Art and political unrest have restlessly stood hand in hand for centuries, with the threat of inequality and injustice galvanising thought-provoking and creative responses spanning every type of craft. Recent efforts include vibrant balaclava’d music performances in religious spaces, stencils upon the West Bank Barrier, glossy acrylic statement jewellery and ceramic replicas in the hundreds of thousands across Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Creativity always prevails: with artists and creatives making, doing but certainly not ‘make do-ing’!
An out of this galaxy sign from the Peoples' Vote March, snapped by rosiewolfenden.
The threat of Brexit and the UK leaving the European Union upsets and concerns us greatly and so, back in March, we released a capsule collection of wearable protest art, transforming instantly recognisable motifs from the European Union flag and the EU passport into pieces of art jewellery. Spotted in the Guardian, championed by opera singers and beloved by academics and experts alike, we’re not alone in using the tools at our disposal to voice our dissent.
Our Brick Lane store window snapped by laura.fishbourne.
From that homemade protest sign you spotted at March For Change and just *had* to share on your Instagram Stories to Mr Bingo’s Brexit tea towels, Jeremy Deller’s ‘F*ck Brexit’ charity collaboration, Rob Ryan’s limited edition ‘Let’s Be A Part Of Each Other’ prints and our bestselling EU and Me collection, creatives everywhere are joining together to celebrate the EU’s impact on their quality of life and livelihoods!
We now open the floor to our very own Co-Founder and Managing Director Rosie Wolfenden, as she looks back on the past 20 years of Tatty Devine, our relationship with the EU and its lasting impact on us, personally and professionally.
“ Our business, our employees and we as women benefit in so many ways from being part of the European Union.
It’s the EU we can thank for workplace rights, including parental leave, equal treatment and rights for part time workers on which us as women rely on to enable us to have a better life/work balance and quest for equality. Brexit poses a real risk to the labour market rights of women, such as rights to unpaid parental leave, equal treatment and paid annual leave rights for part-time workers, things we now almost take for granted. There’s a chance that there are future plans for a ‘competitive’, highly deregulated, and ‘flexible’ labour market post-Brexit.
It’s the EU we can thank for helping our business to grow and become an internationally renowned brand, as we celebrate 20 years of Tatty Devine. The single market means that we can sell easily across Europe with no paperwork, no customs, no tariffs. The free trade agreement with Japan makes exporting to one of our biggest markets significantly easier than it might be otherwise and we’ve been able to cultivate and nurture fruitful relationships with stockists and customers as a result. We have also received financial support multiple times to exhibit at trade shows in Paris, Berlin, and Milan which we might have otherwise not been able to do. One of our first ever trade shows was in Berlin, which marked the beginning of a close working relationship with the Continent. Our first French stockist was Shine in Paris, we loved creating bespoke products for iconic Parisian concept store Colette, and only this year, we found ourselves on the shelves of the Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm.
It’s the EU we can thank for making culture and the arts so much more accessible, with many galleries and museums able to offer free or subsidised entry thanks to EU funding. We’re proud to work with and collaborate with, so many of these cultural spaces and consider them a vital element of who we are and what we’re about and play a key role in brand awareness.
But it’s not just us, YOU the consumer are protected by EU competition law, it sets the framework for consumer rights in the UK and will be vulnerable to change by future governments if the UK leaves the EU. What does that mean? The potential dissolving of regulations which prevent anti-competitive conduct by companies to ensure they don’t form cartels and monopolies, fix prices or carve up markets. We don’t want that and you shouldn’t stand for it either!
Not sure how the EU has benefited you? Click here to find out more from the Women's Budget Group.
We remain remainers. We believe in equality. We believe in democracy.”
Thanks, Rosie. Pick up your very own piece of wearable protest art from our EU and Me collection here.