Veronica Beard + Piece & Co. Exclusive

July 13, 2016

Shop the Look
Shop the Look: Piece & Co. Ruched Shirtdress

We are so excited to announce our collaboration with Piece & Co., a company that works to bring handmade, ethically sourced fabrics to the fashion industry. Piece & Co. allowed us to work with female artisans in India to create a unique embroidered fabric for one of our favorite dress silhouettes, which is now available exclusively on Shopbop!

Our fabric was created using the traditional dobby technique from the Tamil Nadu region in India. The founder of the weaving co-op started her own business to create more opportunities for women within her community and to keep the weaving craft tradition alive. We are honored to be a part of this network and to support local artisans.
We asked Piece & Co. founder Kathleen Wright to tell us a little bit more about her mission, check out the Q&A below and head over to Shopbop to get the dress!

What inspired you to start Piece & Co.?

Women. During my time with the non-profit sector, the female artisans I met in the developing world were determined to be the game changers for their families and their communities, and I was inspired by their story and passion. Similarly, I am inspired by female designers that love fashion and want to use their superpowers to create positive change in the industry and the world.

How do you find the artisans that you work with?

We work with more than 50 artisan cooperative across 16 countries and finding new groups and techniques in one of the most fun parts of our work. We have a team of managers abroad who source, train and work with the artisans, alongside an amazingly talented Director of Textiles based in New York City who is always updating her wish list of emerging techniques. We are currently working on adding more print techniques groups within Africa that she can’t wait to get her hands on it.

How have you seen Piece & Co impact communities and the fashion industry?

The impact of bringing opportunity and economic development to the communities we work in is powerful. When you ask any of the women we work with what their goals are, they unanimously say "to continue to grow my business so that I can employ more women" and that is exactly what they do. Piece & Co now reaches over 5,000 dependents of the female artisans globally and that means better education and better opportunities for the next generation.

One of my favorite success stories came out of Ghana with a woman owned cooperative that produces beautiful batiks. All of the artisans are women and they have been working together for 10 years. When they first became part of our network they had a small team of 5 artisans but big dreams to move into a larger production space where they could employ 100 women within their community and expand the social services they offer to include more health services and financial management. With each order they receive they are one step closer to securing the land they have their eye on for their new production space. Seeing the groups own united commitment to having a greater positive impact in their own community is inspiring.

Our impact on the industry is simple - we believe that designers and their teams want to create positive change, but they are also under heavy demands to deliver product. We make it easy for designers to have a positive impact without putting additional stress on their timelines or workflows.