When we founded Grounded People, we set out with a vision.
We saw room for improvement in the fashion industry, and we decided we wanted to be a part of making positive changes in the industry. We wanted to place sustainability, ethics, and environmentalism first. In short, we wanted to change the world.
The fashion industry is truly massive. It represents $3 Trillion of the global economy and is filled with tens of thousands of brands and employs millions of people. It is also one of the worst industries in terms of its carbon footprint and ethical standards.
Making changes to such an industry is no simple task, but where others saw something impossible, we saw a challenge to overcome.
Why Fashion Needs to be Better
Right now, the world is on the cusp of climate disaster. According to some scientists we may have already reached a tipping point of not being able to reverse the effects of climate change.
This is the greatest existential crises of our time. It was important to find a way to create a business model actively working toward slowing and even reversing the devastating effects of climate change. We sought to not be just another fashion brand, but a leader in the world of fashion by building sustainable methods and ethical practices.
How do we Build Sustainable Business
First, we started with how are materials are sourced.
Organic materials like cotton, wool, bamboo, and flax all require some form of agriculture. On an industrial level farming can release high levels of pollution into the environment through the use of chemical treatments and animal waste.
Instead, we partnered with organic producers of cotton who use sustainable agricultural practices to reduce the need for chemical products, and where possible even increase local biodiversity. This means the farms we partner with reduce levels of pollution getting into local groundwater and make positive contributions to the local environment.
We didn’t want to stop there. Why produce new materials when there are so many old ones ending up in the landfill?
When organic materials enter the landfill, they begin to decompose and if not controlled they produce methane gas which is among the worst greenhouse gasses. The simple act of throwing unwanted clothes in the trash makes a huge impact on our atmosphere.
By using recycled materials, we are able to divert old materials from the landfill and give them new life for use in our products. It reduces our need to produce new materials, and better ensure the source when we need to produce cotton anew.
The other major issue we wanted to address was the ethics of the fashion industry, in particular how the people are treated throughout the production chain.
For years large brands turned to the developing world to find people to make their products. This meant products being made in India, Vietnam, Guatemala, or a host of other nations in the world’s tropics. There’s nothing wrong with the outsourcing of labour in a globalized economy, but far to often the factories used to produce clothing used exploitative practices. Workers are not often paid fairly for their days labour, and in some cases face abusive practices and near slave labour conditions.
This was unacceptable. It was important those who make our products were treated fairly and were better able to support their families and communities.
Grounded People wanted to contribute to a growing community of brands who not only wanted to change how things were done in the fashion industry but build a new way of doing business.
For us sustainability and ethics goes beyond just our products and supply chain, we want to give back to the communities that make it all possible. Which is why we have partnered with a diverse group of charities from those who help reforestation efforts around the globe, or reunite pets and their owners after natural disasters, or help children to thrive.
Our LACES charity partnerships were built around making positive contributions to causes we believe in and inspire those around us. We also want to inspire other brands that building better business means making decisions and building partnerships that give more than they take.
Committed to Ethical Change
When Grounded People set out, we knew our vision was grand. In some ways it even seemed impossible, but we also knew we had to try.
Grounded People is as committed to our founding vision as ever.
We believe the fashion industry not only can do better but needs to do better for everyone involved. From those farming crops to those making shoes, and ultimately the consumers who wear them. Fashion brands need to build sustainable business practices that protect their workers, the environment and make conscious decisions to leave the world a little better than they found it.