Wikipedia for Fashion.
For the majority of us shopping for fashion items that fit our values can be hard work. First and foremost it has to suit our end purpose, otherwise our shopping pursuits have been a waste of time, money, and the planets resources. We conscious consumers would also like to know that the items we buy haven’t come at the cost of another persons happiness or damaged the environment in their journey from conception to our closest. Unfortunately information like this is not so easy to come by in an industry that favours profits over process. If only there was some way we could easily Google the credibility of a company while we are in the fitting room? Oh… hey… there is! Yay! Introducing project JUST the self proclaimed Wikipedia of fashion!
The site is ‘hot off the press’ having only launched in the last few weeks and the team have started with a focus on the high influence US brands that many consumers are curious to know more about. They are working to build the database so there will be more labels added as the website gains momentum and you can also request to have a brand you are interested in added to the list. When assessing a brand JUST are keen to know what the company is doing good supply chain and business operations. They look at how the brand cares for people and the environment, their innovation in regards to these two areas, and the knowledge of their production system and transparency in their operations. JUST also assess how companies go above and beyond the norm and what they give back to the community in regards to CSR and multi stakeholder initiatives.
To learn about a label the team of investigators assess the companies publicly listed data and promotional materials. They scour through sustainability and ethical manufacturing reporting (both from the company itself and eternal assessments) and also assess the web for third party information on the brand under the microscope. Once all the research is compiled and checked thrice the information is made available to you on the project JUST website. The team are well aware of the fact that they don’t have all the answers to every brands manufacturing process. That is why they openly ask for your input and continually update their assessments with any new information that comes to light.
Image above from Project Just featured brand A Peace Treaty.
Where it came from!
The project is the brainchild of Natalie Grillon and Shahd AlShehail. The pair met over a love of fashion as Global Fellows with Acumen a non-profit impact investing fund. They had witnessed the injustices of poverty on their global adventures. Natalie had experienced first hand the issues associated with the global fashion supply chain while working with a cotton company in Uganda. She saw immense value in the improved livelihoods of farmers but was shocked that the story of the origins of the cotton never made it down the supply chain to the consumer. She believed the end consumer would probably feel pretty chuffed to know that their t-shirt had improved the life of another! Gathering over food (isn’t that where all good ideas start?) the two contemplated how they could help manufactures and consumer bridge the information gaps in the supply chain. The collapse of Rana plaza happened one month after this discussion and the pair knew that sharing this information was of vital importance if (the royal) we were to avoid wearing the blood of others on our backs. Project JUST aims to inform and empower consumers so that they can change the fashion industry one purchase at a time. JUST believe in true beauty, beauty that transcends the aesthetics of an item and extends to a beautiful story behind it. Their mission is to transform the fashion industry into a transparent, accountable and sustainable system that celebrates the stories, the people and the resources behind the clothing.
If you love this idea be sure to check out the JUST search tool and keep an eye on the JUST blog for loads of awesome content (none of which is sponsored so expect to see honest sharing). Have you shopped using the project JUST search? Share your experience below.