Inspiring Black Female Leaders in Ethical Fashion

Byknownsupply June 19, 2020

We sincerely believe that ethical fashion is truly for everyone. It has to be. So much related to the future of our planet, and to the present opportunities for the people involved in the industry, hinge upon how we choose to view our purchasing decisions and what we wear.

That’s why we are so thankful for these women and the diverse ways they are engaging with ethical fashion. They are advocating, educating, and inspiring us all toward a better, more-inclusive view of the future where fashion isn’t labeled “ethical” or “fair” but it’s simply just fashion.

1) Dominique Drakeford – Melanin & Sustainable Style

Dominique Drakeford is a powerful voice when it comes to the intersectionality of issues surrounding race, sustainability, economics and fashion. We’ve followed her work closely and learned a lot from her over the past couple of years. We first came across her platform @melaninass, which was a total breath of fresh air in an all too homogenous landscape of sustainable fashion.

2) Liya Kebede – lemlem

Supermodel Liya Kebede was inspired to start her fashion brand lemlem after taking a trip to her native Ethiopia. For years, she has leveraged her sphere of influence to make high end dresses and other garments, all of which are produced in Africa. The brand is promoting and helping maintain traditional artisanal techniques, and she furthers her impact through her foundation focused on further resourcing women artisans.

3) Brittany Sierra – The Sustainable Fashion Forum

We were able to participate in this year’s (virtual) Sustainable Fashion Forum event and got to connect with Brittany directly to witness firsthand the passion and organizational prowess she has in helping further the sustainable fashion movement. She has built an incredible community and online platform that is helping to foster inclusion and information about ethical fashion to spread far and wide. And we’re here for it.

4) Dechel Mckillian – Galeria.LA

Dechel is an incredible curator. As a former celebrity stylist, she saw an opportunity to combine her fashion sensibilities with her passion for ethical and sustainably-made clothing. She owns her own store called Galerie.LA which is located in downtown Los Angeles, CA at the ROW DTLA, where she hosts events and brings community together to become further educated about fashion with a positive impact.

5) Aurora James – Brother Vellies

Not only is Aurora James the founder of the handcrafted and sustainable shoe brand Brother Vellies, but her leadership has also been highlighted recently through an initiative called the 15 Percent Pledge. What started as an instagram post offering a rather simple and direct request, has launched an entire movement. The idea is that large corporations make a pledge to purchase 15% of their stock from Black-owned business (the same percentage that the Black community makes up in the U.S.).

Additional voices and platforms we want to call attention to…

@ethicalstylejournal – A digital & print magazine focused on ethical and sustainable fashion.

@salemmitchell – Model & KNOWN SUPPLY collaborator

@thatcurlytop – Ethical fashion advocate. “If you want to be anti-racist you have to be anti-fast fashion.”

@greengirlleah – Writer and intersectional environmentlist.

@thriftsandtangles – Ethical fashion blogger.

Do you know of other people or platforms who are positively contributing to this space? Please comment below and let us know.

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