EMILY VS BEAR, an eco-conscious fashion brand that came into its own during the 2016 election season, makes ethically-produced luxury pieces.
Emily Bell, EMILY VS BEAR founder, knows all too well that the worldwide clothing industry is wasteful.
“As an American female millennial, I realize that I am probably one of the worst contributors to this issue,” Bell says.
After all, marketing campaigns tell women to consume as much trendy fashion as possible.
Building a brand to take down the man
Bell came up with the name of her company after a real-life encounter she had with a bear at her home in western Massachusetts. Her friend suggested the name and she knew that the phrase “was the one”. Bell also enjoys how the company’s name has become a metaphor for the brand and its fight against corporate malice.
Bell creates her clothing by following a simple formula: She takes issues she’s passionate about, such as environmental and agricultural issues, and creates inspired fashions.
“[Everything] is linked on a global scale [and] I want to inspire young people to care and get involved with [finding] solutions,” she adds.
It’s in the material
Bell tries to make all her garments from sustainable, natural, textile material. Currently, the brand prints on American-made organic cotton. EMILY VS BEAR only uses suppliers that follow ethical practices, too.
Bell believes that most everyone would choose to buy ethnically-made items if they considered the larger issues at hand. “I mean, who is going to say that they actually want something that was made by someone whose livelihood is worse because we can’t get enough of their cheap goods,” she says. “It’s a terrible cycle that needs to change.”
Bell thinks that more businesses need to play a role in creating a better future for everyone on the planet. She believes that large corporations have a responsibility to ensure they take care of people and the planet. “The system we’ve created cares only about the bottom line. That simply can’t be the case moving forward.”
She also thinks that sustainably-minded people need to help change the world’s systems by changing what they value. For example, corporations could put profit back into the system. That monetary aid would help solve life-threatening global issues.
Bell adds that while she supports American-made goods because they benefit the country’s economy, all American-made products aren’t ethical. “Part of the problem is that there isn’t really any way to tell without doing extensive research,” she says.
This autumn, she’ll add new items, such as sweatshirts. Bell also plans on adding new designs that depict the issues present in the palm oil and meat industries.
“There isn’t a particular process I go through while selecting each [design],” Bell explains, “they just come to me.”
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images via Emily Bell