In 2008, Australian interior designer Jessica Priemus decided she needed an escape from her hectic life so she booked a one way ticket to Dhaka, little did she know how much it would change her life.
Once in Dhaka she began volunteering for an organization that helped train women for employment while providing schooling for their children. Here she met Shimul Minhas Uddin the operations manager for the charity. They fell in love and started a new fashion design business, ‘Bhalo’.
This funky fashion label offers more than cool clothing with unique prints and great fabric – it’s all about fair trade and giving back.
Jessica and Shimul named the company Bhalo (the Bengali word for ‘good’) to represent their intentions to have a fashion label that would be a socially and ecologically responsible to support rural manufacturers and artisans in Bangladesh.
Bhalo’s manufacturer (Thanapara Swallows Development Society’s handicraft section) adheres to the principles of fair trade. The program assists many underprivileged women by creating health awareness, self-employment, eradicating illiteracy while empowering women by creating economic and social awareness towards a number of issues.
Bhalo’s designs are all created in a ‘slow’ process. The garments are made with 100% azo-free hand-loomed cotton. All intricate embroidery, fabulous folds and amazing appliqués are done by hand creating unique pieces with slight variations so every garment is a one and only.
Any true fashionista can appreciate the beauty of the fine fabric, the vibrancy of the colours and the sophisticated yet whimsical style of each creation. Unlike clothing you buy from many other designers these garments made with love and care by hand are of a superior quality so they will last for years to come.
Jessica’s passion for style, design, innovation and intention to honour women by building communities is embedded in every stitch of a Bhalo creation.
These fun and funky fair trade designs can be purchased online at http://www.bhaloshop.com/products