The Future of Eco-Fashion
Future: Standard sells online style with a conscience.
What does a girl with an MBA in Corporate Social Responsibility from USD do when she also loves to shop? She launches an online boutique that provides stylish, trendy, very chic, AND ethically responsibly made clothing…of course.
I spoke with this beautiful fashion ethicist, Jessica Althoff, about her new site Future: Standard, and among other things, I was most struck by her creed—One doesn’t have to choose between passion and making money—a novel concept indeed.
SDM: Tell me about the name Future: Standard?
JA: I’m hoping that in the not-too-distant future, the standard for fashion, the way people shop, and how clothing and accessories are made, will be ethically responsible.
SDM: Why should I care whether the cotton is organic or not?
JA: Well, if you only knew how many pesticides go into making one tee shirt, you’d be amazed and horrified. The effect those pesticides have on the environment and the people that work with them is extremely dangerous. Non-organic cotton is typically grown in countries where there is very little over-sight. The pesticides from the cotton runs into the water where people bathe and drink—polluting the environment and the workers. There are so many long- and short-term health problems created.
SDM: How do you choose which companies and designers to work with?
JA: No brand is perfect. I look for brands that are always working to make a difference in how they do business. Whether it’s changing the way they treat workers or the kinds of bags they ship merchandise in.
SDM: With so many websites out there, how can you compete?
JA: I’m hoping that the story adds to people’s interest and desire to purchase and feel good about what they’re buying. We carry lines that people don’t know about or can’t get anywhere else. People by nature want to do good and we give them that opportunity.