University of Canterbury students Samantha Jones and Lina Kay are travelling through India as part of their research and development for their start up company Little Yellow Bird.
Little Yellow Bird is the first company in New Zealand to sell ethically made organic business shirts.
“We are committed to ensuring our products are created with sustainability and fair trade practices in mind. We also want to be able to share the story behind our products which is why it is so important for us to meet with our suppliers and the communities that enable us to deliver our products,” Kay says.
Jones and Kay have spent the last week visiting remote villages in the Indian State of Odisha visiting small organic cotton farms.
“The farmers we visited rely exclusively on natural farming techniques including soil quality, natural predator populations and crop rotation. Consequently these farmers have created the ideal ecosystem to develop organic cotton” Jones say.
The online store www.littleyellowbird.co.nz sells business shirts to individuals and corporates. The shirts are made from organic cotton, are manufactured in a fair trade fashion house and profits are re-invested back into community development projects.
“One of the most exciting aspects of our trip was meeting Priya, the first lady Little Yellow Bird was able to sponsor. Priya is currently undergoing a 12month training course which was funded through the sale of our first range of women’s shirts” Kay says.
Jones will be spending the next three weeks in India working in the fashion house and overseeing the production of the men’s range which is due to be launched before the end of the year.