Client Spotlight – Our Sisterhood

client spotlight our sisterhood

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1. Who are Rebecca and Rachita?

Rebecca and Rachita are creatives and co-founders of Sisterhood. We met whilst studying visual communication design at Central Saint Martins and really bonded over our interest in using design to create social impact. We wanted to use the skills and experience we had gained to contribute towards creating services, systems and places that really work for the people who use them.

Fun fact: we were also flat mates, so naturally we decided to start a business together.

Photographer: Edith Whitehead 

2. Who/what is Our Sisterhood?

Sisterhood is a design led social business – it comprises of Sisterhood Studio specialising in socially conscious design and Sisterhood School, our creative social action programme for young girls (aged 13-17) to build confidence by addressing and creating real world solutions to issues they face in their everyday lives such as online safety, body image to larger issues such as street harassment.

3. What is your vision or mission?

Sisterhood is where all self-identifying girls design their place in the world. We use design and creative education as a vehicle for social change to positively impact young girls and their futures.

Photographer: Edith Whitehead

4. What drove you to start Our Sisterhood?

Sisterhood started as a final project whilst we were at University, we were about to start our creative careers and noticed a real drop-off of women in the creative industry. This was really surprising to us as we came from a cohort that was 70% female – so we started enquiring as to why this was happening.

When we started this as a design research, we spoke to women from a breath of careers and from all different stages in their careers as well. We soon realised this isn’t only limited to the creative industry and the two main things that kept on coming up again and again were that a lot of changes in a young girls lives stemmed when they were younger, in school e.g. drop in confidence and the second was lack of opportunities as they were growing up.

Form our own experiences, our research and studies we found all this to be true; so we decided that in order to change this cycle, we have to go to the root. We have to meet girls where they are, in their formative years and work with them to create this change.

5. Explain the 3 C’s, impact on girls and women etc.

The 3 C’s – confidence, courage & charisma are some of the most celebrated, promoted, rewarded and employable attributes and yet studies show these three traits still sit uncomfortably with young girls.

What this means is that at an early age, a girls self-esteem and aspirations are affected, having devastating impact on their future ambitions. These disadvantages trickle down affecting women in their later life.

6. How design fits into your mission?

When we decided that we were going to approach this through the lens of design and creativity – we really had to take stock and do in-depth research about the benefits of design. We had first hand experience as to what creative education did for us as individuals but we were also very weary that when working with schools we had to prove and show hard evidence of the benefits of design.

Creative education offers you more than just the skills to be able to communicate something through visual language. Particularly the design thinking and making process it is a framework through which you problem solve. It has so many transferrable skills such as building empathy, being a self-directed learner, leadership, project management, grit & resilience, critical & entrepreneurial skills. All of these are essential for young people to be able to thrive in future careers.

Design at its core enables you to imagine a better future and then gives you the tools to actually create it.

Photographer: Edith Whitehead

7. What projects you offer and what the impact of them is?

Through Sisterhood School we work with schools, cultural organisations, clubs, brands & companies in a couple of ways:

  • Social Action Programme – These are 15 week programmes embedded into the curriculum or hosted after-school hours with a group of 12-15 young girls, through which they create a real world social impact project.
  • Design Sprints – 1-2 Day Workshops that give young people an insight into different industries, young people collaborate with industry experts to create a prototype project.
  • Social Action Workshop – Condensing the 15 week programme into 1 or 2 week workshops held in the school holidays.
  • Partnerships – Programmes in which girls are creating projects that apply to the work your business is doing.

8. What does the future look like for Our Sisterhood?

Where do we even begin. The most exciting thing to look out for is a 2 week pop store coming in May/June 2021 which has been made possible through Appear Here’s ‘Space for Idea’ competition. We’ll be popping up as a storytelling lab & bookstore for young girls. There’s lots of work going on behind the scenes to make this happen and some announcements to come about that soon.

We are also really working towards scaling our reach and impact, at the end of the day we want to make sure we are reaching girls in areas that really don’t have access to opportunities such as these and those who particularly face inequalities. This means we are now starting to reach girls, schools, clubs beyond the city and making sure ALL girls have the chance to build a future for themselves.

9. How people can support you?

You can support us in a variety of exciting ways!

Make sure you are following us on social media (@oursisterhood) and are signed up to our newsletter on our website which tells you all about exciting opportunities and events we have going on at Sisterhood.

If you have any wonderful teachers, schools or after-school clubs in your neighbourhood who would really benefit from a programme like this, connect us with them as we do offer taster workshops.

We couldn’t the work we do without our community so if you would like to support young womxn, girls and gender expanding youth through Sisterhood please visit our patreon page  and join our community of incredible supporters.

Finally, if you or your organisation are in need of design services and you would like to work in a meaningful way that creates real, measurable benefit to your users and business – please get in touch.

10. Best place for people to connect?

You can connect with us on Instagram – @oursisterhood or email us directly: hello@oursisterhood.co.uk

If you want to find out more about our programmes, you can find this on www.oursisterhood.co.uk

Photographer: Edith Whitehead

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