Nikki Reed Shines a Light on Sustainable Fashion, Plus More Highlights from #CreateGood 2018 Night 5
Welcome to the last night of #CreateGood 2018! After a week of thought-provoking panels covering everything from hustling in pursuit of your dream career to embracing creativity and finding balance in wellness, Brit + Co hosted #CreateGood Style night on Friday, October 19. Speakers included Jennifer Hyman, founder of Rent the Runway; Autumn Adeigbo, an ethical fashion designer; Becca Thorpe, vice president of MUSE Model’s Curve Division; Charli Howard, a body-positive activist and author; Deepica Mutyala, founder of Tinted; and actress and entrepreneur Nikki Reed.
The panel was streamed live from New York City’s Build Studios at 7pm ET, but if you missed it in real-time, you can watch the entire thing below or catch up on all the action in our recap!
Jennifer Hyman said she wants to make getting a new outfit as convenient as getting a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Hyman founded Rent the Runway to give women a commitment-free way to expand their closets — and to make getting dressed in the morning an enjoyable experience. “We want to use fashion to express ourselves,” she told Brit + Co CEO and founder Brit Morin. “Fashion should be fun, and fashion should be part of our own self-confidence and really our suit of armor that we put on before we go to an important meeting at work or that special date. When you’re limited to just buying things, you end up settling. You end up making the rational choice, and choosing the black version of the dress because you’ll wear it more times, as opposed to the colorful, printed piece that really expresses what you feel in your heart.”
She also let us in on a little secret she’s been cooking up with Brit.
Starting in 2019, Brit + Co and Rent the Runway will collaborate to launch Fashion’s Next, a new project to shine a spotlight on emerging designers. Brit + Co will profile and highlight one designer every month, and RTR will carry the exclusive capsule collections.
Autumn Adeigbo told us about how her brand takes women-owned fashion to a whole other level.
Adeigbo, one emerging designer we have our eye on, aims to feature and uplift women in every part of her company. “The tagline is ‘Culture. Color. Conscience,'” she told Brit. “‘Culture’ because we connect women cross-culturally through colorful and ethical fashion. ‘Color’ because we want to make sure that a woman, when she walks in the room, she’s the bright spot of the room. And ‘conscience’ because we invest in women in our supply and distribution chains.” That means, among other things, partnering with female collectives in Africa and producing the garments in women-owned facilities here in the United States.
Becca Thorpe stressed that it’s what’s inside that counts.
Thorpe, a former model who now works as an agent specifically for curve models, explained that being heard is just as important in the fashion industry as being seen, especially now. “[Social media] is a tool that can create good, and can create just a lot of in-between yuckiness, I think, if we’re super honest,” she said. “I’ve changed the way I’ve scouted because of Instagram. I think with all of these good things that have happened, it’s really important to remember that now more than ever, your voice is just as strong as your looks. And I think that’s a really powerful thing as a woman to remember.”
Charli Howard explained that there’s more to body-positivity than just loving the skin you’re in.
Howard, a body-positive activist and curve model, said the ultimate goal of the body-positive movement is actually body neutrality, which shifts the focus from physical appearance. “Rather than body positivity, which focuses on the outside, body neutrality is about accepting that you’re never going to be happy 100 percent; you’re never going to be perfect,” she told Brit + Co‘s SVP of editorial, Annette Cardwell. “But it’s just about finding inner peace with yourself and realizing that you can only do your best, and as long as you feel good on the inside, that’s going to radiate on the outside.”
Deepica Mutyala reminded us all that, no matter where you’re from, you’re capable of anything.
Mutyala is the founder of TINTED, a digital community meant to provide an inclusive platform for underrepresented women in the beauty industry. She’s also a successful beauty influencer with hundreds of thousands of Instagram and YouTube followers. And it all started because of a viral tutorial where she used red lipstick to cover the dark circles under her eyes. She knows from experience that big dreams start with small steps.
“The positive side is that anyone from anywhere, no matter where you came from in life, has an opportunity to create a brand, a platform for themselves, and nothing else matters,” she explained. “And actually your chances of creating a brand are heightened for the first time ever if you do stand out and differentiate yourself and create a niche by showcasing exactly who you are. The more authentic you are, the more true you are to who you are, you will stand out and build a brand quicker, and faster, and stronger. ”
Nikki Reed explained why sustainability matters — not just for the future, but now.
Reed, who launched her own sustainable fashion line in 2017 and now has a sustainable jewelry line that features pieces made from recycled computers, is making it her mission to bring awareness to the impact we have on our planet. And she’s doing it with beautiful, eco-friendly accessories.
“It’s a domino effect,” she explained to Brit. “Once you start thinking in this way, you start questioning all the decisions you make. Do I have to drive to work when I technically could ride my bike, or walk? Or you go to the grocery store and see the millions of plastic bags and how we individually bag each plum that we buy, and you go, do they have to go in plastic bags? And if you’re putting things in your recycle bin, do I have to put them in another bag to go in the recycle bin or can I just put them in a cardboard box? … I live with the philosophy that everyone is part of the degradation of our planet… We’re all contributing. So it’s about the little choices you can make every chance you get to just be an active participant in the health of our planet.”
(photo via Donny Tsang)