Pico produces essential, everyday goods, which can be traced right back to the source.
In Project # 1 we began with the first things to be put on in the morning - super soft and simple, everyday underwear. We work directly with a small fairtrade factory in southern India, using organic cotton sourced from fairtrade farmers’ cooperatives.
For Project #2, we have researched and learnt about indigenous Indian cotton and are working with a cooperative in Gujarat to produce handwoven bath sheets and hand towels using this locally grown fibre.
We are currently in the research stage of Project #3, learning about the British fibre industry and working with British sheep & wool first hand.
A bit more about us...
Phoebe and Isobel grew up in Dorset and went to school together.
Phoebe has been interested in clothes since she was a child, inspired by her mother’s business in beautiful and unusual second-hand garments. She read History at Goldsmiths University, with a focus on social and cultural history, and wrote a dissertation on the dangers of the crinoline – surely the most unusual piece of underwear ever invented! She loves climbing and the outdoors, loves growing her own organic food (small quantities on a tiny balcony!) and is interested in all types of natural and alternative ways of living.
Isobel also grew up fascinated by clothes, making her first very definite decision about what to wear aged only 18 months. Aged 6, she made her first outfit – a fleece bikini top with her name emblazoned across the front! Since then, she has been busy making, sewing and selling all sorts of things, and has been interested in fair trade issues since her early teens. Isobel did a degree in tailoring at the London College of Fashion, focusing on traditional methods of hand-dying and pattern cutting and the use of natural, sustainable fibres.
Since University, Phoebe has worked in business development and as head of events for Fever-Tree, the natural mixer company, and Isobel has had experience working at tailoring houses and the London Cloth Company (the only woollen mill in London), followed by a year making costumes on film sets. Together, over the last few years, they've been growing the ideas & the passion that has become PICO (Phoebe & Isobel’s Company) to provide ethical, organic, fairtrade, everyday items, that can be clearly traced to their source. They decided to start their business with the first thing we all put on every day.
Finding it impossible to make enough progress while both working very long days, they gave up their jobs at the end of 2015 to concentrate full time on PICO. In April, they spent a month in India, with 10 days at Navdanya followed by travels all across the country to visit fair trade farms and factories. Inspired by these experiences to become part of a localised economy where they live (and to keep body and soul together while PICO grows), they have since been child-minding, ironing, cooking, cleaning, gardening and mending for their neighbours in Stepney Green.
- by Ginny, Oct 2016 (Isobel's Mum)