When I started my blog post about inspirational women in sustainability I had every intent of keeping it short, say maybe, 10 women. 15 max. However, there where too many badass women to name. In fact, it was hard keeping it to a list of 20! Here is part 2 of the 20 for 2020 inspirational women in sustainability series.
11. and 12. Lauren Conrad & Hannah Skvarla
Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla inspire those to empower artisans by shopping fair trade home decor. The two co-founders formed the idea for their fair trade company The Little Market when on a trip to Uganda and Tanzania. While in Africa they met many female artisans making beautiful products but lacking opportunities. The duo were able to use Hannah’s background in human rights and Lauren’s background in fashion to create The Little Market. The company follows the beliefs and guidelines of fair trade- paying fair wages in safe work environments to former sex trafficking victims, people with disabilities, refugees, and families living in extreme poverty. The Little Market has a beautiful collection of home decor, gifts, and accessories. The two have done a lot to bring conscious consumerism to a mainstream audience.
13. Safia Minney
Safia Minney, the pioneer of sustainable fashion, inspires those to follow her lead and have an interest in sustainability and the climate action. Safia Minney is the award winning entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, and CEO and founder of People Tree. She is a leader in sustainability, fair trade, and vocal advocate against modern slavery. She is responsible for initiating World Fair Trade over ten years ago and is interviewed in the eye opening documentary The True Cost. People Tree is a 100% fair trade company and Minney describes the company as being “rooted in campaigning for a better trading system that delivers human rights and environmental innovation in production.” Safia Minney continues to be a leader in sustainable fashion and human rights and an inspiration to everyone the industry.
14. Elizabeth Joy
Elizabeth Joy inspires those to create a positive impact on people and the planet. Elizabeth first learned about ethical fashion after hearing about the collapse of the Rana Plaza Garment Factory in Bangladesh. She soon realized that her love for fashion didn’t match her values, but after some research discovered the wonderful world of ethical fashion. Elizabeth’s blog Conscious Life & Style aims to show people how they can use their purchases for good. She encourages people to think about every aspect of how a garment is made, including labor conditions and environmental impact. Check out her blog for more information!
15. Yael Aflalo
Yael Aflalo inspires those to wear cutting edge pieces that are made sustainably. Yael Aflalo’s company Reformation is one of the most successful brands in ethical fashion. Reformation boasts “Being naked is the most sustainable option. We’re #2.” Reformation uses sustainable fabrics, repurposed vintage clothing to create pieces that are old-school yet edgy, feminine and sexy. Aflalo began her business with dreams of being the biggest brand in sustainable fashion, so it looks like she made her dreams come true.
16. Molly Stillman
Molly Stillman inspires those to bring ethical practices in their everyday lives (especially moms!). NC resident and blogger Molly Stillman created the lifestyle blog Still Being Molly to give tips on every day living, parenting, clean eating, and ethical shopping. I especially love Molly’s podcast Business with Purpose, where Molly gives advice and interviews big names in ethical fashion, clean beauty, and various entrepreneurs. Molly inspires all women to walk with confidence and with a purpose.
17. Kirsten Dickerson
Kirsten Dickerson inspires those to use business for good. Kirsten Dickerson is the CEO and founder of Raven+Lily and a leader in the ethical fashion industry. Dickerson spent several years working in global non-profit leadership before creating Raven+Lily, a fair trade and B Corporation certified company, which was named Best in the World for Community Impact in 2015. Dickerson is passionate about using business as a way to alleviate poverty, and she is a frequent speaker in the world of ethical fashion.
18. Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle inspires those to use their celebrity as a platform to advocate for sustainable brands. Meghan Markle is known for her elegant style- and for wearing brands with sustainability as their main mission. The Duchess has been seen on numerous occasions wearing Outland Denim, as well as Stella McCartney, Reformation, Kayu, and the French vegan sneaker brand Veja. Markle also recently launched a charity fashion line. She partnered with a company called Smart Works, a charity that provides unemployed women with clothes and coaching for job interviews. I love what Meghan Markle is doing and can’t wait to see what she does next!
19. Vanessa Acosta
Vanessa Acosta inspires those to think about all sizes, ethnicities, and genders when it comes to ethical fashion. Vanessa Acosta is the one woman show behind the clothing company Wasi, an ethnic and gender-inclusive collection made from textiles in South America. All products are handmade in California. Wasi includes statement t-shirts with sayings like “For Women of Color” and “Support Small Brown Businesses”. Wasi’s goal is to empower women of color and maintain a slow fashion brand that is aware of its environmental impact.
20. Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney inspires those to adopt sustainable options into their designs. Stella McCartney was one of the first fashion designers to explain sustainable options for her brand. Not only does she use organic cotton and recycled materials in most of her clothes, she also uses renewable energy for her stores and offices. Stella McCartney creates sustainable luxury fashion, including Meghan Markle’s wedding reception dress. McCartney is a member the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and is always for new ways to reduce waste across the company’s entire supply chain.
There you have it. 20 women in 2020 who make ethical fashion look pretty awesome. Is there someone I should have included? I’d love to hear from you! Happy Women’s History Month.