Graduate’s Fairtrade fashion journey to India

A Coleg Sir Gâr fashion graduate is travelling to India to teach garment technology skills such as pattern cutting, grading and product development to a workforce employed by an ethical and sustainable company to help fight the challenges of unethical trading.

Nicola Ridd-Davies from Swansea is creative director of Visible Clothing, a fair trade factory in Dharmashala, India, employing 35 workers.

She is also self-employed and runs her own business, The Little Stitchery, teaching pattern cutting and dressmaking and providing technical design support to British designers.

Nicola, a former garment technologist and pattern cutter for Welsh brand TOAST, is passionate about fair trade.

“I’m helping to broaden the technical skills of the workforce to bridge the gap between design and production,” she said.

“Their construction skills are absolutely fantastic and there is a lot of potential there, so it would be great to help them be more sustainable as a business and increase their client base and product ranges.”

Workers at the factory receive fair salaries in a comfortable, happy environment, where careers and skills growth is nurtured and each person is encouraged to contribute ideas for the progression of the company.

Paula Phillips, head of Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art said: “We’re thrilled that Nicola is doing so well and is supporting fair trade in her work.

“She was an exceptional degree student who later returned to work with us in the fashion department and we all wish her the very best in India.”

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