Secrets out…we have a slight obsession at Tulerie HQ for fashion maven and political activist, Aurora James, founder of shoes and accessories brand Brother Veilles. As fans of James, the recent article we stumbled on wasn’t news to us, we’re well aware of her bad-assery, but we wondered if you were too?
If you’re not familiar with Brother Veilles, we say, catch up — quick! The CFDA award winning brand provides artisans from South Africa, Ethiopia and Morocco an outlet for their craft and under James's fashionable eye the brand creates fantastic shoes and accessories that have becomes a fashion girl must-have. So much so that Steve Madden and Zara have both been accused of ripping off her designs. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery but not when you’re copying a design and selling it for a third of the price. Oh, because on top of supporting local artisans Brother Veilles business practices also include paying fair wages, offering skills training and using highly sustainable products. Slow clap...
James' is outspoken about the idea of concious commerce, the genesis of our own business. We interpret conscious commerce as holding yourself accountable for what you’re buying and how you’re buying, and not ignoring the problem because it doesn’t effect you personally. We ask questions like, "How is this shirt only $13...and it got her all the way from China?”
As written in the article, "Every level of James’ business aims to be consciously good. With a constant eye on sustainability.” Read, she is not aiming for perfection but she’s undisputably aiming for good which is better than most. It's due to her passion and education that we’re certainly rethinking our Zara and Topshop impulse purchases “just because”. That reason is simply not good enough for the sacrifices being made to produce that $13 top, and following in Aurora’s footsteps, we need to at least strive for good.
There’s a lot to learn from this woman so educate yourselves by following her journey and support her business because she is a force.