Spreading the word on ethical fashion, and simultaneously highlighting the Japanese kimono I scooped up on Bib + Tuck, we’ve been featured by the awesome online curated swap shop. A taste of the interview here:
Bib + Tuck: You run a fashion blog with a focus on sustainability. What motivated you to start it?
Juliette Donatelli: I always gravitated towards style over fashion, but never thought I would find myself working in the industry. I was in the field of sustainability for over eight years—leading water awareness campaigns in LA, habitat restoration projects in South Africa and teaching hands-on science with the National Science Foundation. I was fascinated with how products were made and the connections (whether economical, social or environmental) between the product and the process.
What really motivated me to start spades + siLK was learning about the true time and talent that goes into making clothes. A new shirt never really costs $4.99, and if you are paying that price, someone is getting suckered—you, because it’s a blend of cheap synthetic fabric that will lose cut and shape quickly; the worker who sewed it because they were literally paid pennies; even the farmer who grew the cotton is getting jipped out of the third most powerful global industry that over the last twenty years has been built on a false sense of image over substance and trends over personal style.
Everyone participates in fashion, if they consider themselves fashion savvy or not, because everyone wears clothing. But most people don’t realize the complicated supply chain behind even a simple t-shirt, and that hands touch the garment at every step of the process. To me what is really sexy about fashion is expression through personal style, and the idea of building a wardrobe that reflects YOU.
So I started spades + siLK to highlight brands in a highly editorial and intelligent way who are building companies with ethics at the core and making killer clothing—all in one. I want to shed light on what quality fashion really means.
B+T: What’s one thing everyone should know about sustainable fashion?
JD: Truly, it’s a new kind of luxury—buying a piece of quality clothing that will last. And there is no one ‘right way’ or no one thing that makes it sustainable. No one really knows what sustainability is or if we can even really achieve it, so most importantly it is about choosing to shop where your values lay.