London fashion label squares up to Indian sex trade

For immediate release 18 October 2010 Contact: Natasha or Lavinia on 0203 489 1427 or email:

The United Nations has thrown its weight behind an exciting social enterprise that combines high-end fashion with an ethical focus. Nominated for a prestigious UN Business Leaders’ Award, Beulah London has been launched by friends Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan. The pair have launched their ethical fashion label after working in the slums of Delhi with women and girls rescued from the city’s underground sex trade. There is a personal connection with project, as Natasha’s great, great grand-father, Viceroy Rufus Isaacs, was instrumental in bringing reform and self-governance to India almost a century ago. The sophisticated silk gowns and cocktail dresses, which have caught the eye of style-conscious celebrities, including Sarah Jessica Parker, feature fine needlework by female survivors of sex trafficking, who are supported by a charity project. The enterprising pair will be donating a portion of their profits to Indian and UK organisations dedicated to eradicating modern-day slavery and will be staging cross-promotional events to raise awareness of the issue. Natasha said: “The family connection prompted a love affair with India, but Beulah London was born from a desire to make a difference. What we experienced in the slums was life-changing. “Lavinia and I heard stories that were harrowing, yet there is hope thanks to the charities that support these women and teach skills that can make them financially independent. “The aim is to equip and empower women and young girls who have been trapped and exploited in the most appalling way.” Beulah London has unveiled its first collection “Amazing Grace” for Spring/Summer 2011. It offers a bespoke tailoring service from its London HQ and is accepting bookings from January. It is also set to supply high-end boutiques in London and abroad. Natasha and Lavinia are part of a breed of social capitalists who create brands with a conscience. But while its credentials are worthy, Beulah London’s ethical fashion is pure glamour. The clothes are made from the finest silks and cottons, the cut is designed to flatter and the quality is superb. The dresses are designed to be timeless, wardrobe classics and cost from £165 to £580. Lavinia added: “The garments are made partly in the UK and partly in a cottage industry in Kolkata in India. The embroidered verse around the inside of the dress and the cotton bag given free with each purchase are made by girls who have been rescued from the sex trade. “This provides them with employment and our support is also going into enhancing their sewing skills. “Our long-term vision is to train the girls to make the entire dress. This isn’t feasible at the moment, as they are not skilled enough to produce the quality needed, but we are confident they soon will be.” The dresses have some high-profile admirers, including Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker who saw them at Paris Fashion Week. “She loved the dresses and was keen to support the cause behind the brand. There is a real buzz about Beulah London and we’re thrilled about that. What we saw in India is a powerful driver and influences everything we do,” said Natasha. “The bold, butterfly print in our spring collection is symbolic of the transformation we know is possible for the women given the right help.” ENDS Notes for editors: For more information visit: • Natasha and Lavinia’s inspiration for Beulah London was sparked by working in an aftercare home in the Delhi slums for victims of the sex trade. They also visited other aftercare homes through the International Justice Mission and Oasis India. • Official figures show there are three million prostitutes in India, 1.2million of which are children. About 80% enter prostitution against their will. They are trapped in the sex trade in a cycle of poverty, illiteracy and disease. • Lady Natasha’s great, great grandfather was the Viceroy of India in the 1920s and her family has strong connections with the country. • A Liberal appointed by Lloyd George, Viceroy Rufus Isaacs succeeded in initiating widespread reforms and establishing a form of self-government in most of the Indian provinces. He introduced improvements in agriculture and housing and was much admired for the genuine sympathy he and his wife showed for the people of India. • Natasha’s other great, great, great grandfather was married to William Wilberforce's sister and was the lawyer who drafted all the anti-slavery bills, hence her interest in tackling human trafficking.

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