I recently visited Drizzle & Shine, an awesome new eco boutique in Seattle, and interviewed owner Jean White about her new labor of love: opening an eco, vegan brick-and-mortar store that sources brands employing fair labor practices. Jean’s mission is to provide Seattle and the surrounding community with clothing and accessories for all genders that are kind to animals, humans, and the earth.
Entering Drizzle & Shine, the space is bright and inviting, comfortable to inhabit, and filled with a gorgeous array of clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelry. I could have spent the whole day there, asking Jean about the stories behind the various brands.
Rebel Nell, for instance, is a brand that employs, educates, and empowers disadvantaged women in Detroit and makes amazing jewelry, using local-to-Detroit materials. They collect and repurpose fallen graffiti from walls around Detroit, sanding it down to reveal the beautiful layers of color beneath, before transforming it unique pieces of wearable art.
Or NAE, a Portuguese shoe company making vegan, environmentally sustainable shoes from materials like cork, recycled plastic bottles, and pineapple fiber!
What motivated Jean to open Drizzle & Shine?
“I enjoy fashion. And I started thinking “why is that skirt $8, and why is this dress $20?” and started wondering who’s making money if the prices are so cheap. And I had actually never really thought much about it until I read this book called Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion and I learned a lot and realized I’m part of the problem. Manufacturing is closing in the U.S., things are being outsourced, and people aren’t being treated well. That’s the whole business model I was supporting.
Then I saw the documentary, The True Cost, about garment workers and about how they are treated and mistreated, and the environment, and the high cost of fashion on both of those. I realized that the multi-trillion-dollar fashion industry is fueled by people like me. Fifty bucks at a time, here and there, and that’s what turns it into this giant business and so I thought, ‘I have got to change the way I shop.’ And then I found it hard to find things, and I didn’t know what the bar was, and I was looking for ‘organic’ and ‘fair trade’ and there wasn’t one place in Seattle to buy that..”
Thank you Jeanne for providing this amazing resource. I hope many of you Kind Life readers have the opportunity to visit Drizzle & Shine soon!
About Katie: Katie Gillespie has a PhD in Geography and teaches college classes about human-animal relations (including animals in food and fashion industries). In her free time, she volunteers for Food Empowerment Project and Pigs Peace Sanctuary, and she writes the Seattle-based blog Serenity in the Storm. Follow Katie on Twitter & Instagram via @veganserenity