Before we get started with today’s Meet the Maker interview I have to tell you about a few changes around here. You may have noticed a couple of new pages in the menu above. I’ve added an ethical fashion resource library to help pull together useful videos and information on ethical fashion. If you’re new to the subject I highly recommend watching the videos linked on the page. I have also created a shop page with a huge list of responsible brands to make shopping for ethical fashion that bit easier. The homepage has also had a wee update with a new layout which should make it easier to navigate the site. I hope you like all the changes I’ve made and make use of them.
But onto today’s Meet the Maker interview. Today I’m talking to Charlotte one of the co-founders of Know the Origin. Know the Origin has featured on the blog before and is a great ethical brand specialising in high-quality affordable basic pieces. You may recognise the photos from an outfit of the day post a few weeks ago.
I’m Charlotte Instone and I am the co-founder of Know The Origin! We are a fashion brand that celebrates goodness! Know The Origin use incredible producers across India to create garments that aren’t only pretty wonderful but also 100% organic and Fairtrade. All our producers share our values of transparency and respect for people and the environment so strive to support the community around them!
Why do you think Fashion Revolution and the slow fashion movement are important?
They are important as currently, the fashion industry treats the people and environment involved in garment production as secondary to profit – convincing us to buy more and spend less at the expense of everything else. Clothing is not disposable and that has to be at the core of the fashion industry in order to support everyone in each stage. I think when you start looking into every stage of garment production and see the number of people involved as well as the environmental factors poured into each garment, you see why Fashion Revolution and pushing for slow fashion is essential. Promoting transparency and sustainable shopping are key in making fashion fair.
Could you tell me about how you ensure your brand remains ethical/sustainable?
We ensure every stage are fairtrade and GOTS certified as a minimum. But we didn’t want to tick those boxes and call it a day. We also travelled across India to specifically meet and work with producers that not only work to meet certifications but are committed to their workers and the community around them. Our producers run incredible projects that reflect this! We love building relationships with our producers so that we can all be accountable to each other in upholding our ethical values.
Price is often given as a barrier to ethical fashion. Could you tell me the average price of your pieces? (If they are £100+ please explain the higher cost eg fair wages, quality, materials etc)
The average price of our pieces is around £30. Affordability is something we really want to strive for at Know The Origin. We don’t want our collections to fall into the category of the stereotypical hippy, excessively expensive clothing associated with “ethical fashion.” That is why we combine affordability, style and ethics in order to bring ethical fashion into the mainstream. We want people to have access to quality clothing made through paying fair wages, using organic fabrics and supporting projects that respect people and the environment.
Top tip number 1 – just do it! (Please don’t sue me, Nike…) There are always 1001 excuses to NOT shop ethical – it’s not affordable, it’s not your style, it’s too hard to find…. But there is a kick ass community of ethical producers growing out there defeating these myths with so much greatness to offer!
Tip number 2 – start with small wins! Whatever your next buy is, make it ethical. Outerwear to underwear, a present or gift to yourself – find an ethical substitute. This can be from your local charity shop or an ethical brand, just make the switch and be proud of your purchase!
Tip number 3 – research! There is so much information out there that I can’t summarise in this post so I’m afraid you’ll have to do it yourself. But it is super fun! Social media is a great place to find ethical brands so get scrolling! Also, the True Cost documentary is epic and will help you make more conscious decisions. [also check out my new ethical resources page for loads of videos and useful links]
Is there anything else you would like to tell me?
That we love what you are doing! Fangirling your work! Also, we always love sharing about ethical fashion so check out our social media www.instagram.com/knowtheorigin for more ethical goodness. (Would I really be the co-founder without including a cheeky social media promotion?
*you can buy the dress I’m wearing from Know the Origin here