Pico produces essential, everyday goods, each with their own traceable story.
Pico was founded in 2016 by childhood friends Phoebe and Isobel. Our shared love of clothes has since developed into a fascination about their provenance. Starting Pico has taken us on an educational and often unexpected journey - discovering the roots of where our clothes really come from, right back to the farms and farmers who produce the initial fibres.
Project # 1 has started with the first things we put on in the morning - beautifully soft and simple, everyday underwear. Our pants, trunks, vests & crop tops are made in a small fairtrade factory in southern India, using organic cotton sourced from fairtrade farmers’ cooperatives.
We are currently in the process of researching and developing Project #2, an exploration of Indian, natively grown & hand-woven cotton; and Project #3, researching and directly working with British sheep & wool.
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)