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Introducing - Sophia

This week Just Trade were very lucky to have Sophia helping us around the studio. Sophia is a Year 10 student at Prendergast School, Lewisham, and is completing a weeks work experience with us.

We took Sophia for lunch at The Nines (a particular JT fave) and had a chat about school, jewellery, fair trade and cucumber water.. see how we got on:

So, Sophia, it’s been great having you at JT HQ this week, but how did you come to be here? How did you hear about us?

I wanted to do my work experience week somewhere creative/art related. My sister suggested I get in contact with Just Trade (Sophia’s sister works at SLG, one of JT’s lovely suppliers). I already owned a few pieces of Just Trade jewellery and thought it would be an interesting company to visit.

Are you interested in Jewellery Making/Design as a possible future career?

I like making jewellery and love art, but think it’s really difficult. At the moment I’m thinking I might want to do something like be a Midwife or a Doctor, but who knows.

What kind of jewellery have you made before? How did you start making jewellery?

I like using beads and generally use silver, as it’s hypoallergenic. I’ve made lots of earrings using wire and beads. I started making jewellery on a family holiday. My family friend taught me how to make earrings so I could make a pair for my Mum’s birthday.. I ended up making about 30 pairs of earrings and using up ALL the beads!

And is Fair Trade something that you are interested in?

I am. I’m always keen to encourage my parents to buy Fair Trade. I am a vegetarian and am very conscious of where I buy make up etc, so try my best to be ethical when I’m shopping.

Do you get to learn much about Fair Trade at school?

Yes, we learn stuff in Geography about how much workers make etc. We’ve learnt about farming and agriculture in other countries. We studied about the idea of sending livestock instead of money.

Most education about Fair Trade focuses on food, have you learnt much about Fair Trade in the fashion industry at school?

No, not really. But I would be interested in learning more.

There is a very good film about Fair Trade in the fashion industry called ‘True Cost’, you should check it out. How do you think we could get the message of fair trade fashion into schools, to appeal to people of your age?

I think videos are definitely a good way to get a message across… and other things like a Fair Trade catwalk would be a fun way of getting people involved.

Yes! There is a thing called the ‘Green Carpet Challenge’, which is getting more popular, where celebrities attempt to only wear ethical/eco clothes on the red carpet, it’s brilliant.

So, what have you learnt at Just Trade so far?

During the first couple of days I was learning jewellery making skills. I have shaped some bangles for Tate Modern’s O’Keefe Exhibition and learnt how to put necklaces together for Laura Ashley’s Autumn Winter range. I can now make earring hooks and cut shapes out of sheet metal.

Today I’ve been learning about social media and have made my own brass pendant from scratch using all the skills I’ve learnt!

And do you know what you’ve got in store for the rest of the week?

Tomorrow I think I’m going to be learning some more admin and business skills with Ali, and then on Friday I’ll be helping at the Just Trade styled shoot, taking some behind the scenes videos and photos!

It’s been a real pleasure to have Sophia with us this week, and we are very much looking forward to seeing her photos from Friday’s shoot! (pictured below: Sophia's homemade earrings and her brand new brass pendant, designed and made at JT HQ)


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