Birdsong: Ethical, Sustainable Fashion That Protects The Planet

Sophie Slater and Susanna Wen launched Birdsong to support makers, and to protect the planet (by creating pieces in the most socially impactful way possible).

Susanna holds a degree in fashion design, and Sophia completed her Bachelor’s degree in History and Classics before launching Birdsong in 2014 in East London. Birdsong is a sustainable clothing brand that aims to empower the wearer, the worker, and the community as a whole.

Birdsong relies on a socially-driven business model; making ethical, sustainable, and socially responsible apparel collections for it’s customers, whilst supporting garment makers by providing as much as 80% of product proceeds back to the women creating the clothing.

The designers draw inspiration from art, nature, and culture, and from feedback collected from community members.

Also, Birdsong works with Mail Out; a social enterprise that supports individuals with learning disabilities, by providing them with work experience and training in warehousing.

Birdsong was launched after our co-founders witnessed first-hand the way that valuable women’s organisations were almost universally struggling for funding,” said Susanna Wen.

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“Many of these women were making high-quality clothing with the intention of selling, but they were rarely selling enough to cover their costs,” said Susanna.

Often these are migrant women with significant barriers to employment and young children, meaning that finding flexible work was difficult. We started Birdsong to provide a living wage, and reliable, flexible work using skills they already have,” added Susanna.

Impressively, Susanna and Sophia made it onto the Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs List in 2019, and more recently, Birdsong was selected as a finalist of The Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs, in collaboration with MeWe360.

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