Jess and her business partner/husband Shimul
Braid dress in baby blue and white applique
The ladies of the Thanapara Swallows Development Society’s handicraft section
Who made your clothes? Is a question that many consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of, and a question interiors-cum-fashion designer Jess Priemus has a good answer to.
Bhalo is ethically manufactured clothing with an internationally minded aesthetic. In other words, Bhalo’s limited edition garments are ethical fashion that you actually want to wear (no offense to all the manufacturers of misshapen hemp coloured sacks out there).
Jess and Shimul chose to name the label ‘Bhalo’ (‘good’ in Bengali ) to capture their intentions for the starting the label, with their designer/manager partnership certainly living up to this high standard.
Manufactured in Bangladesh, using natural hand woven textiles, printing and embroidery, Jess’ designs have found great balance in showcasing the best of ‘slow’ manufacturing techniques, whilst satisfying her designer’s drive to test new ideas in time, process, and the limitations of material.
Bhalo is manufactured by the women of the Thanapara Swallows Development Society’s handicraft section, in Rajshahi, north-western Bangladesh, on the riverbank of the Padma (Ganges). The handicraft program at Thanapara is independently run and has 168 permanent producers. The organization is an internationally approved member of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), ECOTA Fair Trade Forum (Bangladesh), and Bangla Crafts.
Most importantly, the program assists many poor and underprivileged people, mostly women, by providing training and jobs, as well as a number of community programs. These programs include aiming to eradicating illiteracy, creating health awareness and self-employment, educating people about land rights, and empowering women by creating economic and social awareness towards a number of issues.
Bhalo’s brand philosophy is to connect the wearer to the garment, establishing a connection and empowering our customers to know the origins of the clothes they are purchasing. This form of transparency is crucial to encouraging people to make ethical decisions towards the things that we acquire in our lives – clothing included.
What is apparent, when you read Jess’ words, is that she and Shimul care deeply who makes your clothes, as well as what they’re made of. Jess’s passion for ‘slow’ concepts of time and lifestyle, innovation and building community are embedded in every fibre of Bhalo’s garments.
And to top it all off, Jess’s ‘kind of manifesto’, is a definite cut-out-and-keep gem for any ethically minded creative, no matter their chosen medium.
Owner: Jess Priemus
Location: Perth, Western Australia