Think You Need To Choose Between Your Passions? Think Again! An Interview With Jessica Althoff of Future:Standard

Our friends over at Chic CEO chatted with Jessica Althoff about her really cool startup, Future:Standard. Future:Standard is an online boutique for ethical and sustainable clothing. How chic!

 

Tell us a bit about Future:Standard

Future:Standard is an online ethical clothing boutique.  We launched in 2011 and sell ethical clothing & accessories, which to us means anything that is made with respect to the planet and the people making them.  We carry items that are made in the US or in socially responsible factories abroad.  Our lines are organic cotton and other eco-friendly and natural fabrics, use eco-friendly dying and other processes, and are generally eco-friendly in their factories and offices (Ija uses wind power, Groceries recycles all of their scraps, PACT is philanthropic by design).  We are always looking for new amazing lines that share our values.  We also strive to be very eco-friendly  in our own office, by re-purposing furniture, using as much scratch paper as possible, trying to be paper free as much as possible, etc.
We love that you are able to mesh entrepreneurship with style! Why did you want to get into the world of fashion?
I love it too!  think I was always destined to be here.  The first arguments I had with my mom were what to wear.  I always had a strong opinion about it, which has not changed.  And when I was younger, I often imagined myself as a boutique owner (it has taken on a different tone, being online only, but close enough!).  When I figured out how to combine my “inner hippie” with my love for clothes, I figured I was on the right track for my perfect job.
Why is sustainable fashion personally important to you?
Sustainability in general is important to me and it has always been.  We were raised using with clothe diapers and using clothe napkins and taught to never waste.  I have a serious appreciation for the outdoors and when, in just a few years, I saw the air quality decrease in my home town, I knew I wanted to make a life and a lifestyle out of sustainability.  As a very serious shopper, I had a lot of guilt.  I knew that my purchases were very negatively effecting the world and the people that made them.  But, it rarely stopped me.  So, I had to find a way to get rid of the guilt and still get the clothes.  Sustainable fashion is the best way!
When you got started, what was one of your biggest challenges?
Still a challenge, just not as extreme…The highs and lows of entrepreneurship.  For the first few months, I was either ecstatic over some great news or on the verge of tears when something didn’t go right.  Every disappointment felt like the end of the world and every piece of good news had me dancing in parking lots!  I have to remind myself, when things don’t go as planned, there is something great just around the corner and there is really no reason to get so upset.  It has been a lesson in patience, confidence, and perspective.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for women getting into the fashion arena?
Just do it.  There are so many reasons why you think you can’t right now.  There will never be enough time, enough financial support, enough knowledge, etc.  You just have to make a plan and start one step at a time and know that the knowledge, skills, people will get there.
What’s next for Future:Standard?
This is my favorite thing to think about.  In the long run, we’d really like to be an ethical lifestyle source/ resource.  Sooner than that, I’d like to expand to shoes (anyone who knows me knows why) and men’s.  I also consider brick and mortar shops.  I love customers and would love to actually see them!

 

Comments

  1. Mylindaminka

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