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An introduction to the world of TRIIA

Cathy Turkington

 

Dear All, 

 

Apologies for the delay in our first blog post. It has been a busy year and we have been finding our feet in the business world of fashion, ( oh the joys ) We are hoping this will be a more regular feature and we are eager to hear your thoughts. 

Within this narrative our aim is to give you more insight into how TRIIA formed and our future goals and aspirations.

TRIIA evolved from my travels to Nepal, my first trip was in the spiring of 2011 where my family and I started our charity ntnp.co.uk,  building schools in rural Nepal - this was  set up in memory of my late brother Neal.

Instantly I fell in love with the magical, mystical kingdom. The sincere kindness and humble attitude of the Nepali’s was something I had rarely encountered. A country immersed in poverty, every corner you turn you see a need, yet they all wear the most endearing smiles. 

I was mesmerised by the beauty and grace of the Nepali women. Surviving on as little as $2 a day yet they always manage to be dressed immaculately, decorated in beautiful colourful sari’s and many bangles. A contradiction to my impressions however was the  shock beyond belief when I realised the harrowing reality of how some of the most vulnerable young women from the poorest families of Nepal are treated and  exploited into the sex trade by ruthless traffickers.

It was after this revelation that I became aware of a charity called Maiti Nepal www.maitinepal.gov.org which to date has miraculously rescued 25,000 women from brothels in India and the middle east.

My first encounter and meeting with Anuradha Koirala { CNN hero of the year 2010} founder of Maiti Nepal was in April 2011.  Prior to my meeting I had researched a great deal on the charity and the wonderfully courageous Anuradha Koirala an incredible lady so petite and beautiful but she comes with the strength of an army inside, dedicating every moment of last 25 years fighting and campaigning for a traffic free Nepal. 

A documentary produced by Maiti Nepal had an everlasting and profound impact on me - ’The Day My God Died’. Not a documentary for the faint hearted, - underground footage of what young girls are subject to on a daily basis, it literally left me paralysed inside. I would rather be fed to angry blood thirsty dogs than have to live a day in the life of these poor and innocent girls. 

I struggled to understand how a young girl could have her life taken from her in this manner and how a fellow human being could treat young girls in this way. 

From this moment I felt compelled to do all I could to help the women and girls of Nepal. I was inspired by their strength and the determination and dedication of Anuradha Koirala. 

Having experience working with charities I wanted to create something, that would have a long lasting and sustainable impact, were I could work directly with the girls of Maiti Nepal. 

It was in the enchanting Durbar square in Katmandu I set with a coffee pondering over ideas as to how I could best help these girls and spread a message to the world of the wonderful work of Maiti Nepal and the issues surrounding trafficking.

Between the buzz and the mayhem of Durbar square I set watching over the Nepali women walking so effortlessly and graceful as if in a meditative state with their beautiful colourful sari’s - at that moment I had the idea to set up a fashion brand.

My background in London has always been as a hair stylist being closely connected to the fashion world, and as a fashion and jewellery lover my whole life, I believed fashion to be so influential and has the power to make a difference in the world. 

From this date my every thought was consumed by how I could make this work. Finally braving the confidence to believe in my dream I sacrificed my financial security going from a full time position to a part time position which in London is not of the easiest or maybe sensible ideas, but it allowed me the time to peruse my dream and begin my path of making a difference in the world through fashion. 

Future hopes - to be a able to have production in Nepal, and to be able to to set up training programs with British designers working and teaching the girls in Maiti Nepal. To spread our message of unity through our designs.

In March of this year I was in Nepal opening our second school with my families charity. I was incredibly lucky that the timing enabled meet up with  Maiti Nepal for International women’s day in Katmandu, - this memory will stay with me forever.

I set up a workshop with the rescued girls where we co-designed a bracelet due to be launched later this year with 100% of profit going directly to the charity, so watch this space….

In my next blog post I will reveal how TRIIA came to life in the form of jewellery and my reasoning for making my whole collection around the stones of Rose Quartz and Amethyst.

Namaste and blessings to all. 

Cathy and TRIIA x