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Safia L. Minney

Safia Minney, MBE, is an award-winning social entrepreneur & internationally
recognised for the company she founded, People Tree, a pioneer of sustainable
and Fair Trade fashion. She led the business as Global CEO for 20+ years in Japan & Europe. In 2022, Safia launched Fashion Declares, a bottom-up, industry-wide movement to promote a rapid shift towards a Just Transition and regenerative fashion futures. Safia is a leader in sustainability and Modern Slavery and an international speaker on sustainable supply chains, climate action and Fair Trade. Safia is an executive coach and author of 9 books including; ‘Slave to Fashion’, campaigning to eradicate modern day slavery in the fashion industry and ‘Slow Fashion - Aesthetics meets Ethics’. Safia recently launched
to promote sustainable living and leadership and joined other business leaders to form a network of business to declare a Climate, Ecological & Social emergency :

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People Tree
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For-profit Social Enterprise
Agriculture, Food and Beverage; Sustainable Development
United Kingdom
Areas of Impact
Europe, Africa, Latin America

People Tree

People Tree works with producer groups across Asia, Africa and Latin America, improving the lives of marginalized communities through fair trade. Based in the UK and Japan, People Tree has successfully demonstrated that even in the fast-moving, highly volatile fashion and garment industry, fair trade can succeed; it pioneered the first and only fair trade fashion supply chain in the world.

People Tree works with more than 60 fashion and handicraft producer groups in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and 16 other countries across Africa and Latin America. These producer organizations provide work for some 2,000 people, while 10,000 benefit from People Tree programmes. Studies suggest that these fair trade producers can on average double their income compared to the local market.

People Tree has been an advocate for best practice initiatives and is recognized as an authority on instilling ethics in the fashion industry. Thanks to its mail order catalogue, stores in central Tokyo and designer collaborations, the label has expanded to a far wider market. In 2000, the company was launched in the UK to establish fair trade fashion in Europe. Today, there are 130 shops that carry People Tree products throughout the continent, in addition to 400 shops in Japan. It is currently looking for finance to scale up its activities, including the launch of a London flagship store. In addition, founder Safia Minney works to convince conventional companies to sell fair trade products and reviews their sourcing strategies.

The company also collaborates with designers such as Bora Aksu, Jessica Ogden and Richard Nicoll to develop new high-end markets for cotton farmers and artisans, and showcase fair trade fashion at its best. Through its Market Exposure programme, representatives of producer groups are invited to meet customers in the UK and Japan to learn about the market and build an understanding of the importance of design, quality and raise the fair trade profile.


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