Carry Somers

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Carry Somers
Carry Somers, at home.jpg
Carry Somers in 2017.
Seaton, Devon, UK
EducationColyton Grammar School, Westminster College Oxford, University of Southampton, University of Essex
OccupationFashion Designer, Campaigner
Known forFashion Revolution, Pachacuti

Carry Somers MA FRSA is a British fashion designer, social entrepreneur and fashion campaigner. She is founder of the global movement Fashion Revolution and founder and director of Pachacuti.


Somers was born in Seaton, Devon in 1966 and attended Colyton Grammar School. She has a degree in Languages and European Studies from Westminster College, Oxford, and a Masters in Native American Studies from the University of Essex[1] which presented her with the Alumnus of the Year Award in 2009.[2][3] She was named one of the most influential people in London in the Progress 1000 Awards.[4]


Fashion Revolution[edit]

Somers is founder of Fashion Revolution, a global movement which arose from the Rana Plaza garment factory disaster in Bangladesh on 24 April 2013.[5][6][7][8] Fashion Revolution is now recognised as the world's largest fashion activism movement, [9] campaigning for systemic reform of the fashion industry with a focus on the need for greater supply chain transparency. Fashion Revolution Day takes place globally on 24 April each year and in 2016 grew into Fashion Revolution Week.[10] In 2017, 2 million people engaged with Fashion Revolution Week, with 3.25 million people engaging in 2018 and 1000 events around the world. [11] [12][13]

Somers organised roundtable debates at the House of Commons and the House of Lords on ethics, sustainability and transparency in the fashion supply chain including Ethical Fashion 2020:a New Vision for Transparency [14] in June 2015 and Fashion Question Time [15] annually from 2015 to 2018. [16]. Somers speaks nationally [17][18] and internationally [19][20][21][22][23][24][25] about transparency, human rights and environmental issues in the fashion supply chain.

Fashion Revolution works all year round to highlight the need for greater transparency in fashion supply chains as a means to creating a more socially and environmentally responsible industry. In 2017 Fashion Revolution collaborated with Microfinance Opportunities on the Garment Worker Diaries project, the largest ever survey of garment workers, interviewing 540 people in India, Bangladesh and Cambodia over a year.[26][27][28] Fashion Revolution has collaborated with organisations around the world, including Greenpeace for the first Make Something Week in December 2017 [29] IndustriALL Global Union [30][31] with the British Council for the 2018 Fashion Revolutionaries partnership [32] and UN India at Lakmé Fashion Week. [33] Somers works on research for the Fashion Transparency Index every year, ranking the world's largest fashion brands on how much they publicly disclose about their policies, procedures, practices and social and environmental impact. [34][35][36] There are now Fashion Revolution teams in over 100 countries around the world. [37]

In March 2019, Lyst named Somers and Orsola de Castro amongst 8 Sustainable Icons Revolutionising the Fashion World, alongside names such as Emma Watson, Meghan Markle, Pharrell Williams and Stella McCartney.[38]


Somers founded fair trade hat brand Pachacuti in 1992.[39] Pachacuti was the first company to be certified under the World Fair Trade Organization Sustainable Fair Trade Management System,[40][41] the first International certification of a fair trade, sustainable production process.[42] The WFTO certification "guaranteed practices, procedures and processes that demonstrate social, economic and environmental responsibility throughout the supply chain".[43] Pachacuti's products were labelled Certified Fair Trade by WFTO UK0001-2009 to 2012.[44][45]

Somers piloted the European Union Geo Fair Trade project from 2009–12[46] which traced products from the straw to the Panama hat weavers. 60 social, economic, geolocalisation and environmental indicators tracked annual changes. The pilot project mapped the GPS co-ordinates of Pachacuti's 154 weavers' houses in Ecuador, the parcels of land where the Carludovica Palmata grows, and the co-ordinates of the associations who harvest and process the straw.[47][48][49]

At London Fashion Week in September 2013, People Tree Ltd. and Pachacuti were the first brands globally to launch the WFTO Fair Trade Guarantee System label.[50][51][52][53]


