Meet this week’s teen blogger, 19-year-old Aditi Mayer, a student from Southern California. A freelance writer and photographer, Aditi is passionate about creativity, creating, and social justice. We’re simply honored to have her insightful presence on our blog!
When I started my blog, ADIMAY.com, in the summer before my first year in college, I didn’t have a clear perspective of where it would go or how it would influence my life’s trajectory. It was a time in my life in which my passions for photography, style, and social justice were only budding.
Now, a year and a half later, my blog has become the outlet for all of my passions and social action pursuits to come together and make a difference. ADIMAY.com has become a place for ethical fashion editorials, among photography and travel posts.
You may be asking, “What’s ethical fashion?”
Ethical fashion covers a wide range of issues in the fashion industry, such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, and sustainable production.
The brands I’ve worked with include:
- Greenola Style, an ethical brand that utilizes a holistic business model to provide artisans with access to a variety of empowering measures, from healthcare to business training.
- Ishi Vest, which offers fair-trade, chemical-free products, with 10% of profits going toward sustainability efforts in India and the U.S.
- Sari Bari, a brand and business where women who have been exploited in the sex trade or who are vulnerable to trafficking can experience a new life in the making through employment in a safe environment that trains women as artisans.
Beyond the role of fashion as a means of self-expression, there’s power in your dollar. The focus of brands like these should not be solely toward the medium of aid to the lesser privileged. More long-term empowerment can be achieved through fair trade wages and even holistic business models for employees.
When everything is concentrated on making profits, the environment and human rights are lost. That’s why there are an estimated 24 million slave laborers in our world today. Do you know who is making your clothes?
If there’s any one banality of the modern style blogosphere my blog has sought out to deconstruct, it’s saying more than “look at this pretty dress”—and I’ve been able to do this through exploring the importance of ethical fashion in a world of mass consumerism.
As a social influencer, my passion for style and social justice have coupled to bring purpose to my work. It has showed me that my roles in life—activist, blogger, photographer, to name a few—do not have to be independent of one another, and my blog is the outlet that allowed me to bridge those roles and utilize my voice for a larger cause.
Over the past year, following the conception of my blog, my content has not simply raised awareness of what I like to call “social good brands” on a sporadic level. Rather, I’ve made a commitment to research the ethics and brand missions of all collaborations I do with brands—any form of labor exploitation will not be compromised.
Given the startling statistics of slave labor in our world today (note: it’s a supply chain that is enslaving more people than at any time in human history), ethical fashion standards should be the mainstream standard, and social influencers are critical within initiating that shift.
It’s up to the consumer community to demand a sense of transparency with their manufacturer’s—issues such as child labor or threatening working conditions shouldn’t stand secondhand, and I truly believe that the fashion blogger community has great influence within choosing the nature of the brands they promote.
If there’s one thing to take away from all this, it is not to drop everything and become an advocate for ethical fashion (although, questioning who made your clothes and the slavery footprint of your purchases is highly encouraged). Rather, it is the idea that as influencers, we could, and should, utilize our platforms to inspire change and expression.
The outlet of the internet has given everyone unprecedented access to building their own brands, ideas, platforms—why not, then, use these mediums to not only ignite your passions, but even inspire global change?
Aditi Mayer is a blogger, photographer, and college student currently studying Journalism and International Studies. You can follow her work on her blog, www.ADIMAY.com, where she covers style through the lens of social action, fine art photography, and travel. She can also be found on Instagram at @aditimayer.