There are many ways you can shop responsibly: you can shop from brands that have clean supply chains; you can buy products that are fairly traded; you can buy from sites that sell items made by artisans who they employ; or you can buy from sellers that contribute to a cause from their profits. There are hundreds of channels that offer one or more of the above; Fashion Compassion is one of them.
Started by Ayesha Mustafa (who I believe I know – as we used to work in the same company, about 15 years ago!), it is a fabulous portal allowing you to shop responsibly and make your purchase matter to someone beyond yourself. The platform represents socially responsible brands that empower women artisans from war-torn and developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Other than selling their products, they offer them guidance on design and product diversification, and support to expand into new markets.
The site partners with the World Food Programme where they help provide school meals and take-home rations as an incentive for poor families to send their daughters to school; with the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise – a collaborative effort to support artisan sector to create jobs, increase incomes, enhance cultural heritage and promote their development; and they are a member of the Ethical Fashion Source network.
You can read about all their designers and how their products are making a social impact, here; you will find it encourages guilt free shopping (incase like me, you suffer from it).
Ayesha has written some informative pieces on how the ethical fashion market empowers women for the Sustainable Business section on the Guardian, where she highlights the social impact of the brands she supports through her business, you can read them here:
The idea for her site was inspired by fusing her love for fashion and want to make a difference – a desire that was ignited in her at the age of 16 while she interned at Mohammad Yunus’s Grameen Bank – one of the world’s first and most recognised social enterprises. She left her corporate job to start Fashion Compassion which launched in 2011; and in 2014, she was recognised by the BBC as one of 100 women working towards making change, and awarded by the Queen for the same.
Worth bookmarking for when you want to buy some unique items.