Setting the Standard for a Sustainable Fashion Future

Jessica Althoff, founder of Future:Standard, is doing what many of us only dream of – she’s taken a leap of faith in order to follow her passions in life! I was delighted and inspired by her story and I think you will be too.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about that lightbulb moment that inspired you to create Future:Standard?

Yes, I had just started grad school with the intention of going into microfinance. A few weeks in, I realized that was a terrible idea and started to freak out a little. I went to a conference, and a woman was talking about not compromising when it comes to your career. 

She said if you love two things, find a company that does those two things. She said, “If you want to save the rainforest and you love chocolate, work for a chocolate maker that saves the rainforest. If you can’t find one, start one.” I thought, YES! Now I just need to figure out how to combine the environment, fair trade, and my other love, shopping!

Q. How would you describe the design aesthetic of Futre:Standard?

I am from California and have never lived anywhere else, so we definitely have a California aesthetic. I pick things that I want to wear, so it is defined by my casual lifestyle. It is also inspired by an antique/reclaimed home that I love so much.

Q. What advice would you give to other young women thinking of changing course in their career to follow their dreams?

Just start. There is never a perfect time and you will always have an excuse to not start. You just have to take the leap. And, just start asking people for things. I am always amazed how many people I know know someone else that can help me with what I need. Amazed.

Q. What makes Future:Standard a great choice for ethically-minded fashionistas?

We ask all the questions. We talk to the designers about where everything is made and what it is made out of. We only carry things that don’t compromise our values. While there is an eco/ethical spectrum, every company that we work with is concerned about sustainability and doing what they can to create a more sustainable and ethical product.

Q. Which ethical designers are inspiring you right now?

I am a really casual person, so wear a lot of basics. I love Toggery by Kate D’Arcy and am really inspired by her. She is involved in all aspects of her company and is really passionate about the environment and the ethics of her company. She is also really great to work with and just beautiful! 

Brooklyn Skirt by Kate D’Arcy – Love the colour of this organic cotton and sustainable modal skirt

I also met Carrie Parry a few months ago and was introduced to her line. She is really passionate about what she is doing and very talented. I look forward to the day that F:S carries more career items so we can pick up her line.

It is so beautiful. I am always inspired by anyone that value ethics as much as beauty in the products that they create. 

Q. Do you have a favourite item in store right now?

I have been wearing the Striped Mullet Skirt non-stop. I am already dreaming of ways to wear it with boots and sweaters when it cools down. I pretty much live in everything Groceries

Q. If you could instantly transform one aspect of today’s fashion industry, what would that be?

I think that if the industry realized that ethical fashion can be just as fashionable as conventional fashion, it could transform the industry. From designers to consumers and everyone in between, this knowledge would immediately get people looking for better materials, processes, and labor. 

Q. What does the future hold for Future:Standard?

We can’t wait to carry more ethical items. We’d love to be a one stop shop for all the ethical fashionistas out there! We cannot wait to carry shoes and more accessories as well as men’s. There are so many really great designers out there doing great things, and we want to work with them! 

Swallow Necklace by Ija Designs – A beautiful bird pendant made from recycled gold in a studio run on 100% renewable energy

You can also connect with Future:Standard on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest 

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