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After five years of working in the retail industry in planning and buying roles for large retailers in New York, Brittany Walker knew she needed to take a step back to re-examine what she wanted her career to look like in the near future. She took a career break to attend a business school where she was able to focus her priorities, values, and goals for a sustainable future.
“150 billion new garments are made each year. That is a crazy number. And what's worse, is that 50% of all clothing ends up in incinerators or landfills within one year of being made. We need to slow down as a culture, consumers need to be intentional with our purchases, and brands need to produce high quality, long lasting garments”, she states in an interview with Luxiders. Walker believes the biggest problem in the current fashion system is overconsumption.
Birthed from her desire to slow down and consume fashion sustainably, she created MenoMieux. “Meno” means “fewer” and “Mieux” means “better” and that is the company’s commitment with it’s community of socially responsible brands featured on the digital shopping platform.
Walker’s desire to create MenoMieux was inspired by her personal struggle to find sustainable brands that she could trust and that aligned with her values. She found herself frustrated with the fragmented process of shopping for clothes sustainably. She also wasn’t sure of whom she could trust with so many brands today greenwashing. Out of passion for the earth and its people, Walker created MenoMieux, a digital platform where conscious consumers can easily find sustainable brands that they can not only trust, but enjoy the process of shipping sustainably.
Walker finds inspiration from the founders of the brands that are offered on MenoMieux.Though Walker is creating a platform to host their brands, the founders of these sustainable brands are creating innovative, responsible, and quality fashion. While this is not an easy feat to accomplish, they work hard to lead by example and are choosing to put people and the planet first. They do so while showing that a business can be successful while operating responsibly.
Brittany Walker positively impacts the industry through leadership and accountability as a black woman in the fashion industry, where so many black and brown people are exploited and marginalized. Walker believes that there are two main areas that can positively impact the industry. “ The majority of supply chain workers are black and brown women, and unfortunately, children as well. These individuals are being paid unfairly, exposed to toxins and chemicals, and in some cases, harassed or abused. The mission at MenoMieux is to support responsible brands that are working with factories that are paying fair wages, do not use child labor, and provide safe working conditions.”
“The second part we can impact is the issue of over consumption in our culture. We send our waste right back to the individuals and countries that we exploited to create the products in the beginning!”, states Walker to Luxiders. Walker’s focus is on slowing down, and creating high quality materials and limiting production and consumption.
Walker is an advocate for the planet and its people, but doesn’t have unrealistic expectations. She recognizes doing good through company transparency, traceability, and ethical production. While she loves to see that companies have sustainable certifications, she also recognizes that it’s an expense that is not affordable for many small brands. She recognizes that small brands often choose to invest their budgets elsewhere as they work to grow. The same can be said for MenMieux, “while there are a few certifications we would like to have in the future, it is not something we have invested in at this point”, she states.
MenoMieux provides resources for their customers to help with the circularity of the clothing, provided by a few of the brands on their website. MenoMieux also works directly with the Swedish Stockings Recycling Club to collect old synthetic pantyhose. The brand recycles them by either grinding them down to create filler material in industrial fiberglass tanks, or they mix the grounded tights with recycled fiberglass to use in innovations projects such as their Tights to Tables collection.
They have also partnered up with BEAM Impact to allow their customers to choose which nonprofit that part of their spending supports, at no extra cost to them. The non profits rotate, but in honor of Black History Month, MenoMieux is doubling their donations to Black Girls Smile for the month of February. Choosing Black Girls Smile as the nonprofit of choosing during checkout allows 2% of the purchase to go towards empowering the mental wellbeing of young black girls.
Community is an important part of MenoMieux’s vision, and their customers choose to join the conscious fashion community alongside Brittany when they support her ethical efforts. Brittany and her team loves that women are investing in quality pieces that can last a lifetime. “We’ve seen the majority of our customers are from the US, but we do offer international shipping, and at the end of last year brought on a few amazing European and British brands – O My Bag, We are Samudra, and Ilk & Ernie – to begin expanding our offering, and hopefully, our customer base”, she explains to Luxiders.
MenoMieux’s customers rely on the website to hold their featured brands accountable for environmental and ethical practices from start to finish. They want to be able to trust these brands without having to go through the same frustration that Walker experienced years prior. Customers can certainly trust the brands that MenoMieux offers, because Walker puts them through a thorough selection process to meet her standards, while offering complete transparency of how she does so on her website.
Walker makes sure both of their values and ethos align, and researches the brands production and materials. “ We have 16 indicators that I use as a guide. All 16 won’t apply to all brands but we need to see that the brand is considering the majority of them – reducing resource use and pollution in production, using materials with a reduced environmental impact, responsible sourcing – to name a few.”, Walker explains.
The MenoMieux team closely monitors the brands that they choose to host on their website to make sure they are keeping up with their standards. All of the brands on her website are acting and creating up to the highest ethical standards in the industry and are using sustainable materials while displaying full transparency.
MenoMieux plans to have pop-ups by the end of the year as well as events such as beach clean ups, mending classes, and a clothing drive. Those events are in partnership with the brands they host on the website as well as the nonprofits that they support.
MenoMieux is excited to welcome more brands into the community, which Brittany believes is the key to starting a domino effect in creating a strong platform for responsible brands and to increase their impact as the company grows.
By providing customers with a seamless and enjoyable digital shopping experience, MenoMieux offers frustration-free shopping for sustainably made clothing from brands that you can trust. Through community, accountability, and passion for the environment and its inhabitants, MenoMieux is paving the way for a sustainable and ethical future in fashion.