Seven year later and it’s a fun story to look back on my involvement with sustainable fashion.
I remember sitting in the middle of Bonnaroo, which was my vacationland for the last five years at this point, my safe place, my utopia. I was surrounded by love, music and adventure in the middle of an expansive farm listening to the live music jam away, lying in deep contemplation, when everything came to me. It had been months of back and forth, feeling empty, wondering if I should push through and stay at my super safe, benefit-providing job in the mainstream fashion industry where I have been for the last five years, while living in my very-comfortable Wall Street apartment with my then-boyfriend who I knew I was not meant to have a future with.
Or should I flee?
Those months of indecision came to a conclusion in that moment, and a blanket of peace fell upon me. I was finally ok with my plan of moving forward. I would quit my job.
Behind me were the days of cutting costs on factory workers overseas, working towards an 80% markup on products that we didn’t deserve to be taking away from others. I myself was overworked and underpaid for the past five years, with no growth in sight at a multi billion dollar company. Putting in my two weeks was a feeling that was similar to that of a kid in a candy shop. I was happy again.
What was next?
Sustainable Fashion was not part of my fashion background, and it was not learned in college or at my corporate job. In fact, searching this in google came up with very few options. However, I found out about Fair Trade Jewelry, and started working with brands who had partnered with artisans in rural countries. Since many of these brands were start-ups, they ended up being freelance jobs and I had the fortune of working with multiple brands within a short period of time. Starting with collaborating with artisan teams from Ecuador, Vietnam and Peru, to Rwanda, Namibia and Jordan. It was the opening of a door.
From there, I wanted to learn more. I was beginning to know more about fair trade, but I knew there was much more to learn about from this umbrella of sustainability. I wanted to learn about fabrics and dyeing, manufacturing processes and how the fashion industry as a whole can be reversed from the polluting, unfair and destructive market that it came to be. So I began my Sustainable Design Certificate from the Fashion Institute of Technology, and even opened up my own retail store back in my hometown. Then I had a baby.
My world came to another crossroads.
But for the best. It pushed me to understand how I can work in a capacity where I can continue my passion and be a present mother to my child. Which led me to Wama Underwear. I was intrigued by the company’s mission to provide the best alternative to any kind of conventional underwear. The research I get to do in order to provide thoughtful, sustainable driven content about sustainable underwear has been a blessing. Who knew that hemp fabric was the most comfortable, naturally anit-bactierial and super sustainable fabric you could possibly have for underwear? Wama Underwear is also a Green America Certified brand, which shows an impactful commitment to positive social and environmental change. As a bonus, Wama is a PETA Approved Vegan brand, too!