By Kelly Ho
Local Food Program Intern, SBN
“The fashion industry is the second largest contributor to pollution in the world,” says Alejandra Carrero, CEO of Futurewear.
The majority of everyday shoppers are unaware of the damaging industry practices that are far too commonplace: many clothing factories dump chemicals into nearby rivers, the industry uses large amounts of fossil fuels to transport raw materials often to factories, and our “fast fashion” culture encourages the use of cheap petroleum-based materials. Keep in mind, clothing is of course ubiquitous and so all of this is happening on a massive scale.
Carrero worked inside the system, and it was this inside exposure that inspired her to seek change. While working in the industry, Carrero visited a Chinese textile factory and was horrified to see exhausted female workers and young children roaming around. Following this experience, she became motivated to shop from more conscious clothing brands; However, as her search for conscious clothing developed, Carrero came to realize one simple truth: eco-friendly fashion choices are not easy to find.
Thus, Futurewear was born.
Founded in June of 2015, Futurewear is an online platform that promotes sustainable and ethical fashion brands. Carrero offers packages to conscious clothing brands, which include marketing services such as sales postings, social media promotions, email marketing to consumers, and spotlight blog posts. Since its beta launch on September 8, 2016, more than 10,000 followers and consumers have utilized Futurewear!
In its “Brands” section, Futurewear closely examines each of its selected companies and features their notable “ethical” and “sustainable” initiatives. For example, Sport’s Philosophy, a UK-based sportswear company, strives to be ethical by promising fair wages, giving back to charity, banning child labor, and providing safe working conditions. Meanwhile, Indigenous, a US-based casual clothing company, promotes sustainability by using biodegradable products, organic materials, and low impact processes, and by promising ethical treatment of animals. In addition, Futurewear shows price ranges, location of headquarters, and third-party certifications. With all this information, any customer can make informed decisions about buying conscious clothing.
In the year and a half since Carrero founded Futurewear, she is most proud of generating such extensive awareness towards sustainable fashion. She hopes that Futurewear continues to expand and influence consumers to choose eco-friendly brands. “I never thought that people would react to Futurewear and it’s really great that people are looking forward to change,” says Carrero.