recognised as having influence as part of this movement against modern slavery. We must all stand up for what is just and decent as human beings. For me, it’s been a personal journey of 30 years, and through the generations, as my great grand-mother was a bonded labourer in a sugar plantation. My passion and anger comes from seeing the violence and institutional corruption that silences, exploits, and abuses human beings. Our legal systems are largely dysfunctional in the developing world, where private security forces vastly out-number the police, who are in any case often corrupt. Victims of human trafficking, child labour, and forced and bonded workers rarely have recourse to the law or safe-haven. I’ve dedicated my life to proving Fair Trade and ethical business is economically possible. We all say that slavery is abhorrent, shocking and disgraceful, but we continue to buy products and services that are clearly made by people in slavery. The middle and professional classes are absolutely complicit in this. They can afford to buy and support Fair Trade and ethical brands and help create a level playing field, so these better brands like People Tree and Po-Zu, can thrive and continue to set the agenda for change.
We need to overhaul international trade. We need import controls for companies where there is not credible evidence that their workers and sub-contractors’ workers, are paid the local living wage. People around the world care and have worked tirelessly to build and be part of the Fair Trade and organic movement, but now we need effective policy from the UK and other governments.”

The rankings of the 2018 Top100 influencers can be viewed at

Safia Minney MBE is Founder of People Tree and has been a pioneer in ethical business and a campaigner for corporate accountability and eco-friendly lifestyle for more than 30 years, here and in Japan.  Safia has established Fair Trade supply chain solutions, initiated World Fair Trade Day with the WFTO, and has defined PR and marketing campaigns and the strategic directions needed to reach new markets. At the heart of everything she has done has been a creative force and passion to deliver social impact, human rights and sustainability. Safia is currently managing director of ethical footwear brand, Po-Zu and is author of 9 books, including ‘Slave to Fashion’, which exposes modern slavery in the fashion industry.

Modern Slavery is an ‘umbrella’ term for labour exploitation, forced labour, child labour and human trafficking. In 2017, 5,145 potential victims were referred to Britain’s National Referral Mechanism, a 35 per cent increase on the previous year. The UK Government has estimated there are between 10,000-13,000 people held in modern slavery in Britain today. The Global Slavery Index has estimated there are 45.8million people across 167 countries in modern day slavery.

Po-Zu will be running a 25% website wide sales promotion of slavery-free, ethically produced sustainable footwear to celebrate, use code GLOBAL25 

Safia says: “So honoured, thank you #sustainworldwide, lovely to be in a room amongst such an inspiring community, with great friends Livia (@liviafirth) and Lucy (@theseagull). Please join me to take a stand and only buy slavery free products.”



Po-Zu launches The Christmas Sustainable Style Edit

Sustainable Style Edit

Could there be a clearer message from our planet, than the climate change of this summer and last few weeks, that we need to live more sustainably?

Po-Zu launches The Christmas Sustainable Style Edit

The anti-plastics debate has hotted up too, with supermarkets moving to ban plastics from its fruit & veg aisles, and few fashion debates don’t touch on micro fibre pollution with over 200,000 plastic fibres washing off polyester clothing to pollute 83% of tap water world-wide {CLICK read more about that here on my blog}.

Veganism h grown SIX fold to THREE million people in UK in just two years; and large corporations are coming to grips with how to eradicate Modern Slavery from their supply chains and what meeting the Sustainable Development Goals means. Unsurprisingly, Christmas gift giving is changing too. If people are going to buy new, increasingly they want to buy ethically and sustainably.

At Po-Zu, we make shoes differently. We use the best sustainable materials, organic cotton, cork, pineapple leaf fibre, chrome-free leather and we don’t pollute the air our workers breath with harmful toxins from glues. Our workers work in safe factories where the highest ethical standards are in place.

• Our best loved styles such as the Sneak, the Alma boot, Liv boot and the Wrap Chrome-free leather Chelsea boot are back by popular demand.

• New styles will include a non-leather sneaker which nods to the continuing athleisure trend, a vegan snow boot – the comfy and cosy après ski boot.

