Updated: Dec 5, 2020
Quick Question: Who made the shirt you are wearing? No, not the designer or brand, but who physically constructed that shirt with their own two hands? Not to assume, but your answer is most likely unclear because the individual use of the supply chain is not advertised in today’s society.
Due to the increase in general transparency from the internet, consumers are more aware of the immoral or under the rug business practices that occur in the fashion industry. A generational movement is occurring that is stirring up big businesses and brands that have just about everything to hide. Simply put, consumers want to know the truth. The shift from buying what is shiny because it looks trendy to buying sustainable and morally sound products is upon us, and I am liking the look of it. Consumers are not as willing to put their money into something that does not support their personal values. Why is this so terrifying for big business? This means that companies have to come clean in order to have substantial growth in the years to come.
Millennials have a strong focus on status and what considers a person to be on trend. Young millennials and generation Zers are bending the prior view of high status into something that can positively shape the industry and its practices. “Luxury brands” always seemed to be synonymous with “high status” amongst the public. However if a person is wearing fur from Burberry for example, their social status drops in the eyes of common morality because of the frowned upon fur trade. The younger generations today are battling for both status and morality, so why not give them both? Consumers are looking to make a difference and feed into what they believe monetarily.
Some brands, big and small are taking the leap into transparency to pave the way for societal change. Below are my top fashion/jewelry brands that represent the image of morality and take the transparency trend into their own hands.
Patagonia: In it for the Impact
Patagonia is a leader in the race to transparency with their consumers. With open arms they accept all questions and inquiries about their products and the supply chain that brought them to the consumer. Their creative and interactive “Footprint Chronicles” located conveniently on their website, allows for natural fiber harvesting information, textile mill statistics, and factory details down to the percentage of male and female workers in any specific location. The humane treatment of factory workers and positive company culture is all clearly and authentically expressed to their consumers. With guarantees on quality and an emphasis on environmental conservation, why not buy Patagonia for all of your hiking and active needs?
Everlane: Sustainably Beautiful
Everlane is another front runner for the transparency trend. Straying away from the active wear category, Everlane brings style, comfort, and “radical transparency” to the forefront. With a large unpaid celebrity following and a message to make a difference in the world, Everlane’s success is growing by the minute. Their supply chain is on complete display, showing all of their factories with an individual story attached. They look to reduce the waste that is emitted into the environment by recycling plastic water bottles and transforming them into beautiful clothing items that can last a lifetime. With impeccable treatment of factory workers and a strong ethical position in the industry, Everlane is the perfect place for high quality yet sustainable fashion.
Pura Vida Bracelets: Growing the Movement
A smaller scale brand that has grown exponentially over the past two years is Pura Vida Bracelets stationed in California. They are solely an online store which saves waste as well as money for the growing brand. The brand is focused on ethical practices for workers and has a very specific way of production. Their products are created by artisans from all over the world that were struggling to make a living prior. Originating in Costa Rica, the string bracelet production has spread to over 650 artisans across multiple countries.
The mantra of the brand is to “live the simple life” and to appreciate the little things. They look to inspire people of all ages to live life to the fullest and enjoy it for all that it has to offer. Having a charitable aspect to their company is a beautiful addition as it may greatly aid organizations such as the Sea Turtle Conservancy or The Autism Society of America to name a few.
Personally, I try to invest my time and money into products that support my ideology to the best of my abilities. As the months go by, it gradually becomes easier to find information on brands and their practices. Try and find a brand that speaks to you! When you find a connection to something you are passionate about, shopping becomes even more fun!
With buckets of love,