Rachel Kibbe is a Shit Starter and the founder of HELPSY, an irreverent and cool online retailer stocking sustainable and ethical brands.
The Business of Fashion is starting a fantastic series called #BoFVoices which aims to open up a conversation about problems in the fashion industry. The problem is that the conversation only addresses seven issues. I’d add an eighth issue: the elitism which lead to so many other ethical fashion business owners and activists dedicated to this cause to be completely missing from the front-lines of their coverage.
Too often the fashion news media deifies a certain few elite designers, highlighting their voices only in the sustainability conversation. That’s part of the limiting and closed attitude that got this industry sick in the first place, and it needs to change.
Those of us devoting our entire ‘Businesses of Fashion,’ so to speak, to addressing these exact issues and to offering real solutions, well, we have not been included. How is the consumer to know the alternatives and solutions that exist when they aren’t mentioned in the journalism that aims to uncover these issues?
HELPSY’s purpose is not to sit back and pander to the fashion elite but to ask serious questions to a large and varied audience, and to radically turn the industry on it’s head in an effort to facilitate widespread change. I strongly think this starts by adding some new talent and voice. God love Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood – they are pioneers and genius designers. But, ahem! I think many of YOU, my ethical business activists and friends, have something to say too!
I’m starting an Instagram and Twitter campaign asking you to tag #ItsNotJustStella and #BoFVoices and tell us what YOU are doing in your businesses and lives as a commitment to creating a more sustainable fashion industry. I hope everyone will participate. If you’re on board, repost this pic or post your own pic, and tag #ItsNotJustStella and #BoFVoices. Say what YOU are doing as a commitment to creating a more sustainable fashion industry.
Let’s have a true conversation, including many people, and make a real change.
(I know this post might piss a few people off. Thats great. Let’s talk about it.)