Even in 2020, the world of ethical, sustainable consumption can still be quite tricky to navigate. If you've ever attempted to improve your own shopping habits, you've likely experienced some level of resistance while making the switch. Somewhere in between pervasive greenwashing and dizzying price tags, "good" consumerism can start to get fuzzy — especially without the right guidebook. That's why two fashion alum, Katy Rowley (MATCHESFASHION) and Dale Volpe (Moschino) decided to create Fox Holt, an emerging fashion e-tailer that links ethical shoppers with like-minded artisans. This way, you can learn as you go, inspiring a movement of new consumers to shop — and live — mindfully.
"Fox Holt was born over two cups of coffee and an ethical dilemma," Volpe shares with TZR. At the time, the two were simply looking to improve upon their own personal shopping habits, as two veterans in a fashion industry that, many times, fallen short. "We couldn’t find a one-stop-thoughtful-shop for ethically produced luxury items; a place to take the guesswork out of smarter purchasing, lessen our carbon footprint and still live beautifully." As quickly as they discovered this white space, Fox Holt was born — with a shared goal of giving shoppers the tools to make more conscious purchase decisions.
"Upon starting this project, we quickly found ourselves paddling about in the murky waters surrounding the definition of 'sustainability'," Rowley says. "We discovered that this word has an ever-broadening meaning to an ever-broadening audience, one which has sadly caused overuse and some exclusivity." Because of the cost associated with sustainable manufacturing (from paying workers a living wage to sourcing organic, nontoxic materials), many consumers, often times, cannot afford the ethical goods currently on the market. To amend this, the products on Fox Holt start at just $100, ensuring that a wider demographic can shop and enjoy truly responsible pieces, from floating frocks to throw pillows.
To further tackle the ubiquity surrounding "green" products, each product on Fox Holt features a legend, which highlights nine different do-good standards: eco-friendly, vegan, artisanal, made in the U.S., fair trade, sustainable materials, organic, recycled, and philanthropic. Each piece on Fox Holt must adhere to at least two of these standards, though many go beyond five or six. "We choose our partners very carefully," says Rowley. "The methods they employ throughout every step of the production cycle — from sourcing and manufacturing, to marketing and distribution — are of the utmost concern to us." Beyond the panel of ethical icons, the brand owners and designers must align with Fox Holt's mission. If an item on Fox Holt is not handmade or handwoven by the artisanal designers themselves, they're oftentimes crafted in family-owned or women-owned manufacturing spaces.
Its commitment to mindful consumption doesn't stop there: promoting diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of Fox Holt's very existence. "All of our designers and artisans hail from different ethnic backgrounds, and we are always actively seeking out ways to diversify our marketplace further," says Rowley. Fox Holt has taken the 15 Percent Pledge, an initiative by designer Aurora James that asks stockists to commit 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. "As we grow, our goal is to ensure a space for all ethnicities to be represented," says Volpe. "From our designers, to our models, to our advertising partners, to our employees, Fox Holt intends to create and maintain an inclusive and nurturing environment."
For those who are looking to pivot their shopping habits, you can start by browsing the ethical goods ahead, including handbags, coats, talismans and beauty products. While you're there, be sure to add Fox Holt to your bookmark bar, as it's primed for being your go-to shopping destination from here on out: