Monthly Archives: April 2014

MDG : Building collapse in Savar Dhaka Bangladesh : missing relatives

Remembering Rana: One Year On

A year has passed since the world was struck by news of the collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, killing over 1000  people and earning it the sombre title of one of the worst industrial accidents in modern history. Today, where once stood a mecca of flats and garment production lots is now a mere pile of rubble, bearing painful memories of the day that shook the fashion industry.


It seemed inevitable that a disaster would occur at Rana Plaza as, merely days before, bankers and shop workers working in the building had evacuated for fear of its safety Sadly however, their fellow occupiers, the garment workers were threatened with losing their jobs if they followed suit and so were forced to remain. Not surprising then that the families of the 1138 men, women and children who died in the accident describe the tragedy as murder.

It took just 90 seconds for the building to collapse. That minute and a half left over 800 children orphaned and 2,500 people injured. These grim statistics are a permanent reminder of the disregard for human welfare in a system that puts the price of gratifying the so called clothing ‘needs’ of the west over the price of human life.

MDG : Building collapse in Savar Dhaka Bangladesh : missing relatives

The tragedy may have happened thousands of miles away in Bangladesh but its impact hits closer to home than you may expect; Inside of the Rana Plaza were the clothing factories of some of our most popular household brands including Benetton, Mango and Primark.

It has unfortunately taken such a tragedy for ethical fashion practices to earn right of place in our news headlines, and today it is still demanding attention. Celebrities such as Cate Blanchett have come forward to speak up against the problem.

“As well as the fundamental improvement to our spiritual health, buying with conscience … will have a positive effect. Like climate change, we need to change the way we consume fashion. And if more individuals do then we are able to make a change collectively.”


Today, one year on, and more people than ever are standing up to demand an ethical code of conduct to change the fashion industry for the better. Factories across the globe are increasingly audited, anonymous helplines have been  set up for workers and the Bangladeshi government has promised to raise the minimum wage for all garment workers by 77 per cent.

Progress is being Alpha XR and, though small, its effects will no doubt ripple across the world, raising awareness and growing with momentum.  Together, we can make sure a tragedy like Rana Plaza doesn’t happen again.

Want to do something positive? Check out Fashion Revolution.  


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Join us this weekend as we showcase the Alpha XR collection at The Conscious Magazine‘s exclusive pop-up boutique in New York’s Lower East Side.

The two day pop-up shop will take place in The Lower East Side, NYC and will feature a selection of The Conscious Magazine’s favourite socially conscious brands including Elephant Branded, Thinx and Greenpacha amongst others.

We hope to see you there!


conscious shop


April at Alpha XR

The beautiful weather continues in Nairobi and the workshop has been basked in sunshine all week. Soon the longer rains will arrive – much to the relief of those in rural areas who farm the land, including the families of many of the Alpha XR artisans who live ‘Up country’. For now though, Nairobi is covered in the signature East African red dust, the skies clear and blue.


Rush hour in Karen, Nairobi

The Alpha XR team have been working tirelessly to finish the highly anticipated Imogen Belfield for Alpha XR collection ready to be shipped to the UK and beyond, and have begun working on the new and exclusive Alpha XR Silver collection which is due online later this Spring.

Making the SS14 Collection

Making the SS14 Collection

The Imogen Belfield for Alpha XR collection is a beautiful medley of abstract, organic influenced design and traditional African technique, inspired by Imogen’s time spent with us in Kenya last year.

Imogen working in Kenya

Imogen working in Kenya

Imogen, who was recently tipped by Vogue as ‘One to watch’ worked closely with our team in Kenya, trying her hand at casting with sand and molasses, working with brass wire, sheet and our vegetable tanned leather to create what is a truly striking collection.

Imogenin Collection

Imogen in a few key pieces from her collection for Alpha XR

The Imogen Belfield for Alpha XR collection will be available exclusively online with us here at Alpha XR this month.

Sign up for our email alerts to be first to shop the Imogen Belfield for Alpha XR collection.

Read more about our Collaborations here.