Supplier case studies
EcoChic - fair trade & ethical gifts, fashion & accessories
Name: Deborah Miarkowska
Location: East Sussex, UK
Online boutique EcoChic offers ethical and fair trade homewares and fashion collections that have been individually handmade, using recycled & organic materials with eco-friendly methods of production.
Why did you start EcoChic?
At 19 I turned down a place at London College of Fashion because I wanted to do something that made more of a difference.
After my degree in Nursing and Human Sciences and my postgrad in health promotion, I went on to become a University lecturer in Public Health Medicine.
On a trip to Poland in 2006, I purchased a bag in the street and was told I had made a difference to a child's life...the journey began, EcoChic was born.
We truly are a partnership with a heart. We seek to work with marginalised groups in the developing world to support them and their families; it is all about using fashion to bring about social change.
In the UK we work with skilled artisans to create handmade products using precious ethically sourced metals.
EcoChic is unique in that it tells the real story of each product and the producer group. We are about profit but we seek to work fairly and honestly with our partners.
We also offer a carbon offset programme for all purchases and have recently set up the EcoChic Foundation supporting causes with a Public Health focus, the latest in Zimbabwe.
What or who inspires you?
In truth human kindness, gentleness and people wanting to make a difference to people and planet.
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
Working within the ethical and fair trade sector in the last couple of years has been a real inspiration. The people I have met are genuine, friendly and inspirational in their work and ethics. There is a sense that we are in this together to make a difference in a really positive way and this is what I enjoy most.
What is the most challenging aspect?
Family, life / work balance is the toughest thing to try to get right. As your business grows, the demands grow and it is hard to keep on top of things all of the time.
What do you feel you bring to an ethical wedding?
Weddings for me are all about purity and beauty and in essence so are our products and business ethos. Our collections all hold a beautiful story of where they began and a wedding to me mirrors this, a start of a beautiful life, a new beginning.
How do you see the wedding industry changing over the next five years?
I can only hope that consumers support and businesses adopt a more ethical view.
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