The Zara-esque Brand That Proves Ethical Doesn’t Have to Mean Expensive
Many of us don’t often think about where the clothes on our back come from or what kind of labor practices go into the making of each item — but we should. New brand, UNIFORM, created by Liberian social entrepreneur Chid Liberty, seeks to give consumers quality clothing without the moral dilemma of unethical sourcing that is, unfortunately, true of many companies.
UNIFORM, which can also be found at Bloomingdale’s, equally prioritizes comfort and style. The brand’s best-selling reversible bomber jacket goes for just $88, and right on the item’s page, you can find out where the topper was made (in Maungu, Kenya at the Wildlife Works Factory). It also includes a link to the factory page and to the Facebook group of the workers there, so you can check in with them yourself.
The apparel’s founder Chid Liberty set up the first fair-trade certified factory in Liberia, West Africa, but nearly went out of business when the 2014 Ebola crisis halted production and cost him all of his clients. Rather than bowing out in defeat, Chid founded UNIFORM as a way to keep his workforce (90 percent women) employed. The Liberian factory that creates UNIFORM clothing is 49 percent worker owned, so the brand is giving hundreds of women more than just a job.
And if that isn’t awesome enough, UNIFORM utilizes a similar transactional giving model as Toms and Warby Parker, and for every piece purchased in the US, the brand donates a school uniform to a Liberian student.
“I think people see our best-selling bomber jacket and they go, ‘$88? How is that possible?'” Liberty said in a recent interview. “But we think that when you overcharge people for ethics, that dissuades them from buying an ethical brand. And we’re big believers in moving markets and the ethical apparel space.”
Style that pays it forward? We’ll take it!
Is there an ethical brand that you love? Tell us @BritandCo!
(h/t via Fashionista; photo via Uniform)