HELPSY was founded in 2012 the belief that design-forward, cutting-edge fashion can have a positive social impact—100% of the time. Sometimes it just takes a discerning eye and a little hunting.
THE HELPSY MISSION
If crunchy lifestyles and yoga pants come to mind when you think of ethical fashion, you're not alone. Founded in 2012, HELPSY's mission is to curate apparel, beauty products, home goods, and tech accessories that are as cool as they are eco-friendly and ethically produced.
Wednesday, April, 24 2013, a month after HELPSY launched, Rana Plaza in Bangladesh collapsed. This factory housed numerous western clothing production contracts but it was built on swamp land and had cracks in the walls. One day the cracks became really bad, but the factory owners wouldn't let the scared workers, who were mostly women and children, out. Keeping them inside the building by hitting them with clubs, nearly 1200 humans died that day, crushed under the rubble of a factory making fast fashion for Westerners, so we could have the latest trends as cheaply and quickly as possible. When we started HELPSY, we knew it was only a matter of time before a tragedy like this occurred, but we had no idea it would be so soon and at such a large scale.
What we did know is that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, next to oil. From seed to hanger the fashion production chain is a long, complicated global one. Many, many hands go into making clothes -- from the farms where textiles are grown to factories where clothes are put together. With today's incredible speed of consumption and the complicated global production chains, things have gotten pretty messy and some companies have abused this complicated system to make clothes cheaper at the expense people and the planet, burying and hiding their missteps along the way. Human Rights abuses are rampant and the environmental impact of dyes, material waste, and pesticides from textile production is incomparable, next to the oil industry.
HELPSY's primary goal is to offer you fun things that you want to buy, proving thoughtful design can be cool and not at all boring. But while we do so, we strive for transparency, giving you as much information as possible about how our curated products were made and by whom, so you can make educated choices. Since March of 2013 we have grown to carry over 80 ethical fashion and lifestyle designers from all over the globe. Everything we carry falls under at least 4 of 13 ethical qualities we call HELPSY Qualities. Perfection is nearly impossible but we are always striving for better and to be honest and transparent with our customer. We are activists, not just a store, and we want to be part of a positive change that will take time and all of us, the businesses and the consumers, working together. #BeThatDopeChange
|Rachel Van Metre Kibbe, founder of HELPSY, is currently based in New York City and was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio. With a degree in Fashion Design from Parsons and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Spanish from Emory University, she apprenticed under labels such as Alexander Wang and Jack Spade. When she isn't running HELPSY, she consults other companies regarding how to improve their supply chains. Rachel wants to be part of a positive change in the fashion industry without sacrificing edge or visual appeal. Rachel hopes HELPSY can provide a unique, educational (and fun!) platform for this change.|