Background I grew up in Traverse City, Michigan and started working as a freelance artist my sophomore year of high school. My mom is an artist and small business owner, so I was heavily influenced by her from a young age (thanks mom)! Throughout high school I worked my way into e-commerce by starting an Etsy shop, grew increasingly interested in fashion, graduated, moved to Kalamazoo, and I now run my business (Rose Soma LLC), as an independent designer while also a full time student at Western Michigan University studying Fashion Design and Development.
Why Sustainable Fashion? I love clothes, but I don't love the fashion industry. The United States alone generates roughly 16 million tons of textile waste per year. What doesn't end up in the landfills is likely sent overseas to countries who don't want or need them, overcrowding their markets with our nation's leftovers. Apart from environmental harm, people around the world are still suffering through unfair working conditions, child labor, and inhumane treatment. This can get discouraging, but there is a bright side: as awareness about the faults of the fashion industry increases, so does consumer demand for ethical brands and higher-quality clothing. Fast fashion is detrimental to people and the environment, but there are clear steps we can take to start undoing some damage and working towards a brighter future for the fashion industry.