Our AW18 collection Women of Change focused on women’s rehabilitation, working closely with female prisoners from the Making for Change programme, and the women of San Patrignano’s drug and alcohol dependency programme. In an interesting twist on the ongoing discourse around gender, when a man buys a piece from the Women of Change collection, the proceeds go to supporting some of society's most vulnerable women.
Bethany worked with female offenders in prison on the jersey pieces from this season’s collection, as part of the Making for Change programme. Making for Change is a social enterprise set up jointly by London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London and the Ministry of Justice – providing skill development and meaningful employment for serving and recently released offenders to help reintegrate them into society.
Working closely with the programme, Bethany shared her knowledge on textile development, the design process, and insight for the women, into their role within the wider supply chain. The programme teaches technical manufacturing techniques in order to prepare the women, as they take on manufacturing for retail. Our Women of Change collection was produced by the women from Making for Change. As with every Bethany Williams collection, proceeds from the collection will go to the charity/organisation it was made in collaboration with. For the Women of Change collection, 10% of profits were donated to the Making for Change programme, to fund further machinery.
Our signature approach to knitwear features – in which recycled wool and denim from Kent is hand knitted by the cottage industry on the Isle of Man where Bethany grew up. All raw materials were sourced from Chris Carney Collections, a recycling and sorting facility where it goes on to be washed, cut and unravelled before the hand knitting process. The denim featured in the collection is sourced alongside this and unpicked before being reconstituted into new garments.
All materials used throughout the collection are sourced and created from organic or recycled materials, down to the buttons. Our buttons are handmade in the Lake District by Jean Wildish, who plants her own trees for the production of wooden buttons. The entire Women of Change collection is handmade in the UK and Italy.