This past Friday I had the opportunity to photograph for HumanKind's 5th annual Eco Fashion Show in San Luis Obispo. HumanKind Fair Trade is a nonprofit that sells merchandise made by artisans and farmers from all over the world. The show included percussion performances and vendor booths from the local participating designers and consignment stores.
The store in SLO is managed by LynAnne Wiest and Katie Nakayama. Along with photos from the event I also asked LynAnne a couple questions about the Fair Trade and Eco Fashion.
What is HumanKind's Mission?
LynAnne: Our mission is to provide vital fair income to artisans in the developing world by selling their fair trade products and telling their stories here in San Luis Obispo.
How does HumanKind incorporate sustainable fashion in the stores?
LynAnne: The clothing styles at HumanKind are made by fair trade artisans around the world. We purchase clothing from small producers located in India, Nepal, Thailand, and Peru (just to name a few). We do business with them so that they can earn fair, living wages, and they can support their families. The fair trade relationships between producer and buyer are long-term trading partnerships, which create stable and sustainable jobs for our artisans. We also sell many items that are made with organic cotton, and we encourage the use of more environmentally friendly materials in the products we carry.
3. How does someone begin shopping for clothing more sustainably?
LynAnne: The trick to shopping for clothing more sustainably is to shop more deliberately. When you are about to make a purchase, ask yourself these questions:
- How many times will I wear this garment before I get tired of it or it falls apart? Only purchase an item if you can commit to wearing it at least 30 times.
- Can I wear this item through several seasons? Avoid items that are too trendy, and opt for more classic styles that will last.
- Where and how was this item made? When you are purchasing clothing, choose brands that aim to create better livelihoods for the people working for them.
Personally, I avoid stores like Forever 21 and the clothing section at Target. I used to love these places, and was addicted to the great prices! It has taken me years to remove these stores from my shopping routine. Instead I choose spend more money in local stores on quality items that were made under fair conditions. I also shop at second hand stores (thrift and consignment) where I can find quality items at great prices.
4. The fashion show was a success! What was your favorite moment from the event ?
LynAnne: The children's clothes from Eco Bambino where my favorite! Those little kid models rocked that runway. They were adorable!