Carry Somers

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Carry Somers
Carry Somers, at home.jpg
Somers in 2017
Born1966 (age 53–54)
Seaton, Devon, England
EducationColyton Grammar School, Westminster College Oxford, University of Southampton, University of Essex
OccupationFashion designer, campaigner
Known forFashion Revolution, Pachacuti

Carry Somers (born 1966) is a British fashion designer, social entrepreneur and campaigner. She is founder of Fashion Revolution and was previously 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 Southampton University, and a Masters in Native American Studies Studies from the University of Essex[1] which presented her with the alumnus of the year award in 2009.[2][3] Somers set up fair trade fashion brand Pachacuti in 1992 and founded Fashion Revolution in 2013. [4] [5] [6]


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.[7][8] Fashion Revolution is the world's largest fashion activism movement campaigning for systemic reform of the fashion industry with a focus on supply chain transparency.[9]

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 [10] in June 2015 and Fashion Question Time annually from 2015 to 2018 in UK Parliament and in 2019 at the V&A.[11] Somers speaks nationally [12][13] and internationally [14][15][16][17] about transparency, human rights and environmental issues in the fashion supply chain.

In 2020, Somers sailed 2000 miles from the Galapagos Islands to Easter Island and the South Pacific Gyre with eXXpedition, an all-female round-the-world sailing voyage carrying out scientific research into the impact of plastic and toxic pollution in the ocean. [18]


Somers founded fair trade hat brand Pachacuti in 1992.[19] Pachacuti was the first company to be certified under the World Fair Trade Organization Sustainable Fair Trade Management System,[20][21] the first International certification of a fair trade, sustainable production process.[22] The WFTO certification "guaranteed practices, procedures and processes that demonstrate social, economic and environmental responsibility throughout the supply chain".[23] Pachacuti's products were labelled Certified Fair Trade by WFTO UK0001-2009 to 2012.[24][25]

Pachacuti piloted the European Union Geo Fair Trade project from 2009–12[26] 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.[27][28]

At London Fashion Week in September 2013, People Tree Ltd. and Pachacuti were the first companies in the world to launch the WFTO Fair Trade Guarantee System label.[29]


Somers appears regularly on television and radio in the UK and overseas.[30][31] She has been a regular guest on BBC World Business News,[32] BBC Breakfast [33] and national and international radio.[34][35][36] Press articles and interviews include: Forbes How Two Entrepreneurs Became Unexpected Activists And Started A Fashion Revolution [37] Telegraph She Wears It well [38] El País [39] Vogue [40] and Newsweek How the Rana Plaza Disaster Changed Fashion Forever [41]

Lectures and Presentations[edit]

Somers is a regular speaker at universities, events and conferences, both nationally [42][28][43] and internationally [44][45] on Fashion Revolution, fair trade, entrepreneurship, sustainability and fashion. She has lectured on cruise ships in Latin America and the Caribbean 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.[46] She contributed to the book, published in 2014, Sustainable Luxury and Social Entrepreneurship[47]

Business accomplishments[edit]

  • 2020 Winner Luxury Sustainability Award at the Luxury Law Awards [48]
  • 2019 Named as one of 8 inspiring sustainable icons revolutionising fashion[49]
  • 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.[50]
  • 2013 Winner of Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Fashion at Source Awards, House of Lords[51]
  • 2011 Winner – Best Practice in Sustainable Luxury in Latin America,] Fashion & Accessories[52]
  • 2011 Winner – Observer Ethical Award category 'Fashion & Accessories'[53]
  • 2011 Big Tick Award & 'Highly Commended' – Small Company of the Year category, National Awards for Excellence[54]
  • 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.[55]
  • 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; interviewed on BBC Radio 4s Woman's Hour[56]
  • 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.[57]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Essex chancellor launches Women of the Future Appeal - Business Weekly - Technology News - Business news - Cambridge and the East of England".
  2. ^ a b "Alumnus of the Year Award - Honorary Graduates - University of Essex".
  3. ^ "Alumni list".
  4. ^ Blanchard, Tamsin (24 April 2018). "Fashion Revolution Week: Seven ways to get involved". The Guardian.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Butterly, Amelia (24 April 2015). "People are wearing clothes inside out to mark Fashion Revolution Day - BBC Newsbeat".
  8. ^ Sharkey, Linda (24 April 2015). "Fashion Revolution Day: wear your clothes inside out and ask #whomademyclothes to support worker welfare". The Independent. London.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Ethical Fashion 2020: a New Vision for Transparency - Total Politics". 1 July 2015.
  11. ^ Ferrier, Morwenna (23 April 2018). "Labour MP Rushanara Ali: 'Rana Plaza was a man-made disaster'". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Exeter, University of. "University of Exeter".
  13. ^ "The Future of Sustainable Fashion".
  14. ^ "Ireland gives two thumbs up for development as The European Year for Development Launch Ceremony in Dublin Castle scoops two awards - Dochas".
  15. ^ "Trade show preview: Bangladesh Denim Expo plugs transparency for its next edition".
  16. ^ "Carry Somers at the Bilbao Bizkaia DWeek 2017 - British Council".
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ by 3p Contributor on Tuesday, Jan 14th, 2014 (14 January 2014). "Interview: Carry Somers of Pachacuti on the Fashion Revolution". Retrieved 25 June 2018.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-07-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "About fair trade" (PDF). 2011.
  23. ^ "The WFTO Way « WFTO Europe".
  24. ^ Holmes, Rachel (14 December 2009). "Pachacuti: a fair-trade fashion pioneer". the Guardian.
  25. ^ Todd, Jennifer. "Pachacuti – Sustainable Fair Trade Management System - Magazine - Global Partner Network: Corporate Social Responsibility".
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ a b, New Media Team, Marketing & Communications. "Hollings: The Big Issue - Manchester Metropolitan University".
  29. ^ "World Fair Trade Organization". World Fair Trade Organization.
  30. ^ NewstalkZB
  31. ^ Plan Textil, Argentina
  32. ^ BBC World News
  33. ^ BBC Breakfast
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ |title=Forbes|
  38. ^ |title=Telegraph|
  39. ^
  40. ^ |title=British Vogue|
  41. ^
  42. ^,-c-,-in-conversation-with-carry-somers
  43. ^ Exeter, University of. "University of Exeter".
  44. ^
  45. ^ Latin American Fashion Summit retrieved 6 March 2019
  46. ^ Clifford et al. (2007) Working Ethically, A&C Black
  47. ^ Greenleaf Publishing Published: May 2014 Archived 24 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^ "Source Awards 2013". The Source. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  52. ^ "Past Editions / 2011 Awards". IE. Archived from the original on 12 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  53. ^ "Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  54. ^ "Awards for Excellence 2011, Big Ticks". Financial Times. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  55. ^ "Hatty Award". Archived from the original on 25 June 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  56. ^ BBC. "BBC - Radio 4 Woman's Hour -Carry Somers".
  57. ^ "Carry defies gunmen to scoop top award". Ashbourne News Telegraph. 12 July 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2015.

External links[edit]