At Bookmark we have no shortage of colleagues whose tireless creativity fuels passion projects and important causes well beyond their nine-to-five. Aleksandra Pawlowska, a Strategist at our London office, is one of them.
Aleksandra recently launched The Power Collection, a sustainable and ethical clothing line that aims to challenge the status quo of the fashion industry – all while empowering women and minorities, from design and manufacturing through to everyday wear. We wanted to find out what inspired her to take this on, and how what she does at Bookmark intersects with her goals for The Power Collection.
What do you do at Bookmark? How did you get to where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?
I work as a strategist at Bookmark. I got into strategy completely by chance. I like to think that it was planned for me. I wanted to work as a journalist but was offered an internship in creative agency. One person seeing potential in you can go a long way. And the rest is history! I have learned from every person and brand that I have ever worked with. I was very lucky to have incredible mentors along the way who supported me and shared their knowledge.
Tell us about your ethical fashion line.
I created The Power Collection as I wanted to make clothing in a meaningful way. I wanted every step of the process to be considered: from the planet, the workers, the messaging, the models, to the wearer. I wanted empowerment to be woven into the fabric of our clothes.
There are several problems that I wanted to challenge with this collection.
- The production of fashion has an immense impact on the planet. I wanted to create clothing that is celebrated, that you want to keep and cherish. We use 95% organic cotton. Organic materials are important because they are produced without the use of pesticides that are harmful both to the environment and local communities.
- Often the workers, 80% of whom are reported to be women, pay an enormous price for our clothing. I wanted this collection to be creating opportunities right where they are needed in an ethical, fair way. Our clothes are made in a shelter in Delhi that hires and trains women in need.
- 70% of women globally still don’t feel represented by the media and feel anxious about reaching unrealistic beauty standards. I have chosen models based on who they are as people, women who are everyday heroes, who are impacting the world in their own way, who are creating their own paths. I wanted to celebrate who they are and promote values that are timeless and truly important. They styled themselves and we haven’t retouched any aspect of them.
How does your work at Bookmark inform your project, and vice-versa?
I learn a lot at my day job, and at the same time, time I spend on Looking for Heroes makes me a better strategist. The two go beautifully together. For Looking for Heroes, I spend a lot of time exploring tales of everyday activism and how stories and people can change the world. I bring that knowledge to Bookmark. As a strategist I have learned the importance of researching the problem, seeing it from all angles and from different perspectives. Every day I look at global trends and that definitely helped me shape The Power Collection into what it is today.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 was #EachforEqual. How does the Power Collection speak to the values and messaging of #EachforEqual?
The Power Collection is a celebration of women, of who there are, of their stories, of what they bring to the table. It is about representing their values, who they are as people, celebrating their potential and their power. I wanted every woman to be able to find herself in this campaign and to feel empowered when she is looking at it or wearing a piece from the collection.
You can support The Power Collection through the Looking for Heroes Kickstarter campaign, running until April 3, 2020.