When I first began my shift into the world of ethical fashion I had so many questions. I wanted to know what the standards are, how to find ethical brands, how to know if my practices are universally ethical or whether there are any major brands that are able to truly compete with fast fashion.
Consequently, I spent the past year interviewing experts on ethical fashion, so here are a few ladies who bring beautiful, informative and meaningful content about ethical fashion to multiple platforms on a consistent basis.
Christen (@christengerhart) first got my attention with her beautifully stylish Instagram feed. As I started to like more of her posts I wanted to know more about the brands she wore so I started to read her blog posts at christengerhart.com and ultimately found her YouTube channel and all of her past and current episodes of A Harmless Project. Each episode of A Harmless Project features a new sustainable brand, and Christen shares her thoughts about the brands as well as great style shots and tips.
Benita Robledo (@benita_robledo), actress and sustainable fashionista, brings so much fun and character to her Instagram posts about ethical fashion. Her humor won me over and had me tuning to her YouTube series, Compassion Fashion. In each episode, Benita explains the story or stories behind the sustainable brands she loves. Her Instagram posts are informative and heartfelt and she manages to bring that same energy to each episode of Compassion Fashion. Benita recently explained to me her reason for starting down the path of showcasing sustainable fashion:
I think there’s this myth that sustainable fashion isn’t actually fashionable. That it’s not chic, or worse that it’s too hard to find. Which is totally not true! It can be intimidating to make that switch, and I want to help people on that path. I’ve been passionate about sustainability and especially sustainable fashion for a long time now, and it just seemed natural to want to share it on my social media. When I really love something, you can’t get me to shut up about it.
I started with the video series because as an actor film is always my go to mode of expression. It feels the most natural to me. But creating and producing videos takes a lot of time and sometimes I just want the immediacy of social media. It’s great to see people interacting directly with the sustainable brands too. I find there’s more of a dialogue, which is ultimately what I’m aiming for.
When I happened upon Kestrel’s blog AWEAR World I loved the individual stories that were featured in the Changemaker series. Each story helped to give an understanding of why the featured brand began their mission or why the featured person changed their buying habits. I found and still do find the stories inspiring and relatable.
Just recently Kestrel launched the Podcast Conscious Chatter and it’s amazing! Kestrel sits down with changemakers in the fashion industry making strides in sustainable fashion and she asks them the questions we may all be thinking. She gets in depth about their journey, inspiration and what’s next for each guest. Kestrel was happy to share why she began her blog interview series and what prompted her to start her podcast:
I started AWEAR World in 2014, because I wanted to create a space where more people could get involved with the sustainable fashion conversation, without feeling like it was overwhelming or overly expensive. The concept was to build a community of real people who are working to bring more sustainable options into their wardrobes. Instead of shaming or pressuring people into thinking more consciously about clothing, AWEAR World is a place to get inspired by other people who are also on their own journey. It’s a platform that inspires us to think about where our clothes are made, what they are made of, and who made them.
My podcast Conscious Chatter was started entirely on a whim. One day, I was walking around a furniture store with my boyfriend and a good friend of mine, Matt of Be Kind Vibes. Matt said he had been totally into podcasts recently, and couldn’t find any that were tackling topics related to sustainable fashion. He was like, “Kes – you should start a podcast where you can dive further into issues you bring up on AWEAR World.” My initial response was, “cool idea, but I don’t know anything about podcasting.” Turns out, the idea had already started germinating in my brain. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and before I knew it, I was reading blogs about podcasting, listening to podcasts about podcasting, and buying a microphone to start a podcast. The conversations on Conscious Chatter have been such an invigorating way for me to learn and continue to share new ideas with others interested in why what we wear really does matter.
Katie and her team just launched the Ethical Style Journal, a seasonal magazine dedicated to ethical fashion. I had originally followed Katie (@fashionjustcause) on Instagram, enjoying her journey into ethical fashion and her images of lay flats, lifestyle and candid photos. I was beyond excited to see she was launching her original mission into something so much bigger. It has been awesome to witness the building of her idea into actuality. Scroll back through her Instagram feed to see how it all began. I got the chance to ask Katie why she started the Ethical Style Journal and she said,
I started Ethical Style Journal because I believe we need to show people, particularly women, how powerful thoughtful fashion is and how much the world needs us to choose to shop ethically. In order to motivate and inspire, I felt we needed a visual platform with beautiful stories, about kind and beautiful people who are making beautiful fashion. Ethical Style Journal exists to help move the ethical fashion industry forward in reaching consumers, and by connecting the makers with the shoppers. I hope we can make a real difference.
Each one of these women and the teams that help them photograph, film, and produce the content they regularly post are awesome. I follow each one and read their blog posts, Instagram feeds, watch their episodes and listen to their podcasts. Their thoughtfulness and desire to bring awareness to the fashion community has truly made me more knowledgeable, not only as a consumer but as a maker too.