Style Spotlight: Etiko
I couldn't be more chuffed to be writing this post because 1. I freaking love Etiko and 2. because I have a BLOODY DISCOUNT FOR Y'ALL (acquired simply because I shopped with them, hurrah!) If you already know this brand and want to pop straight over to the website and shop your heart out, scroll to the end... otherwise get ready to jump onto the gold standard brand for positive social and environmental impact.
Etiko is a company that is COMPLETELY fairtrade certified - working with certified suppliers and investing in the economic and social development of farmers and workers involved in the production processes. This means that not only are the workers paid fairly from their employers, but Etiko also pays an ADDITIONAL premium - so farmers and workers are able to invest in improving their businesses and community!! This is so awesome because it's a tangible way to help alleviate poverty. They have received an A+ in the Ethical Fashion Report for the last five years. Yep. Please please please check out more on their website because their transparency and social impact is so commendable and inspiring.
Right let's talk shoes. An ethical dupe for the well-loved Converse say whaaaaa. You can wear these knowing they have not been made in a sweatshop!! I have loved these for several years; mum first bought me a pair of pink high tops at 12 (and therefore fulfilling most of my Lizzie McGuire wardrobe goals). While I've moved on from wearing pink - haven't moved on from Lizzie McGuire tbh - I now own both the black and white (featured) low cut style, alternating between them (please don't make me choose). Tom loves his high top black ones and my mum had to practically wrench my sister's completely worn high tops from her she loved 'em that much. They offer a nice alternative to sporty trainers or pointy boots and can go with a dress, skirt, jeans, be worn for any daytime antics, and I've even worn them out to dinner and made it work (well, I think so haha). They are super comfy, can be chucked in the wash if needed and go with everything. And the entire sneaker is made from sustainable fabrics!!!! They fit true to size and don't completely tear up your feet to soften them in (who's got time to wear in shoes!?).
They are such a great and similar-priced alternative to what else is on the market and is a POSITIVE consumer choice that has a social and environmental impact.
There are lots of companies and organisations doing amazing work to keep their production processes ethical and transparent, but sometimes it can be hard to discern whether they are being completely truthful...
A small thing to keep an eye out for is the Fairtrade Logo - this is one certification that means the product has met international standards set by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO). It guarantees that what you are buying has been made fairly - from the harvesting of the materials through to the worker's conditions where they are building the garment or product. So while these shoes don't have this logo (there aren't fairtrade standards for footwear yet), it's something to be mindful of and look out for on other products like chocolate or tea.
Without this certification or similar, we cannot guarantee that the product has not involved child labour, unfair working conditions or exploitation in some part of the production process. We HAVE to acknowledge that there is a full spectrum industry – from cotton growing in the fields, through to the factory processing, to it arriving on the shelves. Now this is not to overwhelm you, because I am the first to acknowledge that there are lots of things I buy that don't have this label, and there are lots of things that might be ethical but don't carry this certification. But we CAN make small changes and choices. These shoes are one example that, sure, they don't have the trendy label - but they come pretty close to looking the same and blow me down if they don't perform the same or better as far as cool and casual trainers go.
So I'm not earning anything off this or getting commissioned or whatever, I just want to spread the love! CLICK HERE for 20% off ~all~ products from Etiko, not just the trainers - they've got hoodies, undies and tees too!! Shop with a clear conscience!! (If for some reason the link isn't working, try popping 'ETIKO20' in at the checkout)
Want to read more about ethical versus fairtrade? Check out a great article here x