Meet Gather&See, a curated marketplace of sustainable style offering superb collections from the very best in conscious fashion from around the world. Showcasing designers that pride themselves on aesthetics and ethics in equal measures, Gather&See operate according to six amazing founding principles: Fair trade, Organic, Recycled, Eco-friendly, Handmade and Small Scale Production. I love their ethos, great taste and carefully selected brands so set out to find out more about the story behind the growing retailer’s mission.
Founded by Stephanie Hogg and Alicia Taylor, Gather&See was born from a foray into the world of artisanal craft, garment production, and travelling the world. After beginning their explorations, the pair soon discovered an alternate world of clothing creation that required incredible levels of craftsmanship and artisan handiwork.
Being so far from the high-street produce of home, two things stood out to Alicia and Steph. The first was was the intricacy and impressive nature of the traditional techniques used to craft each piece from start to finish. The other was the extreme poverty of the areas in which these craftspeople were working and making their living. As a pair of avid shoppers, both founders began to recognise how disconnected we each are from the production process behind the clothes that we buy.
Inspired by clothing brands that work to protect and promote the rights of women, Gather&See’s clothing and collaborations reflect the staggering number of female garment industry workers today. By working with brands, designers and producers to provide and ensure fair, safe, just and rewarding working environments and thriving communities, this realistic approach to tackling unfair trading practises and their debilitating effects is making a real difference to women’s lives.
As well as utilising lush organic cotton, Gather&See’s brands use materials that would usually end up in a landfill sites. Team this innovative approach to fashion with traditional handmade techniques and artisan methods that have been used for centuries and you’ve a recipe for unique, creative and long-lasting style. Brands such as Osei Duro and Lalesso will provide the name of the person who made each item on their garment tags, reintroducing the much-needed and seeming long-forgotten human connection to the process of purchasing and owning an item clothing that somebody else has created.
Early into their venture, having researched the range of ethical fashion available to the average shopper, Gather&See’s founders knew that something had to be done to promote great brands and encourage style-conscious people to shop ethically. ‘We believe there is a void in the market for an e-tailer offering on unique conscious brands that pride themselves on their aesthetics just as much as their ethics’ the pair told me, and frankly, I couldn’t agree more.
It might seem that the days of small scale production and knowing where your clothes have come from, who made them, and at what cost are long gone but that simply isn’t true. All of Gather&See’s branded garments are manufactured using small scale production ensuring individuality and zero mass production. Like Steph and Alicia say, ‘the joy of wearing something that you know is one of a small number and made with care is a special feeling that’s hard to beat’.
For those of us who feel a similar disconnect with fast fashion, the existence of retailers like Gather&See is a blessing. It can prove challenging to consistently discover new ethical brands that don’t sacrifice style for sustainability so seeing great styles all on one site makes fora great shopping experience. These days, the world of fashion is changing and the pressure on brands to adopt transparent and fair practices is growing – it’s up to us to support retailers like Gather&See to make their way of doing things more mainstream.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @boogiemargaret