Alex Steffen is a futurist who believes that we can’t build what we can’t imagine. He writes, “the fact that we haven’t compellingly imagined a thriving, dynamic, sustainable world is a major reason we don’t already live in one.”
It’s an idea that I think has truth to it and it’s our dream that alongside similar projects Brothers We Stand can be an example of what is possible. Through our work we meet many people creating examples of what a beautiful, sustainable future can look like. We thought it would be great to share some of these projects with you.
To get started we put some questions to Alicia Taylor who alongside Steph Hogg founded womenswear boutique Gather and See .
Steph on left, Alicia right
In a sentence what service do you aim to provide your customers?
Gather&See provides our customers with a beautifully curated selection of the very best in ethical fashion for women.
Summer culottes by Maska (made in Europe, small scale production)
Do you have a vision or guiding principle that informs your work?
Our vision is to deliver our customers a unique shopping experience built on integrity, transparency and compassion. We refuse to compromise on either style or ethics – we believe that one supports the other and the dialogue between the two is at the heart of our brand.
Tell us about a piece in your collection you’re really excited about at the moment.
Cardigans are big news this season and I think that we have the best of the best out there courtesy of the brilliant Kowtow. Made from gorgeous soft organic and fair trade cotton in India, the long length gives it gravitas and you can throw it on with everything. I will certainly be living in mine throughout spring.
Once Upon a Time Cardigan by Kowtow (organic and Fairtrade)
We love the user experience of your site. Particularly how easy it is to refine your search by specific requirements / interests.
How did this really nicely thought out layout come about?
It goes back to that merging of style and ethics. We wanted it to be easy for those looking specifically for something produced to certain ethical guidelines as well as those searching for trends or categories of clothing. The first priority was making the site easy to use and easy to pinpoint relevant pieces with ease.
Fast forward twenty years, what is one change in retail that you expect to have happened or would like to see happen?
I would like to see the ‘fast fashion’ phenomenon evolve into a far more sustainable proposition that allows for garment industry workers to be paid a living wage and be guaranteed safe working conditions. I would like to see a fashion industry that is beneficial to all involved in it rather than just a very few at the top. I would like to see more transparency in supply chains and for brands to take a genuine responsibility for the welfare of those working to produce their garments. Whether the corporate monolith behind big business fashion is willing to let this change happen remains to be seen.