London : By wearing a chic chiffon off-white dress while visiting a mosque in Malaysia last month, Kate Middleton has helped victims of alleged sex trafficking in India, her designer has claimed.
Kate turned heads in Kuala Lumpur when she visited the Assyakirin Mosque wearing a chic chiffon off-white dress and matching headscarf from Beulah London.
However, it has been revealed that by wearing the dress, the Duchess was supporting not just her friend – Beulah’s founder Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs – but also victims of sex trafficking in India, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported. Natasha’s great-great grandfather, Rufus Isaacs, was 1st Marquess of Reading, and a Viceroy of India in 1921. Natasha and her childhood friend Lavinia Brennan made a decision, in 2009, to swap parties at Club H – Princes Harry and William’s private basement at Highgrove – for a stint teaching needlework and English to victims of sex trafficking in India.
“I had been talking to a friend about human trafficking and I was determined to do something to help,” the paper quoted Natasha, fiancee of Kate Middleton’s ex-boyfriend Rupert Finch, as saying. “I met women who had been abused and a girl who was trafficked from the school where I was teaching. She fell in love with a man who promised her a new life and whisked her away, and she didn’t return.
It was heartbreaking, but it helped me to understand slavery and how traffickers work.
“It also taught me the importance of education because traffickers prey on the uneducated, the ones who have no options. I realised that providing skills could prevent trafficking,” she said. Natasha, who has a history of art degree from Oxford Brookes University, spent two months at a workshop teaching vulnerable girls who had been rescued from brothels and slums. It was there that Beulah London was conceived. Natasha and Lavinia’s idea was to create an ethical fashion label that would pay a living wage to rescued women and save them from the economic necessity of returning to the streets.
Each Beulah garment comes with a canvas bag produced by victims of trafficking in India through a Calcutta-based project called Freeset.
Some items in the collection are made via a project in Delhi called Open Hand, by women who have escaped trafficking and the sex trade, including some who are HIV-positive and widowed.
Natasha, who was named by Daily Mail in 2011 as one of “Britain’s 50 Most Powerful Posh People Under 30” returns to India every six months to see the women she is helping. –PTI