It’s been a while since we’ve had the pleasure working on an exciting collaboration so we’re really happy to announce our new partnership with social arts project Hopeful Traders. The organisation works really hard to remove the stigma around mental health and homelessness through working with artists affected by these issues on a clothing range. We had a chat with Charlie Wright who founded the initiative about how the project started, his commitment to producing ethical products and his upcoming Kickstarter campaign.
Hey Charlie! For those who don’t know what is Hopeful Traders?
Hopeful Traders is a social arts project and clothing brand. By collaborating with artists affected by homelessness and mental illness we give a voice to all the people affected by these issues. The apparel we produce is unique in it’s design and produced to a high quality and ethical standard. We reinvest our profits from the sales of our range into charitable organisations chosen by our collaborators.
And how did the organisation start?
After living and working in London for a few years, I became increasingly aware of the plight of so many people who are ignored by the rest of society. Most notable were the people living in desperate situations on the streets. I have always been lucky to be supported by people around me and given countless opportunities in life. I want to share opportunities with those who lacked them. With so much artwork coming out of the homeless community, it seemed to make sense to connect these artists with the public via the medium of clothing.
Would you mind telling us how you came up with the name?
I wanted to translate the idea that we can benefit from positivity rather than just financial reward. My mission is to give people hope, and to highlight how a positive feeling such as hope can be just as valuable, if not more, than any tradable goods. Hopeful Traders deals and trades in opportunities and hope.
Tell us a bit about the new collection and your partnership with Accumulate
The new collection is a bright and bold step for Hopeful Traders. We have some really exciting designs from three artists who have all experienced homelessness first hand. The designs proudly put the artwork and the artists in the spotlight.
Accumulate are a charity that empower young homeless people through creativity. We recently hired their young photographers to do a photoshoot of our upcoming collaboration with David Tovey.
How do you find and select the artists you work with on your clothing range?
So far all the artists we have worked with have been associated with Café Art. Café Art is a fantastic social enterprise who give various opportunities to artist’s affected by homelessness. We are always looking for artists who care about their communities and want to share their artwork and their story so as to benefit other people who had similar experiences to them.
You’re launching a very exciting Kickstarter campaign on 28th July, what are you raising money for?
The Kickstarter campaign will help fund bulk production of our new collection and future collections. The Kickstarter funding will allow us to work closely with more organisations, such as Accumulate, to give marginalised and vulnerable people opportunities to benefit from their creativity.
We can’t wait to do some live printing at the launch event, what’s the best way for people to get on the guest list for it?
We have created a Facebook event for the launch event, where Kickstarter rewards will be available to purchase. These will include a sample run of the new collection, limited edition artworks and of course live printed tote bags. Register for a free ticket and get a free drink at the event. https://www.facebook.com/events/410236996036597
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