An academic specialising in anti-trafficking activism, who set up her own luxury babywear firm after becoming a mother, has released her first Autumn collection in collaboration with a national anti-child trafficking charity.
Rachael Attwood, 31, managing director of the Great British Baby Company, has created a range of purple silk accessories which went on sale on Tuesday from which all profits will be donated to the campaigning organisation ECPAT UK.
Rachael said the partnership was a ‘marriage of interests’ between her research specialism and interest in making clothes.
The lecturer, who works in the history, sociology and criminology department at Westminster University, having studied for ten years at UCL and Oxford University, said: “I’ve always been interested in the history of migration, about the rights of migrants and how foreigners are seen in the UK.”
Making clothes is a tradition that runs in the family, as Rachael’s mother’s side are Welsh wool and cloth manufacturers, while her dad comes from generations of tailors.
She said: “At University I practiced creative patterns, cutting and tailoring.”
It was after she gave birth to her daughter Camille, now three, that Rachael noticed a lack of all-British brands in the luxury childrenswear market and she decided to set up her own company.
She describes her online business, specialising in colourful woollen coats, as a transparent company and said: “We use only British manufacturing – nothing is out sourced, we use ethical labour where workers are paid a living wage and we are responsible about where we source our material.”
Having lived in Shoreham for most of her life, Rachael describes the company as very much a Sussex brand, and hopes to base future photo shoots for the company on Shoreham beach and by Shoreham fort.
She said the relationship with ECPAT UK was a ‘practical way to help’, adding: “I believe passionately that action needs to be taken to help vulnerable children.”
She hopes the partnership will raise awareness of child trafficking, of which she said: “It’s not happening elsewhere, it’s happening on our doorstep – it’s a UK issue too.”
Bharti Patel, chief executive of ECPAT UK, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support of The Great British Baby Company in the fight against child trafficking.
“This partnership, and their contribution, will help ECPAT UK take one step closer to realising our vision of a world where every child is free from trafficking and sexual exploitation.”
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