Okay, so you’re fashionable. Well done. But at whose expense does your high style come from? How much of their safety and dignity were sacrificed so that you could buy those threads for cheap? Is that how life on Earth is really supposed to work?
Starting Friday, if you shop at Eth’tique, Stewartville’s newest and most moral clothing boutique, you needn’t trouble yourself with those kinds of questions.
The outfit opened in June as a fashion truck with a specialization in fairtrade and ethical women’s clothing.
“All the brands we carry are either made in the USA or have a specific giveback component to their brand, or are certified fair trade,” explained Chrissy Ries, the store owner.
Ries began bringing the truck to community events and private parties. Every Friday, she parked at Dwell Local. It was booked every Saturday from middle of September until a week before Christmas.
With the uptick in interest, Ries was unable to keep inventory in stock in the truck. Rather than rent a space to hold back stock, she decided she might as well open up a shop.
“If you want me to be perfectly honest, I said that I was never going to go brick and mortar. I actually said those words. I should know better than to say I’m never going to do anything,” said Chrissy.
The store, located at 501 N Main St, Stewartville, has its grand opening this Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The store will have the same inventory as the truck, if not a larger selection, and its ethical standards will remain high.
She’s going for a simple, elegant interior, focusing on sustainability and functionality rather than glitz and glamour.
She thinks that pieces by Krochet Kids, a fair trade brand made in Uganda and Peru specializing in trendy women’s pieces like hand-knit hats will sell well. She’s also optimistic about the sales potential of leather boots by The Root Collective, a brand she describes as “super fab.”
“People have been really really surprised at the options and also very eager to transition their buying habits a little bit, to better support things that they stand for. Most people just don’t know how, unless somebody shows them what’s out there,” said Ries, “I’m in my early thirties, I like to dress cute. I certainly don’t want to look frumpy any more than anyone else does.”
January is also human trafficking awareness month; to honor the weekend, instead of offering a discount on the store’s inventory, she’s handing money back out to Mission 21, a local anti-trafficking non-profit. 10% of the shop’s opening weekend sales will be go to Mission 21.