This Forward-Thinking Jewelry Line is Disrupting Ethical Fashion
Fast fashion isn’t often associated with words like ethical, empowering, transparency and handcrafted. Yet the forward-thinking women behind Soko are out to challenge those associations by proving that the global fashion industry can be one where the trend-driven products you want are also the responsibly sourced, artisan-made products that the global economy needs. Here founder Gwendolyn Floyd shares how she’s catering to both the fashion and social impact communities by taking a stand for marginalized creatives.
Soko is about much more than just fashion, can you tell us a little bit about your unique model?
Soko has disrupted the existing supply chain for ethical fashion, which means that by purchasing a piece of Soko, you aren’t just supporting incredible artisans, but participating in an unprecedented model of fashion, commerce, and impact. We see the public as partners in creating a whole new global supply chain that proves artisans can absolutely compete in the global marketplace.
How does feminism play a part in what you’re creating?
Feminism is part of our DNA. Our founding team is all women from all over the world and our artisan community is composed of men and women that believe in women’s empowerment. A key part of our program aims to educate around the power of female entrepreneurs as well and requires that any male led workshop, as they grow their business from Soko orders, must hire at least 50% women.
Feminism to us means power, love, the vision to create new standards that are better for everyone and the world.
Sounds like you’re giving female artisans the support they need to be entrepreneurs. Have you received similar support as a female-founded startup?
We have a beyond incredible cohort of women who advise our company – from academics to business women to tech entrepreneurs. Women are rewriting the script of business communities – they are sophisticated at understanding the relationship between personal and professional growth and are best utilized to talk about challenges, hiccups, and failures as well as successes, collaboration. When we support each other, we grow and succeed.
Can you share any of the advice you’ve received from this incredible network?
Ask for what you deserve. Instead of worrying about not being able to have everything, lead with gratitude. Not about what you don’t have but all the things you do while still having enough self respect, awareness, to realize when things are being shirked you and advocate on your own behalf.