Well, what a year it’s been!
Here at Brides do Good, we will always stand for all women, everywhere. As we look back on 2018, we’re proud to say that with the help of our brides, designers, brands and supporters, we have helped empower girls across the world. With renewed enthusiasm, we look forward to keeping in touch regularly in the future and can’t wait to share our exciting plans through the coming New Year.
The denial of girls’ rights perpetuates poverty and inequality around the world. This year, with UNICEF announcing that 25 million child marriages have been averted over the past decade and the UN adopting new resolutions to strengthen global action, it feels like we’re making more progress than ever. Huge legal steps have been taken by the USA, Norway and Indonesia to ban it without exception, our supporters’ work has made a direct difference to the futures of countless women and girls. But we’ve also seen how much work there is to do: 12 million girls are still wed against their will each year and millions grow up without support and education. Next year, we go even harder.
Over the past 12 months we’ve seen plenty of changes ourselves, and have been growing a lot behind the scenes. We kicked off the year with our biggest donation yet – over 250 wedding dresses from the USA - which ignited the launch of our inaugural plus size collection. We look forward to hosting our first plus size event in 2019, and furthering our mission to promote universal female empowerment.
We had a busy spring, as in March we expanded our Brides do Good family, and welcomed the lovely Jen on board as our new Head of Business Development.
We were also extremely proud to partner with the Bicester Village Shopping Collection for our second pop-up boutique at Bicester in April, and were thrilled to raise almost £20,000 for our projects with charity partner Too Young to Wed. Too Young to Wed provide on-the-ground support in hard-to-reach, frontline and emergency situations, to girls who are at the highest risk of child marriage and violence. These women and girls are some of those in greatest need of our help, and through Too Young To Wed, we are able to contribute to making real impact.
We’ve also committed to a support a new project with Plan International UK, supporting their Safe Schools for Refugees in Ethiopia programme. Over the next three years, and with the help of our Brides do Good community, we will be working with Plan to support those children displaced by the civil war in South Sudan. Today, over 240,000 refugee children reside in nearby Ethiopia with little to no access to even the most basic of resources. Our work will help provide the comprehensive support and vital education to those most vulnerable, ensuring they stay safe, healthy, and have the education they need to secure a brighter future.
We’ve also been delighted to see our own work expanding - we were honoured to announce a partnership with the inspiring Dubai Ladies Club in May, and were delighted to be awarded the Arab Fashion Council’s Fashion For Good Award during Arab Fashion Week as well.
Closer to home, our inaugural London boutique in Mayfair was a huge success during the Autumn, and I can’t wait to share the details of our next London event in the spring. It’s all a bit hush hush at the moment - but we are excited to let everyone in on the secret soon!
You may have also noticed our new look imagery! The team had great fun on set shooting our latest collection, bringing our website a fresh, new look, and continue the Brides do Good evolution!
It’s been a wonderful and busy year, and now with the festive season upon us, it's the perfect time to take a moment to reflect on just how much we have to be grateful for.
I, and the entire team, are so thankful for all the support and generosity of our many brides and supporters over the past year, and we are very much looking forward to expanding our family as our journey continues into 2019.
Wishing you and your families all the very best for a fantastic start to the New Year.
Images Courtesy of Stephanie Sinclair, Too Young to Wed.