Shopping Small with Golden Rule Boutique
We love small businesses, shopping local and fair trade. So when we find all three we get so excited to share about it! Today we are learning from small business owner Jackie Bilancia, owner ofThe Golden Rule Boutique.
Tell us about the golden rule. What were you doing before you started your brand and why did you choose to get into ethical fashion?
I am occupational therapist in addition to a small business owner. The Golden Rule basically means to treat people the way you want to be treated. That is the basis for everything we do at The Golden Rule boutique. We want the people behind the product to be the focus. How would you like to be treated if you were making clothing? We would all want a safe place to work. And a fair working wage. These are simple things that we expect companies to provide for their employees, but that usually isnt the case. When I started learning about fair trade and ethical fashion I was surprised that more people didn't know about it! I wanted to spread awareness and help people see that there are better options out there than fast fashion.
You are an online company but you also do pop-up shops which means you're getting to interact directly with your clients. What do you feel like customers are sharing with you is the most important thing in their ethical shopping ventures?
I love doing events because we get to have real conversations about fair trade. It is a hard concept to understand. Our customers bring up excellent topics and really expand my perspective each time we do an event. We do have a website, but don't get to have that face to face interaction over the computer screen!
You work with several ethically sourced brands. What are the standards you are looking for when you partner with brands?
I first ask my wholesale relationships if they are members of the fair trade federation. If they aren't, I ask why not and if they are going to become members. As an all fair trade store, I think it is important for our customers to know that every single brand from The Golden Rule boutique is a member of the Fair Trade Federation or the World Fair Trade Federation. This way our customers do not need to hesitate when shopping with us. All brands with The Golden Rule boutique are upholding the 10 principles of fair trade.
What advice would you give to someone looking to dive into the ethical marketplace?
It takes time to learn what brands are ethical. Do your research, but know that there are other options besides fair trade. Currently, there are not many fair trade options. At least not for every piece of clothing item you might need. However, you can shop USA made clothing or from thrift stores. I find that these are the next best options.
We know that you don't have favorites (wink wink) but of the brands you carry which are some of your favorite and why?
I do love all the brands we work with!! Each company and product has it's own story and that is what we love to share with our customers. However, my Elephant Pants are ridiculously comfortable and I get compliments on them ALL the time. I love that part of their proceeds goes back to stopping elephant poaching AND they are made from woodpulp so they decompose really easily.
What can we expect from your brand in the future?
We plan on to continually expand to new brands that are new members of the FTF or WFTO. We are always looking for brands that are at a good price point for our customers. We also wants to share all the fun stories about our brands and plan on doing that through our blog in the near future.