• The Star Wars line features a high-quality leather Resistance sneaker and the Rebel Combat and a wide collection of sneakers for Star Wars fans and cosplayers.

“Seasons may come and go but the ethical footwear trend is here to stay, which is why we are also introducing new styles, the majority of which are also vegan, for this season. It’s been incredibly exciting building our ethical and sustainable supply chain in Sri Lanka and we’re so pleased to be able to offer customers an even wider collection of ethically-made footwear at prices that are ever more affordable.” – Sven Segal, CEO of Po-Zu

Watch how our shoes are made:

For Press inquiries, please contact: Kate Osborne & Sacha Holub, +44 207 2637 588

Access high-res product images:

STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

Sustainable Fashion Night, Shoreditch

Safia Minney speaking at the Sustainable Fashion night 17 July 2018, Shoreditch, London

Future Planet

Organised by

Safia Minney joins panel of evolutionaries (more to be announced soon):

Orsola de Castro, Founder & Creative Director Fashion Revolution

Safia Minney, Managing Director Po-Zu, Founder, People Tree
,  @slavetofash, @po_zu

David Greenfield, Organiser, Circular Economy Club London

Roberta Lee, Stylist, Founder Ethical Brand Directory

Book your ticket👉

Tue 17 July 2018
18:00 – 21:00 BST

Add to Calendar

Mindspace Shoreditch
9 Appold Street

View Map

Its a hugely exciting time to be in fashion, a movement for positive change is well underway. Pioneered by some a growing group of leaders and evolutionaries. Themes such as transparency, collaboration and circular economy are grasping the narrative. In this event, we will bring together some of those pioneers to share their stories.

Innovation pitches * powered by Impact Investment Network

Some of the most exciting innovative brands and solutions will present their solutions.

Have something you want to share?

Please tweet @carlinnovates if you would like to share it with the community.


Following the fantastic Fashion Revolution week, the launch of the transparency index, the recent Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017, and the launch of Global Fashion Agenda 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment. FuturePlanet will curate an event to showcase and champion leading influencers, changemakers and brands with stories of sustainable innovation and social change.

We aim to Inspire

We will explore and adventure through the innovations and people that are shaping the future of fashion. The challenges and solutions, the products or campaigns that are ongoing or being launched.


Helping you discover sustainable brands, products, practices and lifestyles you can fall in love with. Empowering you to share with your friends and families.

And connect you

With a diverse network of like-minded people, who share the same interests and passions.



18:00 – 19:00 – Guest arrival, networking, drinks
19:00 – 19:05 – Welcome!
19:05 – 19:15 – FuturePlanet – Introduction
19:15 – 20:10 – Panel with leading influencers, innovators and changemakers
20:20 – 20:40 – Innovation Pitches, powered by Impact Investment Network
20:40 – 21:00 – Questions + audience shout-outs
21:00 – 22:00 – Networking till close.



All fees collected, after cleaning and venue costs, go entirely to FuturePlanet mission to support people and organisations that.

Plant the life-giving systems of our planet, from trees to coral.

Protect, our environment, the land, ocean and all living creatures.

Promote, a balanced personal and planet-positive lifestyle.

We super appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you there!

World Fair Trade Day 2018 and Modern Slavery

Is this you?
Do you LOVE Fashion? HATE Sweatshops?

1) READ: Slave to Fashion

Safia Minney with Slave to FashionSafia Minney’s book raises awareness of modern slavery in the fashion industry, shows how it can be eradicated by business & consumers.
Available here from publisher New Internationalist
or on Amazon UK/US.

2) CELEBRATE: World Fair Trade Day – 12th May 2018

World Fair Trade Day, launched in 2001, has become the focal point for the Fair Trade movement to celebrate, in myriad culturally diverse ways, its achievements and to promote its aims.
Safia Minney Fair Trade Day Love Fashion Hate SweatshopsSafia says: “As consumers, we have the power to take a stand against our dysfunctional capitalist system, to make purchasing choices that reflect who we are and how we want the world to be. Things have moved on since the early days of the Fair Trade movement and pioneers such as the Body Shop.

