Who to Know in RVA : All Awear
One of my favorite ethical fashion blogs, All Awear is working towards advocating for the ethical fashion industry. And bonus? Her home base is in Richmond! April of All Awear launched her blog a few months ago and has been promoting ethical + sustainable brands, styling your closet responsibly and providing facts about the fair fashion industry in fun and creative ways. April believes the fashion industry can do better and has always dreamed about combining a love of fashion with philanthropy. I am so excited to share All Awear's story with you and am passionate in April's mission that fashion can and should be a force for good.
How was All Awear started?
When I started All Awear, it was about 10 years in the making. I have always known that fashion brands had an untapped potential to be a force for good, but I was unsure where to start in order to play a small role in kickstarting the movement. This was before the days of TOMS shoes. All Awear is a culmination of what I have learned in my career spanning the fashion industry, styling, and the nonprofit sector.
What’s your background in the fashion industry?
Right after graduating with a degree in Communications, I took a job doing PR in fashion. It was a great experience, and I was fortunate to have a wonderful boss who was more of a mentor to me. Fast forward a few years: I became certified as a personal stylist under the tutelage of Stacy London. Since then, I have done many different styling workshops and personal consultations.
What was your first ethical or sustainable fashion experience?
I remember the first time I heard about TOMS Shoes’ model of “buy one, give one,” and I thought, “That’s brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?!” My own personal journey to more mindful consumption came about 6 years ago. On a trip to Southeast Asia, my luggage didn’t arrive for 5 days, and I had only the bare necessities in my carryon. I had to buy from local markets and artisans, most of whom were women. As trivial as it may sound, that experience changed the way I looked at clothing because it forced me to buy local, get to know the people who were directly producing the clothing, and think creatively with styling the items I had at my disposal. I was so moved by that experience that when I returned from the trip, I made a conscious decision to go on a fashion cleanse and not buy clothes for a year.
I love your unique view of pairing your own style & ethical fashion. How do you find yourself translating that to your blog?
One reason I started the blog was because I couldn’t find many ethical fashion blogs that resonated with my personal style and aesthetic. A large number of the ethical fashion blogs take a minimalistic and casual approach to style, which is great; however, my style is more feminine and dressy. I want people to look at the blog and say, “Oh wait, these are clothes are ethical?”
What’s your best tip for those looking to shop and wear socially conscious brands?
The process to becoming more mindful about what we purchase is a journey. Start small. People get overwhelmed when they have to make drastic changes. Think of it in terms of food, some people consume only organic and/or local while others buy organic/local when they can or when their budget allows. The same principle can be applied to ethical fashion. Consignment and vintage stores are a great way to start shopping consciously, and Richmond has some great ones. Following blogs like All Awear or The Good Wear can also provide inspiration and information on socially conscious brands.
What’s one thing you’d like people to know about All Awear?
Just one?! The vision behind All Awear is to raise awareness about ethical fashion and inspire consumers to shop better. All are welcome to join this movement, whether you’re new to ethical fashion or you’re a seasoned conscious consumer. I believe there’s something for everyone.
What do you love about the RVA community?
There are so many things I love: the food, people, creativity, culture, social awareness, etc. However, I have been most humbled by the outpouring of support I’ve received since starting All Awear. It’s a community that supports entrepreneurs and visionaries (shout out to the Boss Babes!), and for that I’m extremely grateful.
Where can we find you next?
My vision for the next step in ethical fashion is the ignition of a movement. I would love to play some role in bringing together ethical fashion brands, blogs, etc. to combine strengths, build synergy, and contribute to a change not just in the fashion industry but in how consumers shop for clothing. Join me!