I can remember the exact moment when I came up with the idea for Honest Department, I was sitting on the floor of a shop with a pile of clothes on my arm, squinting at the labels to find out where each piece was made and of what fabrics. I spent hours trawling dozens of shops, reading hundreds of labels, and not being able to find a single piece that I could ethically justify buying. I thought, “This is ridiculous. This could be so much easier.”
Sustainability and being kind to the planet is a cause very close to my heart. Growing up in Transylvania, I spent a lot of time outdoors – from walking my dog along forest trails to road-tripping to the peak of the mountains. Revisiting my home as an adult, it was heartbreaking to see entire landscapes gone due to mining, deforestation and glaciers melting. And it’s not just the environment that is suffering – climate change tends to affect the most vulnerable communities most. Fairtrade and sustainability are so intimately linked, you cannot address one without the other.
Our mission is to seek out and stock brands which put ethically produced fashion at the heart of their businesses. This means that those involved in the production process are paid a fair wage and work in safe conditions. It also means that all of the brands that we work with are passionate about lowering fashion’s impact on the environment through sustainable production. What they all have in common is an anti ‘fast fashion’ approach: carefully thought out collections that last beyond micro-seasons and don’t come at a huge human and environmental cost.
But simply selling ethical and sustainable fashion is not enough – we have to implement these concepts within our own business model, too:
We are a Social Enterprise, which means that we are committed to reinvesting or donating at least 50% of our profits to a rotating group of charities which support our mission.
We also offset the carbon footprint of every delivery by helping to plant a tree for every package sent. We are very proud to say we add no plastic to the world! All our packaging is made out of high recycled content, and is wholly biodegradable.
Together, as consumers and activists, we have the power to bring change.
Claudia Radu, Founder of Honest Department