The story of a little, but life-changing, "No".

You never know when what seems to be just another moment, just another mealtime - just another news story, will unexpectedly change the course of your life.  

We could never have guessed that for our family, April 24th, 2013 would be that kind of day.

We were just sitting together at the table, the four of us, eating lunch. The news was on TV - which, thinking back now, was kind of odd.

We’re not typically TV watchers, especially during meal times. Especially considering that at the time, we had a 20-month old, touchy-touch (our family’s official term for “tactile learner”) seated at our dining table. Meal times required fully present parents.

But, for some strange reason that I don't remember, the news was on.

What I do remember is getting out of my chair, picking up my daughter and walking closer to the TV.

What I was watching was shocking; a collapsed factory, hundreds of trapped workers, bolts of fabric used in attempted escapes, a pair of children’s pants, clothing labels.

Labels I recognized.

Labels that were on some of my children’s clothing.

ic:  April 24, 2013 Dhaka, Bangladesh / Image: rijans via CreativeCommons

It was at the very moment that I turned to my husband and said, “Love of my life, let’s start a children’s clothing business!”

He said nothing.

Because I didn’t say that. Because I didn’t say anything. To anyone. Just somewhere deep in my gut, I heard it: “No. We’re not doing that anymore.”

This year, April 24th, marked the 6 year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This year, on April 26th, our website, went live.

ic: Preparing for the launch of Author Clothing

What went on in our home, in our heads and in our hearts the past six years to get us to this place??

We are just beginning to unpack this journey.

How did we end up here? How did a small, silent  “no” turn into a “we’re-all-in-with-both-feet” clothing business?

We’re not entirely sure ourselves. But something happened, and is happening. We like to call it: “The Grand Experiment”.

We don’t know how any of it will turn out.

But we already know one thing: that we have never felt quite so alive as when we’re giving ourselves to work that we love, work that has the ability alter the course of other people's lives too. 

If that experience is the only thing that comes out of this journey...we will have to say it’s been a wild success.

Now if “The Grand Experiment” goes further than that... Wild-er success might look like a whole new generation of consumers realizing just how powerful they really are. And it might look like big corporations looking at sales numbers - consumer votes, and deciding that it’s time for the fashion industry to change.

We’d be happy to unpack that too.

> > >

Who or what has motivated your journey into ethical fashion? We'd love to hear your story in the comments below.

> > >

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.