When we started Grounded People, we decided we wanted to stand apart from other shoe brands. We wanted to focus on creating sustainable, high quality, ethically made products. We also wanted to contribute to organizations with similar vision in helping to create a better world.
As part of this vision, we wanted a way to incorporate it as a core element of who we were, so we created the LACES program. For us it was just a small gesture, but for the charities we partnered with, and the communities they support, it means much more.
Our LACES program also allows us to collaborate with you. We have partnered with several organizations that align with our vision and help us achieve our goals of contributing to a better planet. LACES is more than just us; the diverse group of charities is also about you and allows you to select the organizations representing your values and vision.
Fashion Takes Action (FTA) is one such organization. They are dedicated to improving sustainability throughout the fashion industry. Here’s their story.
When FTA first started operations back in 2007 there were few other organizations set on changing the very core of the fashion industry.
At the time the mechanisms behind the fashion industry were largely hidden from the public eye. While some change had occurred, it was only after massive scandals were broke by mainstream media outlets.
In order to change the industry, they developed a mission focusing on creating greater sustainability, and ethics. They created a goal of shifting industry and consumer mindsets to be more socially and environmentally positive.
Since then, FTA has grown to become an important resource for fashion producers seeking to improve their sustainability and provide greater transparency to consumers.
A Broader Need
Their main goals have broadened over the years.
FTA recognized the key challenges within the industry were also central to the production chain. The use of chemical fertilizers, overuse of critical water sources, unfair labour practices, and rampant consumerism were all having a negative impacts on the environment, people, and communities.
By collaborating with stakeholders throughout the industry FTA is committed to providing critical information and helping to remove obstacles that may be preventing operations from becoming sustainable.
While much of their work has focused on creating a positive environmental change within the industry, they have also been working to enhance the lives of people involved in the fashion industry. Through partnerships they have developed strategies and increased transparency for farmers, production workers, and their communities.
Essential to the FTA ethos is a commitment to eliminate sweatshops and ensure that workers throughout the industry are treated equitably. This ethics first approach helps provide a for a viable future for the industry.
A Great Resource
Changing a global industry is no easy task. FTA recognized early on it would take a lot of hard work from them, industry stake holders, and consumers to create any meaningful results. Its why they work tirelessly to produce important resources and programs to educate brands and consumers alike.
Among their more vital activities are education campaigns aimed at working with small and medium sized businesses. Programs like SHIFT are designed to help future-proof the fashion industry and introduce sustainable practices from the ground up.
The program series runs three times a year and works around topics meant to empower fashion businesses. These short courses teach business owners how to measure environmental impact, growing ecommerce, and how the fashion supply chain works.
Additionally, FTA has other programs tailored to youth to instruct them on the environmental and social impacts of the fashion world and how to make better decisions around clothing.
It isn’t just about education for brands and youth. FTA recently launched a new pilot program meant to address the growing problem of textiles entering landfills. By partnering with SportChek and Goodwill in Ontario, FTA set up collection bins for unwanted clothing. Once accepted the items are sent to a shredding facility in Quebec and turned into a new material that can be manufactured into new products.
Every year more than 500,000 tonnes of textiles end up in landfills across Canada, programs like these are essential to reduce the waste of fast fashion, but also help reduce the stress throughout the supply chain from the demands of new materials every year.
A Sustainable Partnership
Grounded People is proud to work with FTA as part of our LACES Charities. With your help we are ensuring that a great organization has the funding they need to continue to make changes in the industry and support small fashion businesses in Canada.
As a massive global industry, fashion has a responsibility to develop new methods of production that place sustainability first. Organizations like FTA help introduce greater transparency, educate partners, and help to drive the supply chain in more ethical and sustainable directions.