If you are satisfied with the status quo, then stop reading this post will be of no interest to you. However, if you want to change the world in a meaningful, positive and actual way by all means read on. Your clothes speak before you do? Maybe not. Being a student at Parsons I have the fantastic ability to be exposed to many wonderful things. Perhaps one my favorites is the amount of seminars/talks I am invited to about the fashion industry and ways that we as consumers can improve it and make it better. Most do not realize that clothing choice and environmental awareness go hand in hand. Where are the clothes you wear coming from? How are they being produced? By whom? For how much? That's why when attending a talk on sustainable fashion I was immediately captivated by listening to Natalie Grillon speak about her company, PROJECTJUST.
Natalie created PROJECTJUST with friend Shahd AlShehail after being inspired working at a cotton company in Uganda. The livelihoods of those working with cotton were increasing, but their story was not being shared and Natalie saw enormous opportunity and potential in being able to share them. JUST was created with the mindset that by being an informed consumer, you have the ability to make more thoughtful choices in clothing and therefore directly have an influence in stopping the abuses and exploitation of workers in third world countries. Without being informed, consumers will continue to buy fast fashion aka: Forever 21, H&M, Zara, etc. The prices at these stores are extremely low for a reason, and it's not a good one. Prior to listening to Natalie, I had no idea how abhorrent these fast fashion companies were.
Natalie and Shadh believe that the beauty of clothing does not only come in the form of aesthetics, but also the story behind it's creation. Given that we live in such a visually stimulating culture, it does take effort to think one step past, "Oh this looks awesome on me. I'm getting it." That sort of thinking, though second nature, is not effectively helping yourself or the industry.
Make a difference. UP YOUR GAME. Change the status quo. Choose to be informed. If you're buying clothing, which is probably everyone reading this post, I hope you take away that with companies like PROJECTJUST we can make a difference as consumers and global citizens. You, yes you, have the power!