Welcome to Victoria Road.
Our story began when our co-founder and CEO, Shannon Grewer, first traveled to Pakistan in 2010 and fell in love with the people, the culture, and the fashion. She returned home to the U.S. eager to share the stories of the talent and beauty she saw and the new friends she'd made.
Today, Victoria Road's core ethos remains bridging cultures through design: we want to promote the talent we've discovered on a global platform and use fashion as a stepping stone to a positive cross-cultural dialogue.
The best way we can explain our ethos is by showing how it impacts our team. Meet Farina Naimat Ali, our Head Designer based in Lahore, Pakistan. Check out the video above to see a day in Farina's life and learn her thoughts on Western women and culture, following her passion in her career, and the impact her work at Victoria Road has had in her life.
Inspired? Want to learn more about what we do and why we do it? Read on!
We are about love.
We are about color.
We are about positivity.
We are about art and design.
We are about beauty in diversity.
We are about happiness in our own bodies.
We are about treating people with kindness and respect.
Our beliefs make us who we are,
But we respect and listen to others’ as well.
We are about dialogue.
Our world is a kaleidoscope of cultures, skin colors, shapes, ideas, faiths, ways of life.
We embrace all.
Now, more than ever in our lifetimes, our choices matter. What we purchase, the clothes we wear, everything we own is made up of the stories of those who were a part of its creation. Let’s choose positively.
Inspired by the richness and talent found in Pakistani fashion and craft, Victoria Road discovers, supports and promotes designers, artisans, craftsmen, and passionate entrepreneurs who are creating modern, sophisticated fashion inspired by their vibrant culture. We collaborate with these talented creatives at our Fair Trade workshop in Lahore to produce extraordinary apparel for women and children.
When we choose the designers, artisans and local suppliers with whom to partner, we prefer working with women entrepreneurs like ourselves. Women-run small business is one of the largest contributors to economic growth in emerging markets.
The Inclusive Supply Chain, and What it Means to Us
The inclusive supply chain (a term coined by Naushaba Brohi, the force behind the label Inaaya) describes the process of carrying forward talented artisans as well as each skilled craftsperson involved in a piece's creation into today’s global fashion scene.
We are dedicated to creating an inclusive supply chain along which our pieces travel from end-to-end, while respecting the local culture and markets within which we work. To do this, we need to do things a little differently:
At Victoria Road, we are driven by our passionate admiration for the design talent and techniques we’ve discovered in South Asian culture. Instead of imposing our own design team, we collaborate with local designers creating globally accessible fashion inspired by their own cultural aesthetic and craft.
To provide our local design partners with a bridge to the U.S. and international markets, we work directly with each designer as well as our pattern master, artisans and production team at our Fair Trade workshop to create and develop products through a fully collaborative process in which each team member's ideas are heard and valued.
We aim to disrupt the fashion supply chain by helping our design partners access high quality materials and finishing in small runs. We contribute to the local economy by employing a full-time in-house design, sourcing, skilled tailoring and logistics team through our manufacturing partner based in Lahore, and by working with reputable mills and small-business suppliers, favoring socially conscious and women entrepreneurs.
As Fair Trade Federation members, we guarantee our Lahore workshop employees are paid living wages and are provided valued benefits like paid holidays, overtime pay, regular working day breaks, state pension fund benefits, and assistance with access to health care. Other perks like air conditioning at our facility, daily tea service, special gifts of food and clothing at Ramadan, salary advances, and a zero-interest bike purchasing program further improve our team's quality of life. It should go without saying that we do not use trafficked or child labor.
We take measures to ensure all of our fabrics and other materials are sourced only from suppliers who share the same ethical principles as we do, by regularly visiting local suppliers' facilities and choosing larger suppliers with research and care.
We minimize our carbon footprint by using locally made fabrics and by up-cycling our own scrap materials as a rule under our zero-waste workshop policy. We conserve water and energy in all of our small-batch manufacturing processes. We use recycled or reused materials in almost all of our packaging.
We increase our impact by helping our local designer and skilled artisan partners enter new global retail and wholesale markets.