What is the Dorcas Dress Project?

In March 2016, Maria Skoyles was prompted to design a dress that would empower the voiceless in the fashion supply chain. This patented design has been developed so it can be produced, locally in the UK but especially in remote parts of the world. It is one size yet fits everyone, even pregnant and breastfeeding mums.

As the founder of the project and with 25 years of experience in the fashion industry (on the factory floor, in the design studio and as a fashion lecturer) Maria’s heart cried at the destruction the industry had created. She developed this dress to protect craftsmanship and lift people out of poverty and hardship. The clever cut, pleats and carefully situated ties on the dress eliminate the need for zips, other trimmings and complex machinery. The project can therefore support makers from situations of hardship, even in remote parts of the world. The project provides appropriate training, resources and a growing network of customers. The pricing structure reflects a growing level of skill and craftsmanship.

The project has been developed specifically for charity work, based around Christian ethical values.

Phase One: we have successfully demonstrated a market for the dress through making and selling a small batch of 20 dresses locally in Oxford.

Phase Two: is about growing a network of local UK craftspeople from situations of hardship and matching them up with local shops and church support groups. We officially launched the project on the 24th April 2017, on Fashion Revolution Day.

Phase Three: involves us linking with groups from beyond our shores. We are in the process of piloting this with a group in Nigeria.

To buy retail we highly recommend visiting one of our stockists or visit our Etsy site.

Could you give a charitable gift? Funds are needed to provide training and resources to people from situations of hardship.

Would you like to be a Sponsor? We need funds to generate a rolling stock of dresses.

Would you like to set up a project in your own region?



International Design Classification Number: 5001982

Date: 11th March 2016

Issued to: Maria Skoyles

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