Somers appears regularly on television and radio in the UK and overseas [54][55]. She is a frequent guest on BBC World Business News[56] and in November 2018 she appeared on BBC Breakfast to talk about the impact of fast fashion on the environment following the Environmental Audit Committee's inquiry into sustainability in the fashion industry[57] Press articles and interviews include: Forbes How Two Entrepreneurs Became Unexpected Activists And Started A Fashion Revolution [58] Telegraph She Wears It well [59] El País [60] Vogue [61] and Newsweek How the Rana Plaza Disaster Changed Fashion Forever [62]

Lectures and Presentations[edit]

Somers is a regular speaker at universities, events and conferences, both nationally [48][63][64] and internationally [65] [66] [67] [68] on Fashion Revolution, fair trade, entrepreneurship, sustainability and fashion. She has lectured on cruise ships in Latin America and the Caribbean[69] on textiles, traditional dress, artisan handicrafts, indigenous peoples and fair trade.


Somers wrote the introduction to "Fixing Fashion" which looks at the impacts of consumer culture's addiction to disposable fashion, published in 2015 by New Society. She is co-author of the book Working Ethically, which aims to help business owners find an ethical strategy which will benefit their suppliers, community and environment.[70] She contributed a chapter to the book, published in 2014, Sustainable Luxury and Social Entrepreneurship[71]

Business accomplishments[edit]

  • 2019 Lyst named Somers and Orsola de Castro amongst 8 Sustainable Icons Revolutionising the Fashion World, alongside Emma Watson, Meghan Markle, Pharrell Williams and Stella McCartney.[72]
  • 2016 Named one of London's most influential people in the Equality Champions category of the Progress 1000 Awards, alongside David Beckham, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Stephen Fry and Richard Gere.[4]
  • 2014 & 2015 finalist with Orsola de Castro in Observer Ethical Awards Campaigner of the Year[73]
  • 2014 finalist Red Magazine Woman of the Year, Pioneer category[74]
  • 2013 Winner of Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Fashion at Source Awards, House of Lords[75]
  • 2013 Winner Outstanding Fashion Design at Sustainable City Awards[76]
  • 2012 Finalist Red's Hot Women Awards, Ethical/Eco Category[77]
  • 2011 Winner – Best Practice in Sustainable Luxury in Latin America,] Fashion & Accessories[78]
  • 2011 Finalist – WGSN Global Fashion Awards Sustainability category[79]
  • 2011 Winner – Observer Ethical Award category 'Fashion & Accessories'[80]
  • 2011 Big Tick Award & 'Highly Commended' – Small Company of the Year category, National Awards for Excellence[81]
  • 2011 Big Tick Award & 'Highly Commended' – Responsible Supply Chain category, National Awards for Excellence[81]
  • 2010 Pachacuti is certified as the 1st company worldwide through World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO)'s Sustainable Fair Trade Management System
  • 2010 Finalist & Big Tick Award – International Category, National Awards for Excellence[82]
  • 2010 Winner – The Inspirational Business Mum,Mumpreneur Awards [83]
  • 2009 The University of Essex named Somers Alumnus of the Year 2009.[2]
  • 2008 Winner of The Hat Life Magazine Hatty Award for significant contribution to the headwear industry.[84]
  • 2008 Winner of two Re:Fashion Awards, the world's first ethical fashion awards. Pachacuti won the Re:Business Award for its business model and the Re:People Award for commitment to the producers and communities with which it trades.
  • 2008 Winner of the Entrepreneur with a Conscience Award in the Make your Mark Awards, the national campaign to unlock the UK's enterprise potential.[85]
  • 2008 Finalist in the Ethical Entrepreneur Award; Winner of the Derbyshire Business Awards Commitment to the Community
  • 2007 Invited to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 14 February in recognition of her significant contribution to UK business.
  • 2007 Winner of the FSB British Small Business Champions Ethical Award; East Midlands winner of the Edge award which recognises employers who have provided outstanding learning opportunities for young people; *Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; interviewed on BBC Radio 4s Woman's Hour[86]
  • 2006 Winner of the award for the best growing business in the Country Living Enterprising Rural Women Award which recognises excellence in rural-based businesses.[87]

See also[edit]


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  85. ^ [1][dead link]
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  87. ^ "Carry defies gunmen to scoop top award". Ashbourne News Telegraph. 12 July 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2015.

External links[edit]