GUEST BLOG FROM PICO FOUNDERS Phoebe and Isobel.
We feel so lucky to have launched PICO at the Yurt cafe, the peaceful haven that a friend of ours had insisted we checked out. We are so pleased we did and prior to our launch we had been down to a few of the community planting days. The days were such a wonderful example of bringing people together who all wanted to get stuck in and to learn about nature and be able to come back and to see grow what they had played a part in planting, was teamwork at its best. It brings us so much joy to see some of the trees we helped plant and also whilst on the days we managed to put into practice some of the organic farming techniques we had learnt in India such as the three sisters technique combines growing squash, corn and beans alongside each other who all thrive when grown alongside each other.
The yurt cafe brings together such a lovely array of people, from artists, families, friends looking for some delicious wholesome grub or some warmth by the woodburner to those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city a to find a tranquil place to work or to reflect and find peace. We were amazed to see that there was a whole yurt purely for reflection and meditation, there purely for those to enjoy.
We were excited to see so many great community projects going on too such as the knitting club which was responsible for the the vibrant knitted pots that add so much colour to the side of the community hub.
A little bit about us – Pico is Isobel & my project to create beautiful everyday essentials whilst creating a connection to the people and processes behind their making. We have started by producing organic cotton underwear with a small fair trade factory in the south of India and earlier this year spent time with our whole supply chain from the organic cotton farmers to those working in the fair trade factory. We believe in transparency & fairness and hope to encourage a shift in mindset towards the way we think about our clothes and encourage a greater value and appreciation towards our everyday items.
On the night of our launch, with a lot of help from Seb & his team and our dear friends and family- 120 guests were welcomed with a delicious Autumn cocktail and the sounds of the wonderful three piece playing soft american jazz. Everyone congregated outside amongst the flares, candles and chimineas on the warm autumn eve before being beckoned down to the big screen. No one quite knew where they were being taken and were all amazed to find tucked away around the corner was a huge screen with PICO projected on it and an amphitheater dug out the ground. Such an atmospheric spot, in the pitch black with the sounds and lights of the DLR occasionally flying by in the distance. Here we gave a talk to everyone about our journey so far and showed pictures of our trip to India alongside what we had been learning about conventional cotton & clothing manufacturings and the benefits of organic and fair trade.
Then Anna from the Yurt cafe’s delicious squash curry was served up in the community Hub which everyone raved about and we got multiple requests for the recipe for. The yurt was then filled with folk listening to the incredible tunes and enjoying organic cider from our home county dorset and toast beer which is made from left over bread. PICO then had its first experience of running a shop as everyone was able to buy a pair of PICO pants and postcards and we were so happy that so many people did.
An unforgettable and incredibly special evening and we couldn’t be more happy to have launched PICO into the world partnered with such a wonderful project and group of people whose ethos and values we feel so aligned to. Thank you so much to all at St. Katharine’s Precinct!
As we embark on spreading the message about the provenance of PICO pants and why it is important that we all start asking questions about where our clothes come from we also don’t want to forget about looking after the clothes we already have. In a world of fast fashion we want to be a part of the mending movement and so have suggested setting up a mending club at the Yurt cafe – where everyone can come together to mend their holy shirts or buttonless bottoms and share stories amongst old and new friends in the community. Often these things get put in a pile and we never get round to them so it is so much nicer to get together to mend them. Stay tuned for more details!