It’s been a fantastic start to the year for ethical clothing and jewellery producers, Tribe of Lambs. Not only has this young brand recently surpassed their latest fundraising goal to raise almost $14,000 to pay for a year’s tuition for 54 at-risk children in India, but they’re also gearing up to launch their new collection, complete with elegant designs made from high-quality materials.
With products made in India, staff based in Canada, and a willingness to ship worldwide, Tribe of Lambs is a truly international venture with an all-pervasive reach. Yet like many conscientious brands we know and love, Tribe of Lambs started humbly, with just a thought, before it grew into a mission: to create bright futures for some of the 170,000 HIV positive children in India. The best way to do that, says Tribe of Lambs? By removing the stigma associated with the illness, via a three pronged approach: funding education and tuition; creating safe spaces to learn, grow and develop and; providing access to facilities required to build futures.
All this, and Tribe of Lambs is only three years old. It’s in existence thanks to former wardrobe stylist Bobbi Paidel, who first thought of building such a tribe on her visit to India.
“I felt a very real sense of responsibility to use my skills to make a difference in the world,” says the co-founder and creative director. The intention was always to be an ethical and fair trade accessories brand, offering knits, bags and jewellery, yet recently Tribe of Lambs has streamlined itself a little, with jewellery as its hallmark. Not just a small percentage but all the profits are returned into the brand’s Compassion Projects – see their website for more details on each one.
In two years, Tribe of Lambs, has positively impacted the lives of more than 500 children, says Paidel. “In the beginning our efforts were focused on all at-risk youth, and we took on smaller projects that were manageable for us as a new start-up, but via collaborations with the local NGOs in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, we’ve installed solar panels at a small orphanage in the Himalayas and set up 80 slum children with hygiene and care packages and rebuilt a library in a low-end government school.”
“Whilst we aren’t there for each and every order, we have a very close relationship with our producers,” she continues. “They believe in our cause and work incredibly hard to produce a stellar product, which in return brings economic growth and social aid to their communities. It’s a circular model and we are committed to operating all our business within fair trade standards as much as we can as a self-funded, very small, start-up.”
At the moment Tribe of Lamb’s actual tribe consists of Paidel, two passionate and talented colleagues (Director of Operations, Dani Shaw, and Director of Marketing, Phil Haley) and one intern, whom Paidel describes as ‘mighty’. But a small staff team doesn’t equate to lowly intentions. “It’s my vision to create our own fair trade certified jewellery cooperative though,” she insists. “We want to train and employ HIV positive men and women. To do this we must unify with the new generation of entrepreneurs, artists, movers and shakers, who are working towards a more collaborative experience and also believe that the conscious consumer is there, ready to make thoughtful and impactful choices about what to do with their money.”
Bravo, says Lawfully Chic. This is one tribe we’d very much like to see multiply, spreading their values – people, quality and love – as far and wide as they are able.