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‘Celebrating women who changed the course of history. Keeping the power of their words and deeds alive…’


Each of our collection pieces pays tribute to a key figure among those who fought for gender equality – the indefatigable suffragettes and sisters-in-arms campaigning for social equality – whose courageous acts and determination secured women’s freedom to vote while helping to improve healthcare and working conditions for all. Their work transformed the livelihoods of women and their families and galvanised the women’s equality movement for generations to come. 


Sadly, the injustice they opposed remains to be resolved. Globally just six countries currently have equitable working rights for women and men enshrined in law. Imbalance pervades, to the detriment of individuals, communities, countries and the global economy. It is estimated that equalising the gender gap will take at least 108 years.


We can, however, change our fate. If the suffragettes could change the course of history, we can too. Join us in remembering their hardships and celebrating their deeds and achievements so that they may inspire us to make mindful choices that make a difference today…




Defiant Yet Decorous


The Emmeline Jacket 

Perhaps the best known figure in the pantheon of suffragettes, political activist Emmeline Pankhurst founded the British Suffragette movement. Here at The Bee Thrive, we never fail to be moved by the courage and strength with which she organised, inspired and ultimately led her fellow activists to win the right to vote

A fiery and witty orator, Emmeline is famous for quotes such as “Trust in God, she will provide” and “Justice and judgment lie often a world apart”. However impressive her speaking skills, she believed that words were ultimately ineffectual, and that deeds such as demonstrations, marches and even breaking the law were the surest tactics to bring about meaningful change.

The Emmeline Jacket embodies the presence and power of a woman with conviction. Ethically made from superior 1960s vintage wool and designed to embrace and flatter a woman’s body, this elegant, timeless piece carries you from day to evening, from the boardroom to after-work drinks at the bar. To learn more, click here [link.]

The Martha Skirt


An intellectual and a socialist, Martha Beatrice Webb, who was largely self-educated, coined the term collective bargaining (in the context of workers’ union negotiations) and was instrumental in the development of British industrial relations. A scholar and author, she co-founded the London School of Economics and played a crucial role in forming the Fabian Society. 

Her contributions, and her legacy, have made working life fairer and safer for us all. With undeniable brilliance, she was known for insightful turns of phrase such as the following: “It would be curious to discover who it is to whom one writes in a diary. Possibly to some mysterious personification of one's own identity.”

The Martha Pencil Skirt is made from superior 1960s vintage wool of the highest quality – comfortable and versatile, with enduring appeal. Find out more here [link].


Flora “The General” Trouser

Our no-nonsense trouser is named after British suffragette Flora McKinnon Drummond, known as “The General” for her habit of leading women's rights marches wearing a military-style uniform – complete with officer’s cap and epaulettes – while riding on a large horse. 

An accomplished orator with a reputation for handling hecklers and naysayers with ease, Flora was a woman with guts and bravado, who for us is a symbol of strength and standing up unapologetically for what you believe in.

The Flora Trouser is made ethically from 1960s vintage wool, with design features including a high paper bag waist, gold statement front button fastening and wide leg with front seam stitch. To shop your size, click here [link].

The Teresa Blouse 

Born in Preston, Teresa Billington-Greig worked as an assistant teacher before becoming active in politics. Teresa co-founded the Manchester wing of the Equal Pay League and campaigned for equal pay for teachers. She helped create the Women's Freedom League, an organisation which campaigned for women's suffrage and sexual equality. 

From organising and leading meetings to writing essays explaining why women had the right to rebel, Theresa was known for her passion and unwillingness to compromise. 

Our Teresa Sleeveless Blouse features a short neck cravat and elongated back slit detail. Made from Organic Silk Bamboo, a plant-based fabric which softly drapes with a resplendent silk-like finish, it can be worn with a suit for a polished formal business style, or can be paired with jeans for a breezy yet sophisticated day or night look. Shop the Teresa blouse here [link].

