GIRLS DONE GOOD (and Keep Doing So)

Updated: Nov 15, 2018

Harriet and Zoë - two designers/makers who decided to utilise their creative skills and talents to help other girls achieve their goals. Their collections of pencils, T-shirts and feminist cards all give back in some way. We asked the duo how they started Girls Done Good (GDG) and what we can all do contribute to the causes that inspire, educate and empower women.

GDG started organically after the ladies met through mutual friends and discovered they have a shared interest in women’s empowerment, craft and design (no surprise they are our first feature!). After a particularly ‘shitty weekend’, they decided to do something about what was happening in the world - and so at the end of 2017, the GDG project was born.

The founders are both designers and makers. Harriet Cox studied 3D design at Manchester Met and now works in Trend Forecasting predicting the next big consumer trends. She also designs and makes jewellery in her spare time and runs workshops for the Workbench London. Zoë Tynan-Campbell studied photography at LCC and then 3D design at Camberwell. She is a designer-maker / arts educator / wannabe florist. She works for UAL empowering and nurturing new graduates in the creative industries. The girls are both really passionate about good design and creating things. What brought them together was a thought of 'huh, I could make that’ and that is how GDG started!

Following some negative news that spread across media in 2017, they were inspired by the ‘heart-warming movements’ working towards solving issues that directly affect women. Determined to help in any way they could, they combined their creative skills together and started designing products which would ‘give back in some way and do some good in the world’. When looking for charities that work specifically with women and girls (cis and trans), Harriet suggested Bloody Good Period. It has become ‘a really special collaboration’ that is about to continue with some new product soon.

Another collaborator was the Maya Centre for whom the GDG not only designed the Sisterhood for Sistergood Screen Printed Slogan Charity T-shirt but also helped raise awareness through their Instagram. GDG’s well-curated profile become a mean to reach a new audience as the centre does not have the resources to run their own. Speaking of which, GDG’s IG (enough of the shortcuts, promise!) captures not only the products but also other artists who inspire and contribute to building a strong network of women. The movement is called ‘shout out / follow Friday’, so, if you are feeling creatively stuck, we recommend you check out the @girlsdonegood Instagram account.

The third partner is The Girls Network whose work GDG celebrated with a collection of the Girl Power Pencils. They chose this charity because of the following. ‘There are so many issues and hurdles that women might face in different stages of their life and we're conscious that we provide support to charities working across all of those stages. Intervention early on is so critical, which is why we think the work of The Girls Network is so important - if they can inspire girls at 15 years old they are far less likely to face challenges later in life. They'll be the 30 year olds inspiring the next generation and so it goes on.’ We cannot wait to stock up on some new pencils and support a good cause!

The GDG goal is to raise awareness and encourage more people to get involved and donate. That is what keeps the girls going! Further down the line, they would like to get the service users involved in the designing and making process, too. From training women in prisons to co-design products to working with marginalised groups to create objects that give them a voice, albeit on paper/fabric but a voice none the less! ‘Community is at the heart of what we do and we think it's really important to bring each-other along for the ride. Community over competition!’

Speaking of competition, GDG does not need to worry. They gained a fair market share where there was a gap. Charities cannot afford to hire design agencies and the girls are happy to offer their services in return for helping the community and introducing good design to a new audience. With the increasing consciousness in consumer behaviour and the decline of the throwaway culture (in its early stages), there is a potential for companies like GDG to grow and thrive in the long term. And so far, the feedback has been fantastic - be it the constantly growing number of followers on Instagram or the breakneck pace at which Valentine’s cards get sold.

" Community is at the heart of what we do and we think it's really important to bring each-other along for the ride. "

So what can we expect next from GDG? The plan is to continue ‘using art and creativity to empower women by providing them with a positive community’, to engage them in an activity that opens up conversation and brings achievement and satisfaction through creating something with hands.

Harriet and Zoë have inspired us to switch off (the computer), grab a (girl power) pencil and start sketching things ourselves. Yes, it might not be sellable, shareable or presentable with the world (yet) but the feeling of accomplishment even within the safety of one’s house is unbeatable. We wish that all girls could have the chance to explore their talents and follow their passions wherever they are, without feeling restricted by or punished for their decisions. Take note (with your newly stocked GDG stationery) of these girls who decided to use their skills for a good cause. We certainly feel inspired!