BY CHRISTEN, WRITING TEAM INTERN
I think we can all agree that sometimes, it’s so easy to get caught up in snatching jazzy new items for our wardrobe, that we forget to think about where the clothes are coming from. Rachel Jones, co-owner and designer of the eco-friendly, environmentally ethical clothing company Annie Greenabelle, however, never forgets. And, she’s here to make sure we don’t forget either!
Annie Greenabelle’s clothing is made from fair trade, organic cotton. What does that mean? Well, they’re willing to pay a little bit more for cotton to support developing countries, and they steer clear of cotton grown with pesticides. Sounds righteous, right?
Spreading love all the way from the UK, Rachel was kind enough to give us the 411 on the momentum that drives Annie Greenabelle, along with some behind the scenes tips on dressing green.
Annie Greenabelle works to better the world daily by selling fair trade and organic clothing. Are you doing anything special to celebrate Earth Day?
Earth Day isn’t celebrated as much here in the UK, but we do have promotions on our website to celebrate! We have Fair Trade Fortnight in February each year, which celebrates the variety of fair trade products on offer, ranging from food to clothes. This year’s was called “The Big Swap,” and encouraged people to swap their non-fair trade products for a fair trade alternative wherever possible.
What inspired you to sell fair trade and organic clothing?
The more we learnt about the negative effects on cotton farmers’ health and the environment caused by farming cotton in the conventional way, we knew using an alternative was what we wanted to do. We began using organic cotton, but we are really proud now that nearly all our garments are organic and fair trade certified. We are very proud of the fact that no one in our chain of production suffers to produce our garments.
Does coming up with clothing that meets both these certifications seem to limit you in any way?
There are definitely still some limitations on what we can design, as there are still many kinds of fabric [that] cannot be grown organically, but things are developing so quickly [that] each season when we come to source new fabrics, I am pleasantly surprised by the new selection of fair trade and organic fabrics on offer.
How would you describe the style of Annie Greenabelle?
Annie Greenabelle has a very fun, feminine style for girls who don’t like to take fashion too seriously. I love the fact that the girls who buy Annie Greenabelle are making intelligent choices when they shop and are choosing to look beyond the price tag at where their clothes have come from.
Who or what inspired this style?
The style of the brand is very much inspired by the 1940s and 50s, and the movement at the time of “Make Do and Mend.” The idea [of that movement was] that during the war, clothing was rationed, so every scrap of fabric or button became valuable to women. It is such an environmentally great way to view clothing and consumption, and although we are lucky that we don’t have the same restrictions on what we buy nowadays, I still try to think in this way.
What are some small moves you can suggest to better the planet when it comes to shopping and style?
I really believe that it is important to buy garments that you love and intend to keep for a long time. If you think about passing the garment down to someone in the future, it makes you seek out good quality, beautiful products and not just follow trends. I am obsessed with mending my clothes and making them last as long as I possibly can!
What can we look forward to in Annie Greenabelle’s future?
We are looking to develop our own website and make our products easily accessible to people all over the world.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Just that we love ModCloth and its gorgeous products, and we are really excited to be joining them!