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INTERN REFLECTIONS

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By Emma Goebbert and Nicole Frangella, Interns, Summer 2018

My name is Emma Goebbert, one of the interns, and I am currently studying retail merchandising at the University of Minnesota. I thought I’d share a little bit about my journey in ethical fashion, and how I came to be involved in CG’s wonderful mission.

I always knew I wanted to be in the fashion industry from a young age. I was drawn to the creativity and self-expression associated with clothing and the art of how it is worn. Unfortunately as I got older I began to uncover the underbelly as to where clothes actually came from, and I became deeply discouraged by the unethical, mass production systems that were being used. I began questioning myself and my major, wondering how I could be partaking in practices that ultimately go against my moral compass. One that leads me far from these unsustainable systems that dominate the retail industry highly saturated by “fast fashion”, one that is the second largest polluter in the world?

In steps an opportunity for me to take my first sustainability class in college. It was an eye-opening experience seeing how people were tackling the problems in the retail industry and creating positive and highly innovative changes. I now believe it is a false dichotomy to accept that doom and gloom is the only response we can have to problems with consumption driven America. People engage with hope, and I am constantly determined to weave in narratives that seek light at the end of the tunnel. Instead of asking myself why I would be involved in such a environmentally and morally problematic industry, I began asking myself how I can use my major to do better. To understand how we can turn the system around to help, rather than hurt future generations that will reap the effects of our current actions and develop a story of resilience by looking at the realities of what my own actions are to serve as an example to others.

This is where CAUSEGEAR comes in. It was a happy accident that I stumbled upon their company after having coffee in a local shop that happened to be selling their products, along with other ethically-made ones. I ended up looking CG up online and was blown away by the work they were doing to end slavery and human trafficking. I was inspired to get involved, because I saw this as a chance to continue my crusade in finding ways to change the retail industry for the better. CAUSEGEAR is truly a blessing, because they are a part of an important network of teams working together to bring light to those in need, using practices and products that are ethical and sustainable. This creates that sense of resilience and hope that drives me to work harder everyday, and that led me to my love for everything that CAUSEGEAR stands for.



 

Hello  everyone! My name is Nicole Frangella. Just like Emma, I am passionate about seeing revival strike in the roots of the fashion industry. My passion for change started in 2012 when I was a freshman in high school. That year I took my first design class and continued studying fashion up until I graduated in 2016. My love for fashion started in a small classroom with a handful of sewing machines and a whole lot of creativity. My dream; or what I thought had been my dream, was to attend a design school in New York City, however right before I left for my first year of college, plans changed. I felt a call to serve overseas.  Fast forward to this past year and I just wrapped up my sophomore year at Nyack College where I currently study intercultural studies and business. Talk about a plot twist am I right?

Because of that plot twist, I was introduced to CAUSEGEAR while volunteering for an event in NYC last fall. As I was helping different vendors set up their tables, It was CAUSEGEAR that immediately caught my eye. I saw beautiful bags hanging on hooks along with jewelry, journals and other accessories each so aesthetically displayed. As beautiful as these products were, what really caught my eye was the statement t-shirt with the phrase “Made by Free Women” being loudly proclaimed on the softest cotton I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I wanted to know more and so I kept in touch with CAUSEGEAR as well as interviewed Brad and Katherine Jeffery for one of my class assignments. And now I am getting ready to hop on a plane to India to learn about sustainable fashion and also design for Made by Free Women line.

It is both an honor and a privilege to be taking part in the mission that CAUSEGEAR has. I am so excited to combine both creativity and sustainability to the fashion industry. I believe in the mission that CAUSEGEAR has which is to “transform the lives of one million people trapped in unfathomable poverty & injustice to become self-sustaining.”  I am thankful for the opportunity to learn from this experience





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