Woman. 01 — Jasmine Mayhead Founder of Ethical Made Easy

Welcome to the start of our three day, three part series, where we have interviewed three RAD women who have created some pretty cool things. 

Woman 01. Introducing Jasmine Mayhead founder of Ethical Made Easy. 

'Ethical Made Easy is a global platform that discovers, curates and amplifies the best conscious brands in the world today to help you adopt a more ethical lifestyle for tomorrow’s world.'

  1. What does international women's day mean to you?

International women’s day for me means a lot of things.

It’s a moment to pause, reflect, and celebrate how far we’ve come to where we’re at now and knowing the hurdles we still have ahead to gain true equality.

Focusing specifically on the fashion industry because this is where I live and breathe every day, one of our contributors and a good friend of mine Gabi wrote last year a really important journal entry about what the fashion industry looks like for women.

Here are a few important facts I hold onto when I think about our fight for equality:

A quick google search (‘CEOs of fashion brands’) will immediately bring you face-to-face with the headshots of eight CEOs, seven of whom are male. Only 14% of all fashion CEOs are women, according to the 2017 Business of Fashion survey. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The people employed to actually make the clothes sold by these mostly male CEOs are women – 80% in fact, according to the Clean Clothes Campaign.

The fashion industry is worth US$2.4 Trillion. So, sure, there’s a glass ceiling in fashion as of all other industries, but overall it’s still good news for women, right? Even a small cut of that pie should be enough to give the women employed by the industry a very cushy life, no?

Oh, how we wish we could confirm how awesome it is to be a female in the fashion industry. How empowered women are by it. But unfortunately, garment workers worldwide are massively taken advantage of.

One hundred percent of Bangladeshi garment workers are not paid a living wage; commonly working from 7:00am to 11:00pm, they earn as little as 39 cents an hour, which is not enough to provide them with food and shelter.

These are basic human rights we’re talking about, not luxuries. As basic as you can get.

And what about Vietnamese garment workers? 99% don’t earn a living wage. 

And remember, most of these people are women.”

The theme of IWD2021 is Choose to Challenge. I believe we’re all capable of changing the statistics above by challenging the status quo, choosing to shop consciously and getting involved in ethical fashion in any way we can.

  1. How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean for you?

It’s absolutely essential. I think as a society we often live in a scarcity mindset, I know I’m guilty of it myself. But it’s one where if one person is succeeding, there’s not enough room for the others around them to also succeed.

Lifting others up for me means being their number one cheerleader, it means taking time to celebrate their wins on the regular. It means not viewing people as competition, but instead realising that there is enough space for us all.

In the ethical fashion realm for example, I firmly believe there is enough space for everyone. For all the bloggers, all the marketplaces, all the fashion labels. I’m not great at maths but I’d take a guess that ethical fashion makes up a solid 1% of the current fashion landscape that’s filled with fast fashion.

I know the way we do things at EME won’t be for everyone and that’s perfectly fine, because there are plenty of other incredible options out there where it is completely for them. There are so many different ways we can communicate the same or similar message, and I think we need to become less attached to there not being enough space for us all to instead view it the opposite.

Collaboration before competition.

  1. What inspired you to start your business?

To be completely honest, I started my business by accident.

I had a strong passion to see a difference in the way we consume, from focusing so heavily on the bargain price to instead have an understanding about who made it and where it came from. I feel strongly that we as citizens really do get to shape the world we want by where we spend our money, and also with where our money is kept and how we use our voice.

Ethical Made Easy started as an Instagram account to keep myself accountable to shop more ethically, fast forward four years and now it’s a global platform that connects people with businesses who are actively setting tomorrow’s standard and are making the world a better place through business.

We’ve just recently launched our latest extension which is Ethical Made Easy Store, making it one step easier for our community to support ethical and sustainable brands in New Zealand and Australia.

  1. What advice would you give to younger women wanting to pursue their passions in business/life?

  • Get clear on what your definition of success is.
  • Turn your phone off on the weekends, and at 8pm every night. 
  • Mute the noise. Get to learn your intuition and make decisions from there.
  • Enjoy the process.
  • Normalise being able to change your opinion on something when you’re presented with new information. 
  • Be kind. Be honest.
  • Have fun. 
  • We only get this wild life of ours once. Make it count. 

A lot of this advice is advice I’m still learning and reminding myself everyday. I’ve not got it completely together yet, nor do I ever think I will.

  1. If you could say anything to your younger self, what would it be?

“Win the respect of those you respect and you can forget the rest”.

My entire life I’ve cared so much about pleasing everybody, often to my detriment. The quote above I heard on a podcast interview about a month ago between Tim Ferriss and Rabbi Lord Sacks and it completely changed my perspective on things. 

Check out all the incredible goodness this woman has created over at Ethical Made Easy.  Pinky & Kamal is also a featuring brand on there too!

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