Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do justly, now
Love mercy, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but neither are you free to abandon it.
We know we live in a culture that idolizes consumerism. There is always something more to buy. We also know that our buying directly affects those who are involved in making and delivering our product. Millions of these individuals don’t have a voice in world politics; they live in countries where genocide goes unnoticed, and in conditions that we cannot begin to comprehend.
We know that everything is connected, and as twisted as it is, our dollars cause these problems. We shop at big box stores, and purchase clothing from H&M and Zara because it’s cute, and cheap, and helps us “fit” into a world and culture that says being presentable means being fashion forward. When we purchase that up-to-the-minute bag from H&M there is a solid chance that bag is entrenched in slavery, unsafe working conditions and abuse. And don’t be fooled, paying more for an item doesn’t necessarily mean you’re any less culpable. Yet we sometimes still do it (yes, even us in the Route community!), well aware of the systems we are supporting.
We also understand part of being a responsible consumer means buying less stuff. Our goal is to create a platform where people can not only purchase the latest fashions, but have conversations about how to grow the movement towards purchasing less, and purchasing ethically produced items. Our hope is over time, less of what is purchased from Route is considered excess items, and more are essentials.
You may be wondering, why then did we fill our online store with costume jewelry, scarves and accessories? Certainly not items that our life depends on. Simply put, we have to start somewhere, and we trust the partners, artisans and routes of each of our products. We want to curate a collection of items that compliments every woman and honestly meets our standards for production and care. We want to support the communities working with our partner organizations.
Our hunt for product also includes a desire to vary our price points, so that every budget can support the positive work of fair employment and freedom. So for now, it’s jewelry and accessories. That being said, no one is currently making an ethically produced toothbrush (if so, please let us know!!). More seriously, we hope to provide beautifully fit, fashionable clothing and shoes soon.
Our items are made by marginalized individuals that otherwise would not have access to employment, safe working conditions and the care of a concerned employer. When you purchase from us you are building towards the goal that more of our essential purchases will be ethical. The more we grow the demand, the more producers will respond.
We know that the movement towards ethical production is just beginning but the message is spreading and options of ethically produced items are increasing. Purchase from us. Question with us. Know the route.