Have you ever met someone and vibed with them right from the get-go? That was what happened when I met Katy last year. We met at a beach-cleanup/mediation event hosted by ethical swimwear brand, OCIN, so it’s not surprising that we had similar values when it comes to fashion manufacturing.
When I first met Katy she was just starting out with Attire Media, a guide for sustainable and ethical fashion. Since then Attire Media has done brand features, news round-ups, #ootd inspo and tips while staying committed to sustainability. Following Attire Media on IG has been such a great resource for me. When it comes to sustainable fashion, as much as I love it, there is so much information to take in constantly and it’s nice to have a regular source for it worked into my feed. For all these reasons (and more!) I am so excited to work with Katy on a Q&A feature and tune into Attire Media’s Instagram page (here) tomorrow for a takeover from yours truly.
Tell us about yourself!
Hi! I’m Katy, and I’m the founder of Attire Media, an online publication that empowers consumers to cultivate more meaningful relationships with their clothes. We share news, articles, events, and resources to help consumers along their conscious fashion journeys, and our goal is to make ethical and sustainable fashion more fun and less daunting for those just starting out. Aside from running Attire, I also work at KPMG as an accountant and run a human rights activism newsletter called The Daily Activist!
How was Attire Media born?
My parents were refugees of war, and learning about that part of my heritage really connected me with the human rights and sustainability movement. After working several jobs in the fashion industry – modelling, consulting local brands, writing for fashion week – I started to connect the dots that this industry I loved was also contributing significantly to human rights abuses and environmental degradation. I noticed that on the one hand, sustainable brands were struggling to reach consumers and get their sustainability message across; on the other hand, I was receiving tons of messages from friends who were either unaware of the problems within the industry, or had no idea how to transition to more ethical and sustainable consumption habits. I realized that by speaking up and sharing what I’d learned from working in fashion, I could bridge this knowledge gap and empower consumers and conscious fashion brands at the same time: that’s where the idea to launch Attire started evolving.
Why is being a platform that not only applauds brands doing good, but also one that draws attention to a brand’s shortcoming important to you?
Honesty is a huge part of working in media, and it’s so important to acknowledge that no brand is perfect. We would be doing Attire’s readers a disservice if we only praised positive achievements rather than addressing shortcomings. The movement for conscious fashion needs us to be optimistic, but at the same time, too much optimism can lead to inaction. We can celebrate the progress that’s been made, but we must maintain a constant awareness that there is still a long journey ahead of us. It’s also important to remember that behind every brand is a group of people: people who have worked hard to get to where they are now, but are also flawed and biased in their own human ways. Instead of labelling certain brands as simply “good” or “bad”, we can take a more nuanced approach: what have they done well? Where can they improve, and how? This is how we move forward to become better as an industry.
I noticed that your feed has always been diverse, right from the get-go. As brands navigate through the BLM movement how would you suggest avoiding performance activism and tokenism as an ally?
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