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My Ethical Fashion Journey

My Ethical Fashion Journey: 

 

Blond Girl in Beaded Fair Trade Earrings and Big sunglasses


In 2011 I wanted to live in New York City and become a stylist. I loved the fashion world. I wanted to be Lauren Conrad and work on photoshoots and put together outfits, running around with clothes and working long days with my friends. I read all of the fashion magazines and decided that I wanted to go to Kent State to get a great education from one of the top fashion schools. 


Once the semester started I realized that Kent State was not the place for me. There was something about the fashion industry that seemed frivolous, and while taking other classes, I often questioned if I should be doing something more serious. 


In 2012 I transferred schools. I signed up for an internship class in the fashion department at Ohio State University. The internship was a student-run store where the students learned how to operate an entire store. We managed inventory, staffed the shop, did all the marketing, learned customer service techniques, and analyzed sales. The other amazing thing was that all the merchandise we sold came from artisans around the world and everything we sold was Fair Trade. 


From this moment on I knew that this is exactly what I wanted to do.  I wanted to a part of the fashion industry that employed women, paid fair wages and used traditional techniques. This was my answer to my questions about whether or not this was the industry I wanted to work in.  At the time, sustainable fashion was up and coming, and it seemed like the perfect time to find this incredible pocket of the fashion industry. 


My first ethical purchase was a wallet that I bought in our student-run shop. I still use it to this day, it’s lasted so long and is super functional. I’ll admit that it is a little dirty and I probably should get an upgrade soon. But this is just what happens when you buy Ethical, it is quality made and is bound to last you for several years. 


That is what I think the most rewarding part of shopping ethical, that the items are quality made and they will go on so many adventures with you. I have a Patagonia sweatshirt and it has been a staple for colder weather and I have worn it on every trip I have taken. It’s made an appearance in Michigan, Colorado, Utah and countless walks with my dog.  These pieces become staples in your wardrobe. 


I think one of the hardest parts of integrating Ethical pieces into your lifestyle is that they can be a little expensive and if you do not have much of a disposable income it can be hard to spend the money upfront. I know this from personal experience. I have started saving up and buying key pieces that I know I need. I started with a nice purse, backpack, and then a coat. My next big purchase is going to be a pair of boots from Nisolo! 


Ethical fashion is something I love, thank you for following along! 


-Emily 

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