27th September 2023

I’m devastated about the liquidation of People Tree Limited, the UK subsidiary of the company I founded in Japan over 30 years ago. I am sorry for the producers who depended on the business for their livelihoods, and the investors, suppliers, customers and team who have been let down.

I founded People Tree—which I ran as CEO alongside CFO James Minney until our separation in 2015—to create a community of producers, employees and customers who aspired to do business differently. I wanted to show that a business could pay fair prices, treat our producers and other stakeholders decently, pioneer environmental production, and stand up for the livelihoods, dignity and rights of people in fashion supply chains, particularly women. We pioneered products, practices and processes that are increasingly being seen as best practice in the sustainable fashion space and, in some cases, being adopted by more mainstream businesses also.

The last few years have been a difficult time for British fashion retail and wholesale businesses in the wake of Covid and Brexit, while the loss of experienced fashion, Fair Trade and retail leadership in the People Tree business since 2020 has further exacerbated the problems it has faced.

Going forward I will continue to commit my time and energy to driving change in the fashion and retail industry, including through Fashion Declares and Real Sustainability.

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