Interview with Ethical Brands
We love to hear about businesses with an ethical and eco-friendly focus, particularly those that are closely linked with our customers and the industries we work with.
When we heard about a new ethical fashion event that was happening, we knew we wanted to find out more! Meet Jo, founder of Where Does It Come From? who has taken the time to tell us more about the event she is running in collaboration with #EthicalHour and Fashion Revolution.
Where did the idea of the event come from?
Where Does It Come From? is all about transparency so we totally embrace Fashion Revolution and have been involved each year - writing blogs, arranging panel sessions and visiting our makers to get them involved in the campaign too. Last year I wanted to show consumers that there actually are lots of brands who CAN tell you who made your clothes – so I pulled together a small team and we made a video. For this year we decided to go live and so I approached Sian Conway from #EthicalHour about collaborating. She was really excited and the rest is …. This Saturday!
Free tickets are still available for the event here. Be one of the first 100 to go through the doors and get a free goodie bag including one of our recycled gift bags!
How does it feel having permission to associate the event with Fashion Revolution?
Fashion Revolution is all about igniting action and encouraging people to spread the word. We kept them involved throughout the planning stages and they have promoted it on their events page too. It feels fantastic to be part of something so big and inclusive – collaboration is definitely the best way to get people on board and make the change.
How did ‘Where does it come from?’ start and have you always had an interest in ethical fashion?
I have always had an interest in Fairtrade and ethics so Where Does It Come From? was created out of that. This was before Fashion Revolution so the idea of tracing something back to its fibres was not common. It took a couple of years to find partners to work with including using handwoven cotton called khadi which can be traced back to the farm. As we progressed, we discovered so many others doing fantastic work in this area – the Fairtrade Foundation, the Organic certification people and other brands like PeopleTree and Rapanui – so it feels like it is all coming together towards a common direction. At Where Does It Come From? we create versatile basics that people will wear and wear. We have a large range of children’s clothing as well as adult shirts and scarves. We are now working on a range of ladies’ tunics using African organic cotton.
You offer the ability for customers to ‘trace their garment’ on your website. Has this proved popular?
Yes. I believe there is a growing backlash against the throwaway culture and a wish to connect more with what we eat, wear and use in our daily lives. The ethical market in the UK has grown year on year and is now at nearly 10% of the total market. That includes a number of areas such as shop local and Fairtrade which show that people are increasingly wanting answers about the origins of their products. Even activities such as growing your own vegetables are returning to popularity. We want to know where things come from and that their production has not harmed other people or the environment.
Finally, you have used our boxes before for your packaging – woo! Do your customers appreciate that your packaging choices are in line with your ethical business?
We love our boxes – thank you! Customers who buy our shirts receive them in one of your specially printed boxes and we have had so many positive comments. At Where Does It Come From? we work hard to align all our business processes with our values – so packaging, labelling and even our website is hosted on a wind-powered server farm! You can read more about how we run our business in line with our ethos at https://www.wheredoesitcomefrom.co.uk/ethical-business-policies/.
Thank you, Jo, for your time and we wish you the best of luck with your event!