Meet Morgan Hamel, the founder of The Garment Collective, an ethical fashion network. We have been following her journey on Instagram for the last two years, where she connects women and sustainable brands. Now, with The Garment Collective, she goes one step further creating a unique and intimate space for like-minded consumers and brands.
We have been collaborating with The Garment since 2018 and are proud to be included in her Garment Standard list, an ethical standard for sustainable fashion brands.
How or when did you realize you needed to change your purchasing habits?
After I had my second daughter, I looked at my closet and realized I had way too many clothes, most of which I didn’t actually want to wear. I had bought most items in my closet on sale, and very few of them fit my style (think multiple pairs of different brightly colored jeans).
I began capsuling my wardrobe—getting rid of the things I didn’t need, and filling the holes with good quality, responsibly made garments, and as I did so my friends would ask where I found the pieces I chose. I realized there was a gap in the market between the people who wanted fewer, better, responsibly made garments and the brands who made them. That’s when The Garment was born.
What is The Garment, anyways?
The Garment addresses the three main frustrations people experience with finding ethically made clothes: where to find them, whether they will fit, and how much they will cost. We connect people with responsible brands by searching the world to find makers who create stylish, high-quality garments; vetting the company and their garments using The Garment Standard; working with Community Models to fit test and photograph the garments, and partnering with the brand to deliver a discount during our signature Virtual Pop-Ups. Plus, we further connect our community by creating a platform for people to develop relationships and support one another in their pursuit of ethical fashion.
What is The Garment Standard and how do you apply it to the rest of the things you own?
The Garment Standard is a comprehensive, codified, wholistic ethical standard that can be reasonably applied to a fashion business to establish a baseline of responsible and sustainable practices. It looks at People, Planet and Product and is something I’ve begun to apply to other areas of my life. I’m not too strict about it, and to be honest it mostly makes me less likely to purchase anything I don’t really need.
Where do you recommend to start when trying to build a sustainable wardrobe?
Working with what you already have. Too often, people think that having an ethical closet means going out and buying a bunch of new responsibly made items. The reality is that many of us already have too much, and the best way to start in my opinion is to codify your style and pare your items down to match it – adding a few quality pieces when the time feels right.
Any style trick?
Rolling up the sleeves of my blazers, I always do it:)
Do you have a daily uniform?
Graphic tee, jeans and a blazer at work, leggings and a sweatshirt at home.
Any piece of your wardrobe that you expect to still own in 10 years?
My Norte camel sweater It’s beautiful and has become an all-time favorite. (find it here)
Tell us about the Garment Collective that is launching soon – what is it, and how can Norte be involved?
The Garment Collective is an inclusive online network of ethically minded, responsible shoppers and an exclusive opportunity to connect with others while working to change the face of fashion. Our values align so closely with those of Norte, and we so look forward to getting to know you, Ines, and the members of your community better.