A new unapologetic, politically charged brand which raises awareness around fashion consumption has launched.
Started by Gemma Gratton, who went from a career in construction, including helping to build the world’s tallest mast climber in Abu Dhabi, has launched a fashion brand with a strong message that we all need to hear.
Following on from a lengthy career which spanned 17 years in a male dominated profession, construction, to travelling the world visiting the most popular manufacturing companies for research, Gemma created the Manchester based, responsible clothing brand, The Bee Thrive. She is set to take the eco fashion world by storm, as the label launches its new collection, ‘BEE-A-WEAR’. Each garment from the brands new collection is named after courageous woman and activist of our times, who are fighting for our rights and causes.
The message of the brand is crystal clear, REAL WOMEN SUPPORTING REAL WOMEN
Whilst spending the majority of her career working in the construction industry, Gemma because conscientious of how she presented herself as a female in a male dominated industry. As the only woman in the company alongside a 25 strong male management team, Ms Gratton thrived off of the challenge and went on to work in one of the most prestigious projects in Abu Dhabi, building the world’s tallest mast climber.
The message she sends from her brand is strong, and highlights that no matter what age, gender and race – all skills are transferrable, especially when you have a worth and strong cause behind you!
The main focus of the BEE-A-WEAR campaign is to highlight awareness and fairness through the supply chain. Along with this, Gemma is seeking to dismantle buzz words like sustainable and organic, and hopes to raise awareness around fashion consumption. Spending three months travelling to the most popular fashion manufacturing cities of Cambodia and Vietnam, Gemma met with a member of the Fashion Revolution and a UN Labour representative, gaining a real insight into the working processes and practices which happen in South East Asian countries.
Her trip sparked the move to bring manufacturing back to Manchester, and saw her join forces with fashion vet, Ziggy Lavelle. Launching her new website and first bespoke collection, ‘Defiant yet Decorous’ Gemma went on to have huge success with a fashion show to 300 select guests. Gemma also organizes numerous events which have raised awareness about fashion consumption, including “Swap Fast Fashion for Sustainable Style” during Fashion Revolution Week.
Having 50 organic cotton Bee Thrive t-shirts made up, Gemma exchanged them with anyone who came and brought an old fashion t-shirt, and to pledge to swap their fast fashion to a sustainable style. Her ultimate vision is to create an art installation of the many t-shirts handed over.
Success and sales came for The Bee Thrive after this but plummeted shortly after, leaving Gemma with little cash for marketing strategies, and in a vulnerable place financially. Gemma was approached to set up an ethical streetwear brand ‘False Prophet’ by two local businessmen. She simultaneously tried to keep up with The Bee Thrive alongside her new role in creating the new sustainable menswear, eventually branching out into womenswear in Manchester.
The outbreak of Coronavirus in February however brought an abrupt end to the partnership with False Prophet- who ceased all funding, and brought Gemma’s focus entirely back to The Bee Thrive.
Gemma has pulled together countless events across the UK and in particularly Manchester to promote awareness around fashion consumption including ‘The Sustainability Diaries’ and Manchester Fashion Sustainability Summit and has built a vast network of fashion experts all working towards the same goal, of creating a sustainable planet. She is heading up a campaign around real inequality across the whole current economic landscape as well as fashion. The launch of the new collection BEE-A-WEAR is set to shine a needed light on this topic and catapult the unapologetic, political brand, The Bee Thrive, to even bigger success.