Aerie, a lingerie and clothing brand, has been promoting body positivity since they first started their #AerieReal campaign in 2014, in which they began to use “real” models- normal people without any photoshop or digital retouching.
And this week, the brand took their message of self-love even further by featuring models with disabilities, including a model in a wheelchair, one using arm crutches, and another with an ostomy. The new campaign also features women with chronic illnesses and genetic disorders such as vitiligo, type 1 diabetes, and Down syndrome.
— abby sams 🦈 (@abby__sams) July 10, 2018
Along with bringing awareness to the problems these women face on a day to day basis, this campaign is showing that people should love their bodies, regardless of physical disabilities or genetic disorders. And apparently, Aerie’s parent company American Eagle is making serious bank off the whole #AerieReal campaign.
I have never bought anything from Aerie but seeing myself in this campaign (fibromyalgia) actually made me cry so take all my money https://t.co/paR819LUyT
— lindsey (@recycleanimals) July 12, 2018
It’s rare for a fashion company to take a bold, inclusive step like the one Aerie is taking, featuring models of all shapes and sizes.
This got me thinking about other companies in the world of fashion, and the values and the ethics they promote. While these companies might be problematic in some senses, here are four more brands making some form of positive impact in the fashion industry.
Positive Impact: Transparency
While Everlane mostly still uses typical models, the company has to be acknowledged for its incredible amount of transparency.
Not only do they include videos of their factory on their own website, but they also break down the cost of materials and let you know how much items are marked up.
Positive Impact: Sustainability
Along with selling beautiful women’s clothing, Reformation is bringing sustainability into the fashion world at a much needed time.
On their website, you can not only shop but also learn how the fashion industry is adversely affecting the environment. Did you know fashion is the 3rd most polluting industry in the world? Neither did I. More importantly, you can learn how to be more environmentally conscious with your own clothing.
Positive Impact: Giving Back
To many of us, glasses are mostly a fashion accessory. But to others in developing countries, glasses are essential yet out of reach because they can’t afford them or lack access to quality vision correction. Warby Parker, an American eyewear company, promises to get a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair of glasses the company sells. This is very similar to the “one for one” practice that made Toms shoes so famous. And Warby Parker takes one step further by providing training opportunities for people in developing countries so they can provide eye exams and sell eyewear themselves.
Positive Impact: Reusing/Recycling
No company in the fashion industry could be kinder to the environment than one where the entire inventory is recycled. In a world of fast fashion and sweatshop labor, it’s nice to know that places like Goodwill exist, selling second hand, or “thrifted,” clothing.
I used to go to Goodwill with my mom for cheaper clothes, but now I see hipsters filling the place up looking for hidden gems. And Goodwill Industries is a non-profit organization. Unlike other brands, Goodwill stores are affordable for virtually anyone, and often feature the most fashionable trends — you just gotta do some digging.