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By Lora O’Brien
Like us, you may have recently been captivated by the sudden appearance of the androgynous beauty Ruby Rose, who burst onto our screens in the latest season of Netflix’s popular Orange is the New Black. Whilst Ruby Rose is undeniably beautiful, we’ve been just as captivated by her partner, Phoebe Dahl.
The granddaughter of beloved Brit author Roald Dahl has been on a mission to help use her brand Faircloth & Supply as a platform to help supply school uniforms to Nepali schoolgirls. The company is a highly stylish, eco-fashion brand that uses vintage and deadstock fabric to hand-craft garments that are designed to be wardrobe classics with a timeless charm that makes them wearable year after year.
Inspired by traditional Japanese folkwear back in the early 1900s, Phoebe has focused Faircloth’s style on the very same cuts and colours that attracted her in Asia. Phoebe has channelled Japanese style into her clothing perfectly, with neutral tones keeping the separates simple and easily fashionable. Texture is important to the designer too, and she’s ensured that all textiles used feel both soft and worn on the skin.
Phoebe has been interested in fashion ever since she was younger when she was taught her very first stitches under the watchful eye of her grandmother. Flash forward a few years and after Phoebe attended both San Francisco’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and the London College of Fashion, she found herself assisting a designer based in Amsterdam. Whilst taking trips to both Tokyo and India, the passion inside of Phoebe was ignited. In an interview with Vogue magazine, Phoebe recounted how she first fell in love with linen and the way it’s worn in Tokyo: ‘I saw the most beautiful linen textile mills in Tokyo, along with a style I’d never seen before: ripped Levi’s with oversized linen dresses. It was part folky and part farm girl – just comfortable, beautiful and elegant.’
But producing comfy eco-fashion in luxurious materials wasn’t enough for this big hearted designer. When she learned that 67 million children aren’t in school and over 50% of them are girls, Phoebe was shocked to the core and decided to do something about it.
Focusing on another country she has been deeply inspired by, Phoebe turned her attention to young girls living in Nepal. For these young women, the benefit of gaining an education is the difference between life and death: those girls that to go on to receive an education are far less vulnerable to sexual infections such as HIV; are less likely to die in childbirth, to work as prostitutes or be sold as sex slaves, and are much more likely to marry much later on in life raise children who will attend school themselves.
A Uniform Problem
Who would have thought the importance of a school uniform could be the one thing standing in the way of an education for a young Nepali girl? All students in Nepal are required to wear a uniform in order to ‘neutralise caste discrimination’. Therefore, if a young girl is unable to afford a uniform, she is also unable to attend school. By shopping with Faircloth, you will not only be donating a uniform to a young girl and enabling her with the change to get her education, you’re also ensuring that she will have a life one step further away from poverty and danger.
For each item sold by Faircloth Supply, one school uniform is donated to a girl in Nepal. Along with General Welfare Pratisthan (GWP), the brand is working towards a long-term aim of creating an infrastructure that will drastically increase the overall well-being of women in Nepal.
Unfortunately, the tragic earthquake that hit Nepal in April this year caused unimaginable devastation. Fifteen schools and the homes of 50 girls were destroyed due to this disaster. This hit Phoebe hard, so to help, she donated the profits from specially designed t-shirts and bracelets to help fund the rebuilding of the schools.
Already, GWP/Faircloth programs have reached over 2,000 girls and their families in 20 districts of Nepal, and this number is growing. For each item sold by Faircloth & Supply, a Nepali girl is given a one-year scholarship to attend school, two uniforms, and school supplies too. The fact that by shopping, something the majority all of us are guilty of doing without really thinking, can drastically change the life of communities throughout Nepal is astonishing–and inspiring.
To learn more about Faircloth & Supply please click here.