Ethical Stylings on Main Street
Here are some significant synonyms for you sartorially savvy souls:
Ethical Fashion - Eco Fashion - Sustainable fashion.
Sound familiar? If you’re nodding, fantastic! If not… Let us dive deeper into what we specialize in here at This Beautiful Dust.
First, to simplify:
1. able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
2. conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.
1. a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior.
This is to say that there are numerous ways that fashion brands can operate that would qualify them as sustainable. The alternative trend, a growing branch of the multi-trillion dollar fashion industry, has been on the scene for about three decades.
The original sustainable companies sprang up in the late 1980s with the goal to reduce negative impacts on the environment, due to fiber production.
2007 saw the birth of the “slow fashion” movement.
Slow fashion, like slow food, is a trend focused on transparency in all aspects of production from raw materials to finished product.
Linda was first exposed to the idea of eco or ethical fashion by a friend who suggested she watch a social experiment documentary. Its aim was to sensitize a population that until recently, had little to no knowledge of how their clothing was created in the increasingly “fast fashion” industry, where workers’ safety and product quality were sacrificed to increase profits.
“If we actually saw the harm [fast fashion] is causing workers and the dangers it poses to the earth, we may be more reluctant to buy into it,” said Linda Coleman of This Beautiful Dust.
Once burdened by this sad, hidden truth, Linda, who spent years in high end fashion retail, was inspired to create a space dedicated to ethical fashion. Her focus turned to curating unique and timeless pieces for TBD; handmade items from small batch designers who value their workers and take action to limit negative environmental impact. Items include but are not limited to apparel for every day and working out, jewelry, and handbags.
With TBD, Linda sought to take the guesswork out of buying ethically. She researched and personally met with the designers represented in the boutique.
Progress in the industry has increased since her involvement as more people are exposed to the truth and choose to shop with the greater good in mind.
“As more and more people ask how things are made and what impact it has, the more the companies need to be aware and adjust… that is the direction a lot of them are going since it's becoming a need and not just a luxury.”
Ethical fashion has more momentum than the ordinary trend, and has the power to change more than your wardrobe. It not only alters buying patterns but can alter lives for the better.
“I am making investments in my wardrobe but on a larger scale, investing in someone else's future,” explained Linda, who witnessed a reverse chain effect in supporting ethical shopping.
“I get to help someone [artist/designer] live out their passion while creating opportunities for hiring workers that are guaranteed fair and safe work environments.”
*High quality fashion design need not be sacrificed in the quest for social and environmental justice.
*The price tag may seem steep but is a worthy investment in terms of quality craftwork that will give you a lifetime of enjoyment
*It’s all about being connected and supporting each other
In this, the first month of a new year, you can begin to break old habits. It doesn’t have to be major; start small. Be curious. Check your garment tags. Ask questions such as “where did this piece of clothing come from?” and “who touched this before it landed in my hands?”
Paying fair wages.
Operating as part of the Fair Trade Federation, which is allied with the World Fair Trade Organization, to promote equity in international trade.
Sourcing local labor: to reduce a given location’s poverty and unemployment levels. Father’s Daughter proudly employs workers from their home base in Los Angeles.
Allocating profits to benefit children, women, social causes; Bloom and Give featured at TBD, funds education programs for girls in India.
Using organic, chemical free products
Sourcing local materials
Making use of up-cycling or recycling methods : Simone’s Rose
Reducing waste by using headstock materials
Incorporating traditional artisan crafts and techniques - Kopal’s jamdani, an over 400 year old weaving method.
Shipping in a manner that reduces carbon footprint as much as possible.
Brands we love and support:
Sparkle and Stone
Track & Bliss
Bloom & Give