We're thrilled to have recently been featured on the Good Goods blog created by fellow Nashvillian, Cayla Mackey. The site is a great place to find a PETA-approved catalogue of ethical goods that are vegan, fair trade and sustainable (including yours truly!). Check out the blog post below:
We recently had the opportunity to chat with one of the founders of t-615, Emily Landham. She and co-founder Lauren Carpenter create organic cotton shirts and recycled cuffs that raise awareness and funds for human trafficking in Nashville.
Q: What led you to be involved in fashion?
A: I have a love of a clothes and a love of wearing things that not only look good and feel good but in their very essence are good.
Q: Why did you want to start an ethical fashion brand?
A: Clothes are fun, but they can also be harmful. We wanted to create clothing that is both fun and ethical.
Q: How did you start t-615?
A: We started t-615 after a long hike in the woods talking about dreams. We decided to start something that gave back to victims of human trafficking in our home town of Nashville. With t-615, we wanted to start more than a fashion line - we wanted to create a tribute, a tribe committed to ethical fashion and radical generosity.
Q: Why do you care so much about where materials are sourced from?
A: I care about where materials come from because to choose to not know is to take an enormous ethical risk. There is little transparency in the making of modern day clothes unless you seek it out. When companies are not held accountable for their process, their process often goes awry.
Q: Describe the life cycle of a shirt and bracelet, from raw material origin to the wearer.
A: For our tops, the journey starts on an organic cotton field in Texas. The cotton is harvested and then travels to North Carolina where it is milled into fabric. We then order the fabric and have it shipped to Nashville, where our designers turn it into our shirts by hand. For our jewelry, we order up-cycled American-mined metals from a family-owned company in Arizona. We use this source because we want to keep things as close to home as possible. U.S. companies are held to a labor-law standard we prefer to other overseas companies with less-protected workers.
Q: What is your hope with t-615?
A: This year we have very high hopes for t-615. We are retiring the clothing line to focus solely on our BRANDED Collection of cuffs. This collection most directly impacts Nashville’s community of sex-trafficking survivors. In order to deepen our involvement with these young women, we are starting an internship program specifically geared toward helping them gain employment skills. In our internship program, they will receive training on how to make our jewelry and assist in the running of the company.
Q: Describe a single transformative moment that you've had with t-615.
A: The first time I held one of our tops in my hands stands out to me as a transformative moment. There's such a physical and emotional difference between one of our tops and a $6 top from a chain store. You can feel the work, time, and skill that goes into our clothing as opposed to most of the clothes we buy. Cheap and easy on the buyer’s side likely means corruption on the production side.
Q: What is a new favorite item you're recently discovered on Good Goods?
A: This Constance Dress by Reformation is amazing. I haven't bought it yet, but I should very much like too if my life takes me to fancy places. The white version of this style is possibly the best wedding dress ever!