Recently, I had the pleasure to interview E-commerce platform Aequem’s founders. They feature a lot of sustainable brands on their platform online, bringing together over 70 sustainable labels for men and women, from all over the world. From talking Ethical, Upcycling to Greenwashing, have a look at what they shared below:
1. How did Aequem come about?
Aequem was created from a common frustration! We were both interested in leading a more sustainable & ethical lifestyle, conscious of our choices in everyday life, yet we found it really difficult to find an easy way to do so. We wanted one place where we could dress head to toe, GUILT-FREE, so we decided to create Aequem together! We initially started with only 20 brands, and now have approximately 80!… But we never compromised our values whilst growing the business.
2. What are your backgrounds?
We both have relatively creative backgrounds, in fashion and media.
3. Why did you choose to look at sustainability from both a social and environmental point of view?
In 2018 when we started Aequem there were some companies with ethical and ‘sustainable’ brands, however we both felt the process of selection was not thorough enough, and we both felt we were not actually inspired to shop there. The most recent Fashion Revolution mantra is #whatsinmyclothes, and at the moment we write this it is actually Fashion Revolution week, but both of us felt, when we started Aequem, that both #whomademyclothes and #whatsinmyclothes are equally important questions.
4. How you do choose your labels and products?
Based on the above principles, #whomademyclothes and #whatsinmyclothes, we decided to work with independent labels that employ good practices and have more transparency across their supply chains, and at the same time, they make pieces out of certified organic, upcycled, recycled, or widely considered sustainable materials. We approached ‘sustainability’ like this to actually be able to define it, and not leave it just like a word in the ether so to speak, give customers, just like us, something palpable, something that they can understand.
In addition, we partnered with Conscious Fashion Campaign and were the first multi-label e-commerce marketplace to officially align with the United Nations SDG’s – Sustainable Development Goals, so that under each product each customer can see to which goal that product contributes. Making sustainability a bit more ‘real’!
5. What are your favourite brands on Aequem?
Ah, so many! Now that summer is coming, we love A Perfect Nomad and Oramai for their amazingly flowy and dreamy pieces that are ideal in warm weather, Amaella, and Ollyfor super comfy & sexy lingerie pieces, Wires Glasses for uber cool sunnies – bio eyewear, SixtyNinety for affordable sustainable and chic swimwear and Siz for effortlessly cool pieces perfect for weekend strolls with girlfriends.
6. Where would you want to see Aequem in 5 years?
We would like everyone to be aware that you can shop better, that there are better ways, and we hope to be that solution! Hopefully a majority of people will have heard about Aequem in 5 years! Globally. The bigger the reach, the bigger the impact.
7. Where would you like to see changing in the fashion industry in the next two years?
We would like Greenwashing to STOP. Please! We actually have a great article on our blog – What is Greenwashing and how can you spot it, that everyone can read. It is a pity that companies take advantage that more and more people become conscious of their choices, and instead of actually creating real change, they just scratch the surface. It also undermines the efforts of people like us, who build REAL sustainable companies from the ground up, with all the effort and the lack of compromise that that actually took.
8. What do you do in your daily life that you think really makes a difference from a sustainability point of view?
What a great question! We both cook a lot rather than eating out, buy a lot more organic produce than conventional, don’t buy a lot of clothes and things – but when we buy, buy mindfully – so conscious shopping, are 99% vegetarian, use a lot of public transport / cycle and give a lot on unrequested advice to people to be more conscious themselves!
9. Hows are you preparing for Summer more consciously?
Given we will hopefully be allowed to travel by summer, there may be some travel, but we are currently compiling a long list of eco hotels for Aequem.com so we both hope we will get to visit some of those! Also it is important to revive your wardrobe from last summers, adapt and mend if needed, and make sure to only purchase essential new items! Of course, sustainably, from vintage stores / from Aequem.com or similar platforms!
10. Let us know your favourite mantras in life!
Always aim for progress, whilst still enjoying the moment!