It's been a busy few weeks at the Resa Living studio - featuring pop-up shops, giving a talk on sustainability and basically engaging with our lovely customers.
One of the most important stories we have to tell at Resa Living is the importance of knowing that your buying power matters. That’s why we are always completely open about how our products are made and bridging the gap between wonderful people making our designs and the wonderful customers buying the same design – and in doing so, helping to drive awareness of the power of your purse. We were recently invited to host a talk about sustainability at the British Gurkha Camp in Nepal. It was a great platform to share our values and what drives not just us but more and more brands to re-think fashion. We were lucky to spend some time with an engaged audience of around 30 women who were curious to know how their purchases affect other women.
Here is a glimpse into why it matters how we spend our money. Until a few years ago we as consumers didn't question the fashion industry about how our clothes were made - we naturally assumed that workers everywhere were treated fairly and working in safe conditions. However, that was in many cases far from the truth, and many western brands didn't even know what was going on as they just booked orders through an agent representing factories in developing countries. Having worked in the fashion industry since 1998, I have seen factories in many countries and have been lucky to work for companies who did do factory inspections - though perhaps not always to the extent that we could have done. Some factories didn't seem to respect the expected working standards, and some did, but in too many cases far too many brands chose not to get involved and visit the places where they produced their collections.
For me that has always been wrong, as one can't ignore how products are made. The responsibility doesn't stop at the office building in Europe. The lack of care or interest in the production process means that many brands force suppliers to accommodate prices so tight there is no room for keeping their workers till a decent hour, in a safe environment or paying them fairly. Therefore, the actual cost of the fashion being unsustainable for the people working in the supply chain.
So for my talk last week the focus was on showing how we can positively impact the working conditions and the lives of the people making our 'must have pieces'. I believe that there are three ways you can make a difference:
Ultimately, your money has power and can positively have an impact on trade so know that it does matter if you buy from a brand that isn’t ethical. If big brands know you care, they will also work to meet your expectations. There’s a sense of satisfaction knowing that your new purchase was made with a passion for design and the people making it!
At Resa Living our commitment and passion for sustainability and ethical business shows in lots of ways. We carefully hand pick the partners we work with: they must share a passion for people and quality products.
In our collections we up-cycle and reuse as much as possible to limit our impact on nature. A lot of the makers in our supplier-chain are women and one reason we like to work with women is that they are the mothers of the next generation who have aspirations and dreams like ours for a safe future for their children with no child labor, safe working conditions and good schooling. In some cases these women have had to leave home and work as domestic workers at the age when they should have been in school, some have survived trafficking, some have been born with a disadvantage of losing vision or any other senses. By Supporting them to learn new skills we empower them to follow their dreams of independence and a life where dreams of a better future can be realized.
This image is of one of the amazing weavers who make our fabrics.
It is not only about women, but helping people who have a disadvantage in life so they can build a better future, stay with their communities, and not be forced to work under horrible conditions just to feed their families far away from home. If they can provide a good livelihood it makes their lives more stable and the communities can grow and prosper locally. It feels great to share what re-thinking fashion can do and encourage all to be aware of what a valuable role they have, both as the fashion-loving customer and as a brand. We are always happy to give more talks about sustainability and the buying power we hold as customers and brands.
Keep loving fashion and design, we do too but buy wisely, buy well. Visit our website and read more blogs and watch our video; Our Story, to see who makes our designs.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our commitment to empower women through our love of Fashion.
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