An award winning, international social entrepreneur, speaker and advisor, Safia has 20 years+ experience as a Global CEO of the company she founded, People Tree, developing the first sustainable and Fair Trade supply chains and standards with advisory roles with industry bodies. Safia is seen as a thought leader in sustainable fashion and influencer in Sustainability and Modern Slavery. Extensive experience in Japan, Asia and Europe. Speaks Japanese and has authored many books and documentaries and films on Fair Trade and sustainability in English and Japanese. Safia received an MBE for services to Fair Trade and Fashion industries.
Deep understanding of Fashion Retail:- planning, operational and innovation for sustainability to increase social impact and decrease environmental impact. Understanding of risk, critical path, sourcing, merchandising, marketing strategy and finance. Experience leading international, multi-stakeholder teams to deliver change and innovation.
Safia has an extensive international network in Sustainability and the Creative industries and is recognised by the World Economic Forum as an outstanding Social Entrepreneur. Safia combines purpose, commercial, digital communications to support companies’ sustainability transformation. With her experience in advertising and communications and social enterprise, Safia has a rare ability to translate better business practice through environmental, social and governance into stakeholder engagement and through internal and external communications to deliver cutting edge action for sustainability and brand loyalty.
Safia founded Global Village and People Tree in Tokyo, Japan. in 1991. In 1995, she started design and product development of Fair Trade and sustainable clothing, food and gift product ranges for the Japanese market and set up retail, wholesale and later Ecommerce. She developed a process of capacity building for Fair Trade and social enterprises in Asia, Africa and Latin America and started the “Market Exposure Program’. We pioneered the ‘Sustainable Fair Trade Management System’ for the World Fair Trade Organisation and were the first company to achieve Fair Trade certification label for our operations internationally. In 2010, she launched People Tree Europe in London.
Today Safia coaches senior leaders in sustainability, founders and senior management teams over the last three years and is certified to ILM7 in Executive Coaching and Mentoring. She consults on sustainable business, supply chains and marketing, clients include fashion companies, and pioneer brands in sustainability ranging from beauty to construction. International speaking engagements for key notes on Sustainability, Modern Slavery, and motivational Leadership and panel discussions at industry events. She founded REAL Sustainability, a CIC to promote sustainable living and leading and heads the not-for-profit with a team of friends. Safia is an Advisor with Business Declares a Climate & Ecological Emergency.
She is the author of many books in English and Japanese.
Safia recently launched Real Sustainablity to promote sustainable living and leadership. In early 2022 she led the launch of Fashion Declares, a bottom up, industry wide movement to promote radical action in the climate, ecological and social emergency. Safia’s book, Regenerative Fashion, published by Laurence King/Hachette will be out in November 2022.