Maria is the Chief Executive of TRAID, a UK charity working for 20-years to tackle the problems of waste, production and consumption in the fashion industry. From clothes reuse to charity retail, from sustainable education to funding global projects benefiting the people and places making our clothes, every aspect of TRAID’s work keeps clothes in use for longer to maximise social and environmental benefits.
Maria joined TRAID when the charity launched in 1999 after coming from Oxfam where she worked for seven years developing innovative concept shops. She joined TRAID as Head of Retail before becoming the Chief Executive a few years later at the age of 34.
She explains, “My interest in working for TRAID stemmed from my childhood in the West Country when I sourced my entire wardrobe exclusively from charity shops and jumble sales. My motivation for buying second hand clothing, like a lot of TRAID’s customers, was mixed. I wanted to find a sustainable alternative to the high street and limit the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry by reusing and wearing second-hand rather than buying new. Looking back, it’s almost inevitable that I made second-hand retail my career.”