The story is a familiar one: Beautiful, privileged woman with a famous last name travels to a third world nation, and returns with a mission and a business plan. But, there’s an urgency to what Phoebe Dahl (granddaughter of Roald Dahl and cousin of Sophie Dahl) is attempting to accomplish with her fashion label, Faircloth & Supply. With roots in L.A. and a cause in Nepal, Dahl is looking to create a sustainable, ethical, charitable fashion company that supports women, no matter their zip code.
Unlike other charitable fashion models that bolster a region’s local economy by handing over the production process, Faircloth & Supply is made in Downtown L.A. using found organic fabrics. Its focus is singular and the effects have been powerful: For every garment sold, the brand is able to provide supplies and scholarship for one Nepali girl to attend school for a year. To date, the brand has supported over 2,000 individual students. Education is a crucial instrument for upward mobility, and especially so in Nepal; “An education is equivalent to a life,” says Dahl. “It’s a chance at being independent from their families and a chance to break the cycle of generational poverty and discrimination towards women. Girls in Nepal who are in school are also less likely to contract HIV, more likely to marry later, and more likely to have children who will attend school themselves.”
The recent earthquake took its toll on those that have been supported by Faircloth & Supply: 15 schools and the homes of 50 girls were destroyed. Says Dahl, “It’s a loss just knowing that the greater goal of girls’ education we have been working on for the past few months has been put on hold until the region has been stabilized.” From FairclothSupply.com, you can donate to the General Welfare Pratisthan (GWP), to help fund rebuilding and provide survival tools, and a special relief-focused T-shirt and bracelet will be available next week. Says Dahl, “GWP will be putting local girls in charge of the rebuilding process. To be given such a great responsibility is in itself a big honor and also an opportunity they would not have previously had.”
And, unlike the majority of other charitable fashion labels for whom style isn’t a main concern, Faircloth & Supply also makes really good-looking clothes. Loose-fitting, versatile dresses and playsuits are equal parts East Coast prep and California boho, and have thoughtful pieces of flair (like an asymmetrical hemline or a whimsical gather). The spring ’15 collection is solidly fashion-forward — and we’re not just saying that in comparison to Faircloth’s competitors. These are the kinds of showpiece silhouettes that can cement a designer’s place in the industry.
Click through to see the entire lookbook, and visit Faircloth & Supply to learn more about its Nepali initiatives and donate to its cause.