We had the chance to catch up with Shivani & Sameena, Founders of Ethical Stories Ethical Me
Tell us a bit about the Ethical Stories Ethical Me?
We are an ethical fashion retailer championing style with a story. Our aim is to make sustainable fashion on-trend, accessible and to connect our customers to the artisans who make each special piece within our collection. We source our products from countries including India, Honduras, Guatemala and Kenya, and we are always on the search for new groups of international artisans to collaborate with.
How did the idea for Ethical Stories Ethical Me come about? What inspired you to do this?
As our awareness about the fashion industry grew, we wanted to change our own shopping habits and shop more sustainably. What we found is that there were no high-street equivalent solutions to shopping ethically and affordably – it was either shopping from a high-end designer or buying something that was not in fashion. We decided that we wanted to create an online shop to fill the void for girls like us, where we could make sure that each product was the connecting piece between our customer and the artisan.
As the founders of Ethical Stories Ethical Me, what does your typical day look like and what do you enjoy most about doing your own thing?
We are still an entirely sister-run business, so our day completely varies from sourcing products internationally to building flat pack furniture for our pop-up! No day is the same.
What’s been your experience in collaborating with other brands?
What we’ve found one of the most powerful things about the ethical fashion industry is the sense of community and collaboration. Everyone has a mutual goal of increasing the profile and quality of sustainable fashion through collaboration, which is great.
What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced in creating your business? And what have been the highlights?
Challenges: Inventory management – neither of us had a background in retail before this, so we learnt the hard way!
Highlights: It’d have to be our first sale that wasn’t from our Mum! That saying “whenever you buy from a small business, someone does a happy dance” couldn’t be more true!
Here at Eyedea, we have been honored to host some of the world’s leading women in business across different sectors. Who would you say are the women who inspire you?
One would have to be Safia Minney, the founder of PeopleTree. She has been in the industry before it was even on most people’s radar and she has absolutely paved the way in her perseverance for a fairer fashion industry.
Iris Apfel was also a huge inspiration to us, thanks to her sense of creative style, confidence and independence.
What would be your top 3 words of advice for anyone thinking of branching out in this direction?
Resilience, open-mindedness, and curiosity
Ethical Stories Ethical Me has gone from strength to strength since its start up, how do you see it taking shape over the next few years?
We are developing our own-brand products by working directly with suppliers, and can’t wait to bring those to market next year. We are also in the process of building a marketplace to become the first port of call for conscious consumers.
You can explore more about Ethical Stories Ethical Me here