Helena Silva

Helena created Vintage for a Cause, an ethical and sustainable fashion brand that promotes social inclusion and the empowerment of elderly women through the creation of recycled clothing.

Encouraging independence and self-sufficiency among elderly women while advocating sustainable fashion: Helena’s approach is virtuous in every respect. The daughter of a seamstress, this lawyer grew up with the idea that ‘nothing is lost, everything can be reused’ well before upcycling emerged as a trend. With this in mind, Helena wanted to launch a project that would bring together the fashion industry and the circular economy through the reuse of textile materials.

Ethical and responsible fashion supporting an entire community

But beyond protecting the environment and upcycling waste, Helena’s project supports the community by fostering socio-professional integration among older women. To revive used clothing and fabrics and transform them into new and desirable fashion items, Helena draws on the experience and know-how of these women, who are often socially isolated and cut off from the world of work.

Over 200 older seamstresses involved in the creation process

Since its inauguration in 2013, the initiative has recovered around a tonne of textile waste and saved 3 million litres of water and 7 tonnes of CO2. The brand’s growth should enable these figures to be tripled annually and to increase the number of seamstresses aged over 50 admitted to its ‘From Granny to Trendy’ programme, which successfully combines the circular economy with social reintegration.

More information about Helena’s project:

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