Julie interviews the Ecospire team
Hey, have you noticed that crazy awesome collab box in our store? We’re partnering up with Ecospire to co-curate a box filled with good-for-the-earth, good-for-you products that we think will make your life better one good step at a time. It’s a great opportunity to get to know some brands that aren’t specifically working with trafficked women, yet are doing great things in the conscious-consumerism space. Their team has also challenged us to up our packaging game – we thought we were doing well with 100% recycled boxes and limited branding , but they proposed compostable labels and seed paper and we got so excited. Who knows, if you tell us you love it we may just continue using those sources for the rest of our boxes, too!
Without further ado, let’s get to know Jenny & Angela and hear what they're up to:
Let’s start with your branding. What does “Ecospire” mean, and is there any significance to the coloring and logo you chose?
Jenny: We chose the company name because we hope to inspire the world to move towards a more innovative responsible way of doing business and to raise consumer awareness through purchasing sustainable and ethical products. The colors we chose reflect love for our planet and the most precious resource of all being water.
What made you want to found ecospire – what need did you see?
Jenny: As a fashion designer with a focus on sustainability, I wanted to create a place where designers could come and source responsible resources to innovate better products for consumers. I thought about starting a clothing line, but I realized how much over-consumption we have in our world. When I was in fashion school at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, the school could only provide me with a short list of eco-focused suppliers. It was extremely frustrating spending all my time sourcing rather than designing. Now I can say I helped to solve this problem for the fashion industry.
Angela: When I met Jenny, she had proposed starting a new product line with me. I wasn’t interested in making more of anything because the world has so much already. Just look around. I wanted to help companies make better products.
So Ecospire is making the connection from maker to manufacturer, and setting out to make it easier for anyone and everyone to produce ethical products. Can you paint a picture of how that relationship comes to life?
Jenny: Makers can come to Ecospire and create a free profile and gain a presence in an ECOmmunity. They can showcase their eco-focused products as well as find the most innovative resources from organizations, consultants, educators, farms, raw materials, textiles, manufacturing, packaging, and recycling initiatives. We are excited to provide such a valuable resource to makers of the world in the most visually inspiring way today.
Angela: Imagine planning out your next eco product line with a cup of coffee and your laptop, as you source and connect with suppliers and service providers around the world. This is Ecospire.
Then how do we as consumers get in on supporting these products that come together because of ecospire?
Jenny: We are in the works of creating a responsible marketplace. It will be amazing for brands to not only find the resources to create the most ethical and sustainable products, but to also have a place to market and sell them at Ecospire.
Angela: Brands sell their better products, consumers can learn about the supply chain that makes products they love and purchase items that are better for people and planet. This is a simple way to empower people to engage in responsibility with their purchasing dollars.
Jenny: This educates the consumer through transparency of the supply chain and product creation. Our system connects everyone involved throughout the creation of the product and tells the consumer a unique story. Ecospire consumers will feel GREAT about where they are spending their purchasing dollars. Our ultimate goal is to integrate a closed loop system to get products back into the supply chain instead of continually deleting our natural resources.
Are there any requirements or qualifications for brands who want to be listed on your site?
Jenny: We are connected to several of the most recognized certification bodies and standards in today’s fashion industry. This is a challenging piece because it is so extensive. We are continually growing this piece of our business and working with the experts.
Do you see a sort of “Ecospire certification” in your future?
Jenny: Yes, I can definitely see companies getting an “Ecospire Badge” if they meet a number of criteria in our system. This raises the bar for companies to keep up with being trusted and credible and would eliminate the greenwashing that is continually happening in the industry.
Can you share a few of the brands you’re especially thrilled to have on your site right now?
Angela: I'm excited about the new and emerging brands that pop up on our site daily.
Jenny: We love Prana! They do such an amazing job at providing their products with the ethical and sustainable story. GREEN EILEEN listed with us and they are a collection of gently worn EILEEN FISHER clothing. We love Eileen Fisher and the way she provides transparency around her product. We were very excited for Seventh Generation to create a profile at Ecospire! Although they are not specifically in the apparel space, they gave us many ideas of how and where we plan to expand to other industries.
Where do you see the future of Ecospire – how can this become a movement and change the way we make (or shop) for things?
Jenny: We envision Ecospire as a world of its own. A world centered around better business, better resources, better products and more responsible consumption. Through education and storytelling and by connecting everyone through the entire process, we hope to raise awareness through inspirational companies that join us at Ecospire. Our goal is to bring business opportunities to global communities around the world. Makers can source and find all their responsible resources and begin to create most amazing sustainable ethical products in one space.
Like an Ecospire Universe... I love it! Now let’s talk big dreams. Can you share three just really off-the-charts BIG dreams or goals you’d love to see come to life for Ecospire?
Jenny: WOW – we have a parking garage that is almost full of ideas! We would like to see all makers have the most optimal way to source using advanced technology and searchability – we plan to have amazing tools that really help companies provide the most transparent way to share their stories and for consumers to have the most immersive shopping experience as possible. If we can bring all this to life, we will have conquered our goal!
Will you be going beyond apparel? I mean, if we're being honest, my real weak spot is home goods...
Angela: Yes! We have plans to expand to the many consumer goods that fill people’s lives.
So. Want to share any spoilers about what subscribers might find in the bonJOY x ecospire box?
Jenny: AMAZING fair trade products that connect you to makers around the worlds. That’s all I can say for now!
Anything else you want us to know about ecospire?
Jenny: We are taking on huge challenges in the development of Ecospire. With the amount of passion and drive we have for our company, I know we will conquer our goals!
Jenny & Angela are the founding partners of Ecospire, a leading platform for sustainable apparel and goods, where creators and resources connect to inspire better products. Brands can register on ecospire.com, and their world-changing marketplace is launching in January 2016. For all their updates, be sure to follow them on Facebook or Twitter.