One of the biggest challenges for shoppers seeking out ethically-made goods is how inaccessible they can feel. It is ironic, because in a world where we can purchase practically anything we want at the click of a button, these items can still seem out of reach.
If you’re anything like me, your shopping journey when it comes to ethical brands probably goes something like this: You stumble across an item you love on Instagram, or on a blog or on a brand’s website. You seek out some more information on it, particularly product reviews and size guides. You think about purchasing the garment for weeks, based upon what you read, because you’re really not sure you can spend that amount of money on something you haven’t tried on. You decide to take the plunge and purchase this investment piece, sometimes spending more than you have ever spent on a garment before – a piece that you have never actually seen in real life. Then you cross your fingers that when it arrives, it fits, it is what you hoped it would be and it was worth the financial investment.
This holiday season, shoppers in the Brooklyn, NY area will have the opportunity to see their online vision for a sustainable lifestyle in real life with The Better Shop, an all-ethical pop-up that delivers the luxe, highly-curated experience of Instagram directly to consumers.
The Better Shop will open in the heart of the Williamsburg, Brooklyn shopping district on November 1, and will support shoppers seeking out ethical fashion and wares through Christmas.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Better Shop curators Benita Robledo, ethical fashion thought leader, and Casey Dworkin, founder of emerging footwear brand Sylven New York, about how their vision for the shop came to life, and what shoppers can expect.
The Making of The Better Shop
Casey and Benita first met during a joint IGTV project, and they connected immediately over their love of everything ethical, sustainable and fairly-made.
Casey had previously hosted a small pop-up shop in New York City, and saw the value in connecting in-person with shoppers interested in sustainability. Benita was ready to expand her involvement in ethical fashion beyond writing and influencing. In their hours of chatting about ethical fashion and sustainability, the idea for The Better Shop was born.
“We felt like the space needed something that makes ethical fashion more approachable. And that sense of approachability has had an impact on every aspect of the shop – from the brands being showcased to how the store has been designed. We wanted it to look like stepping into the living room of your cool friend, who has been all over the world, but is also really nonchalant and humble about it,” Benita explains.
Finally – an opportunity to experience the ethical brands you have admired on Instagram, firsthand.
The Better Shop Brands
“I’m really excited to amplify the voices of other emerging ethical brands. The Better Shop is an oasis of sustainability in the chaos of mass consumerism of the holidays,” says Casey.
Brand partners include Aether Beauty, Where Mountains Meet and Wyld Aire, as well as several brands who have been featured here on The Wholehearted Wardrobe – Maven Women, 337 Brand and Tradlands. The full list of brand partners can be found here.
Events at The Better Shop
Perhaps even more important than the shopping experience is the educational experience The Better Shop plans to bring to shoppers.
“Aside from being a highly-curated ethical boutique, what really makes The Better Shop stand out are the events we’ll be hosting,” Benita says. The events and workshops include an eco-dyeing workshop, in-store styling sessions, sessions with a makeup artist, the ability to create custom, personalized items, and….wait for it…a meditation session called Pause with Plants! And it is exactly what it sounds like. You meditate with plants. Sign me up. Even the plants themselves are ethically-sourced, from an apothecary where Benita devotes some of her time.
I am really looking forward to checking out the shop, finding meaningful gifts for loved ones (and maybe a gift for myself…) and learning from the awesome events Benita and Casey have planned.
If you aren’t in the area, you can follow along with all of The Better Shop happenings and conversation on Instagram at @bettershopbk. xx
The Better Shop is open from November 1, 2018 through December 30, 2018, and is located at 155 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249.0