The Annie Blouse


Ann "Annie" Kenney was an English working-class suffragette who became a leading figure in the Women's Social and Political Union, co-founding its first branch in London with Minnie Baldock. 

One of 12 children, she worked in a cotton mill from the age of ten and would later become instrumental in publicising the suffragette’s cause to other working-class women. 

She was imprisoned with Christabel Pankhurst for heckling the politician Sir Edward Grey at a Liberal rally attended by Winston Churchill in Manchester – some historians now regard this as the first militant action of the suffragette movement. A statue of Annie was unveiled in 2018 in her hometown of Oldham, Greater Manchester. 

The Bee Thrive Annie Long Sleeve Bellow Blouse is made from Organic Bamboo Silk and features a front frill, neck bow and gold button detail. Find out more here [link].


The Harriet Dress 


Born in Philadelphia in 1810, Harriet Forten Purvis was an African-American abolitionist and suffragist. With her mother and sisters, she formed the first integrated women's abolitionist group, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, in 1833. The group led petition drives urging lawmakers to ban interstate slave trade and to allow jury trials for people apprehended as fugitive slaves. Together with her husband, she operated an important site on the Underground Railroad network. An active participant in the National Women’s Suffrage Association, she was a champion of human rights and women’s equality.

Designed for working women with a taste for elegance, the Harriet High Neck Pencil Dress is made from superior 1960s vintage wool. It features a spacious and comfortable high neck, slit cuff with gold lining finish and long back zip gold detail. Learn more here [link]

The Garrett Jacket Dress 

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was an English physician and suffragist. The first woman to qualify in Britain as a physician and surgeon, she campaigned for and was instrumental in the passing of an act in 1876 which permitted women to enter the medical profession. Later, she became the first female mayor in England. 

After being refused acceptance to medical school and being barred from attending classes with men at Middlesex University, Elizabeth taught herself French and sought her medical degree in Paris. Despite being refused entry to the British Medical Register, she established the New Hospital for Women at St Mary’s Dispensary, which was renamed the London School of Medicine for Women. Later it was named the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital and it is now part of the University of London.

 The Garrett Jacket Dress, made from superior 1960s vintage wool, features a mid-length sleeve with gold lining detail, tasteful lapel neck with button detail, pleated skirt and side access zip. Find out more here [link]

New Leonora Trouser

Leonora Cohen was a British suffragette and trade unionist originally from Leeds. Trained as a milliner she earned the moniker "Tower Suffragette" after using an iron bar to smash a display case in the Tower of London. She was arrested and charged with criminal damage several times, some of these leading to stints in prison. She also acted as a bodyguard for Emmeline Pankhurst. Later, Leonora became one of the country’s first female magistrates and, living to the age of 105, was hailed as a hero in the second wave of feminism in the 1970s. 

Made from superior high quality 1960s vintage wool, our Leonora trousers featuring front button panel shapes and pulls in that midriff like no other. Dropping into a long wide legged trouser, these are a showstopper at work or play. For more, click here[link].

Glamorous Game Changer


The Wilding Reversible Dress 


Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison was a member of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), which was the “most notorious” of the groupings campaigning for the parliamentary vote for women at the time. A militant fighter for her cause, she was arrested on nine occasions, went on hunger strike seven times and was force fed on 49 occasions. Davison famously stepped out, while clandestinely wearing the colours of the suffragette cause, onto the Derby course in front of King George V’s racehorse Anmer, in an exploit that ended her life. She died of her injuries four days later, and historians now consider her death a pivotal moment in the struggle for votes for women in the UK. Her gravestone in Morpeth, Northumberland, reads “Deeds Not Words”.

The Bee Thrive Wilding Reversible Statement Dress is a true gamechanger. With beautiful symmetrical seams, each panel is carefully stitched to create a mirroring effect. When reversed, the seams are bound with satin black polyester, turning your understated daytime garment in to a stunning cocktail dress – perfect for an evening event. Shop the Wilding Reversible Statement Dress here [link].

To read selected articles on the fight for women’s suffrage and gender equality, follow the links below: