Jun 19, 2014 3:02PM

Big Ideas: Tome's 'White Shirt Campaign'

Raising awareness fashionably.

There's no denying the world of fashion is a powerful place, but when designers and labels use these powers for good, cool things can happen. Tome launched 'The White Shirt Campaign' alongside their debut Resort collection at the recent New York Resort Fashion Week 2014 and it's perfect for our next edition of Big Ideas

The campaign is all about raising awareness and fighting to emancipate people from human trafficking and modern day slavery. Every season, the proceeds from the sale of Tome's white shirt will go to Katie Ford's Freedom For All Foundation. Ryan Lobo is one of the men behind label Tome and he's taken a second to run us through the labels Big Idea.

Katie Hryce: How did you get involved in the White Shirt Project?
Ryan Lobo: We met Katie Ford two years ago and found out about her foundation Freedom For All. We immediately donated some pieces from Tome for one of her fundraising auctions, and became certain that we would do something more with her in the future. Almost two years later The White Shirt Project was born.
What does the colour white represent for you in regards to issues of slavery and human trafficking?
It's the perfect metaphor for a clean slate which is what emancipation from slavery and human trafficking is, essentially.
What's your favourite take on the white shirt?
Something that is 'every woman' really appeals to us.
How do you wear your white shirt?
...usually with a stain down the front!
What do you think is the best white shirt moment in pop culture history?
I'm sure there are many but what instantly comes to mind is anything involving Peter Lindbergh.
Why did you pick Freedom For All Foundation as the charity to donate to?
We are extremely passionate about this cause particularly and about the thankless work that Katie Ford is doing.
Who are the other partners in the White Shirt Project? How do they contribute?
Net-A-Porter is selling the shirt exclusively, which gives the project such incredible reach.
What's the next stage of the project for Tome?
We have so many plans for this project. We hope to travel to India and make this a truly 'vertical' product by involving former victims of slavery and trafficking into the process of making the next instalments of the shirt. It is a very ambitious goal and will take time to evolve into this model but we will get there!
Photo: Courtesy 
Introduction: Sarah Mulholland
Interview: Katie Hryce