First and foremost, our mission is to help human beings—to change the lives of individuals, families and communities, for good. Because to us, change doesn’t mean a quick fix or temporary solution. It means a forever altering of the systems and cycles that perpetuate poverty and economic disparity around the world. And we believe that socially-conscious industry holds the key to that permanent change—fortunately, as fun as fashion is, it’s also an industry that’s perfectly positioned to make a powerhouse impact.
That said, ethics and humanitarianism can be highly confusing arenas, filled with red tape and vague results. And we’re determined to go about it differently. So our mission is to ensure our merchandise meets the standards in at least one of these three key areas:
HANDMADE AND ARTISANAL GOODS
In a world of mass commercialism, traditional crafts and indigenous methods for making are being lost every day. Supporting local craftspeople means preserving both cultures, and communities. By bringing work to small towns and villages, people can stay without being forced to urban centers to seek low-paying employment in industrial factories, that tend to have low standards of labor and quality of life. With more local industry, a small community can thrive economically—so the traditions and skills of the region can continue to be handed down. In many cases, we are able to work with these artisans by simply providing a lens for design direction or editing—to ensure that their craft and design appeals to an audience in developed nations, and provide them with access to modern consumers who are interested in their goods.
These items tend to be:
- Handmade, Limited-Edition, or One-of-a-Kind
- Reflective of the cultural heritage of a community through traditional craft techniques
- Leverage indigenous skills that have been passed down through generations
FAIR TRADE PRACTICES
Fair-Trade is one of those terms that everyone knows, but most people would be hard pressed to pin down exactly what a certification means. And that’s because it kind of means a lot of different things, depending on who is doing the certifying—which can be one of several organizations with varying definitions and standards for measuring those definitions. You’ll often see the certification regarding cotton and fabric—but since it's rooted in agriculture, the label doesn’t take into account standards around the design, craft, or making of the material. Confusing, right?
It’s also a certification that is very expensive and time-consuming to get—and in some cases fraught with corruption. This ends up leaving a lot of do-gooders out. Most important to us is that our brands are genuinely invested in making the lives of their workers better, and our producers want to rectify the injustices created by a profit-driven supply chain organization. It’s about ensuring appropriate compensation and working conditions. Incentivizing and empowering workers. Providing a fair (and true) opportunity for progress.
So, while some of our items are Fair-Trade certified, we also have our own set of criteria that we look for in our partners, to make sure they are actively pursuing that goal. We look for the following qualities so you don’t have to just rely on a nebulous certification to know the impact you’re having:
- Actively engaged in stopping and reversing the exploitative nature of dramatic economic disparities. Helping a poor workforce cultivate a healthy career through commitment to training, safe working environments, above average wages and quality of life benefits like healthcare or child care.
- Building capacity so that the development engendered by a given business opportunity is sustainable for, and beneficial to the local community. We want to help create a self-sufficiency in the community so they can save, build, and grow—on their own. This also means ensuring that not all profits from international trade are exported out of the community or absorbed by an elite group or owners.
- Incentivising through output-based payments, so employees can achieve the level of work and reward that best suits their needs and ambitions.
- Maintaining clean, safe, comfortable, healthy working conditions
HUMANITARIAN AND PHILANTHROPIC CAUSES
These partners are working for change in a particular area—and they’re doing it by providing funds to the cause, generated through retail. As part of their business model, they offer financial assistance towards a human cause, in the form of donations, low-interest loans, training programs, infrastructure building projects, and tackling a cause head-on. Our partners in this realm benefit programs and institutions that build schools, train, house and employ women coming out of human trafficking, find jobs for teens from high-risk homes—just to give you a few examples of the impact they’re working towards.
To consider a cause humanitarian we look for at least one of the following qualities
- Deliberately working with "at risk" / marginalized communities to give them opportunities and help them become self-sufficient, live economically viable lives, and help them develop their own families and communities.
- Providing services to the community outside the workplace, including education and loans
- Linked to a specific cause that is a particular challenge for the region (including things like education, water or housing)
- Percentage of profits given to charity (that benefits the community where production is based)
- Align directly with a human-rights issue, such as global hunger and human trafficking
A WORLD OF STYLE, CURATED UNDER ONE ROOF
Introducing global curation at its finest. We scour the globe for the coolest, most beautiful and one-of-a-kind finds, and filter them through a range of style lenses— to create unique boutiques that contain both an eclectic mix of cultures and a well-edited point of view. Each and every piece we pick has a story behind it, and embodies exemplary design. Handmade pieces and ethically sourced items, that bring human impact and fashion impact together to create feel-good goods through a look-good lens.