We live in an increasingly conscious economy. On one side, buyers are becoming more discerning in the products we purchase and the impact they make. According to a consumer study, 86% of consumers expect companies to be socially responsible, and this seems to only be trending up. On the other, brands are becoming more conscious as well, ensuring our products are sustainably sourced, ethically made, and thoughtfully delivered. While this used to be nice to have, now it’s almost necessary.
It’s a refreshing time to be in retail, with several new brands emerging that are dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices, and more established brands adapting their practices accordingly. We experienced this first-hand earlier this month when we collaborated with four brands to launch our largest giveaway in hopes of positively adding to the blossoming conversation. Working with like-minded people in the industry left us encouraged, and we want to take the chance to share with you their stories (and our enthusiasm!)
Everlane is all about radical transparency. They spend months looking for the best factories around the world and build strong personal relationships with factory owners to ensure their factory's integrity and to maintain ethical practices in production at every step of the process. They believe that their customers have the right to know how much their products cost to make and where they were made. They reveal their true costs and share inspiring factory and production stories behind each piece of clothing.
Hathorway handcrafts sustainably luxe jewelry and accessories using natural materials like ethically-sourced up-cycled buffalo horns and handwoven rattan. Their items are designed, assembled, and packaged in the USA, with thoughtfully selected materials sourced from Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea. A portion of their profit goes to initiatives that empower young, underprivileged women.
Brightly’s mission is to enable daily victories for the world via shopping, connecting consumers with products that directly impact people's lives and the planet. They only work with brands whose products are made with eco-friendly materials and are good for the planet. Most of their partner brands give back a portion of their profits to a local NGO or charity, and Brightly partners with these organizations to further multiply impact.
The Citizenry creates exclusive collections of beautifully crafted home goods inspired by travel. It was created to connect globally-minded consumers with modern, well-crafted pieces that also evoke the story of their origin country. 10% of proceeds are reinvested back into artisan communities. The Citizenry’s philosophy: “every purchase directly supports artisan entrepreneurs” gives a certain portion of proceeds back to artisans and helps scale production and improve product quality from partner communities.
Is this a trend, or are we witnessing a new normal, a new economy whose values reach far beyond products produced and exchanged? The jury’s still out, but there’s no surprise as to where we stand. These are exciting - and hopeful - times indeed.