I started asking a lot of questions after living in Kenya for a summer. When I got back to the states, I would go shopping and no longer just glanced at the price; I glanced at the tag to find out where something was made too.
Although I had always mentally known there are people who make our clothes, I started to realize there are people who make our clothes. People with their own dreams, good days, bad days...children. One question led to another and I started to realize the production of our clothing is linked to so much - more importantly it is linked to so many people's well being.
These questions kept circling my head as I worked with small fair trade groups in India and Honduras. I realized that maybe the production of our clothing with small fair trade workshops could give women in developing countries an education which in turn could give them a source of income which in turn would give their children a better education. Maybe the production of our clothing could be a key in helping whole communities out of poverty.
So I started caring about where my clothing came from.
As a girl with a fashion degree and a little bit of a fabric snob - I had a trouble finding clothing that I wanted to wear, but that were created meaningfully, slowly, ethically.
One summer I started Liz Alig as just a collection of a few dresses - really as an experiment to see if it was possible to make clothing completely and totally out of recycled materials (because at the time it was almost impossible to find the source of most fabrics). When these dresses sold and people wanted more I partnered with a group I worked with in Honduras, Mi Esperanza, to produce 100 more dresses...it went on from there.
Today our goal is still the same - to make fashion forward, effortless style that you want to wear - clothing that gives people in developing countries hope and a meaningful job. A large portion of the line is still produced with recycled materials, but now we incorporate sustainable and handwoven textiles as well. We partner with over ten amazing fair trade cooperatives, workshops, and NGO's that not only create beautiful ethical clothing, but are so much different than traditional production houses. They use funds to offer free skills training to women, they offer free nursery for young children. They not only pay well but give paid holidays and benefits to employees.
Could not have done any of this without loyal customers! Thank you, thank you for your support!