I was swept up in the first wave of ethical consumerism and activism on that inauspicious day over 30 years ago, in Oxfam on Oxford Street, where I stumbled across a book on Third World Poverty and the need for Fair Trade.

Today, we can all be part of the second wave, which is being driven by social media and digital innovation, to ensure transparency in supply chains and demand an end to modern slavery and worker exploitation. There is also
an important place for protests and writing to MPs and brands.

My book ‘Slave to Fashion’ provides many of the tools you need to make a difference, while also highlighting some innovative projects that you can support and learn from as you continue on your own ethical journey.”

Follow @wfto_fairtrade for more on #FairTradeDay and how you can TAKE ACTION TOO!
#LiveFair read more here:

#SlaveToFash #SlaveToFashion
#ModernSlavery #SafiaMinney
Photo credit @WarOnWant

Read more about ‘Fair Trade’ here on Safia’s blog

Slave to Fashion Book Design, Matt Morgan, @Fact_Studio


fair rubber logo

Find out more about the Fair Rubber Po-Zu use in their Sri Lankan produced sneakers.

click here

and here: Po-Zu Fair Rubber sneakers

Fair Rubber sneakers

Safia Minney and Caryn Franklin Rana Plaza Bangladesh

Caryn Franklin became one of my closest friends after visiting Bangladesh in 2014 together to meet injured victims and families of the garment factory workers that lost their lives in the Rana Plaza building collapse the year before – and to understand the difference that Fair Trade Fashion makes.

Safia Minney and Caryn Franklin, Rana Plaza 1 year on

On the morning of the disaster, I was on a plane leaving Bangladesh and on reaching London heard the news. We immediately launched the Rag Rage campaign at People Tree and raised money to distribute rice and essential supplies to the effected families through the National Garment Workers Federation an organisation I had campaigned with for over 20 years.

watch the video here:

The brands who made garments at the Rana Plaza factory took a disgraceful amount of time to own up and take responsibility. Thanks to media coverage, the public pressure here and of people in Bangladesh and international campaigning organisations and unions, the Accord, that had been prepared by campaigning groups, was finally signed by the majority of large brands.

Today 90% of large scale factories have been checked and are considered safe, however, this is NOT the case in other garment producing countries AND prices and delivery times for clothes in Bangladesh has fallen 10%, which means that workers are being exploited and pushed more than ever.

This movement NEEDS you – please share info and help us bring more people into the movement.

Virtually visit Bangladesh here with Caryn and I to learn more and understand why we need to do fashion differently.

The London Sustainable Fashion Rooms, curated by Po-Zu showcases many of the ethical and fair trade pioneers like People Tree, Howies, Lowie, Wear the Walk, Brother We Stand, and the workshops running tonight:

Friday 27th April:


EVENT: 16:00-19:00 People Tree – Behind the Brand – Find out how we do things differently. By donation, Register here

For one evening you will be invited to come and meet the People behind People Tree.

Saturday 28th April:


EVENT: 11:00-12:00 The New Frontier – Broadening the Media Debate on Ethical Fashion and The Vegan Revolution, £7 Register here.

Panel: Safia Minney – MBE, author, activist, MD of Po-Zu & founder of People Tree, Kate Arnell – British television presenter/Eco Blogger, Bel Jacobs – Fashion, Style, Beauty & Culture, previously Style Editor for Metro, Tansy Hoskins – author of Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion, political commentator on the BBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera and Channel 4’s Ten O’Clock Live, Zoe Partridge – founder of Wear the Walk, Lara Balsam – Lara runs a London-based vegan charity, and blogs at, where she serves up big helpings of ethical food and fashion

This will help raise awareness and galvanise and inspire a new generation of change makers and help raise money for NGWF.

Special thanks to Caryn Franklin for accompanying me on this trip, and for continued support and friendship.

Follow Safia on instagram here


A post shared by Safia Minney (@slavetofash) on