It is the month of women and female empowerment.
With both International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day fast approaching, here at Retrospecced, we are celebrating our Mother-Daughter run business and our fellow women striving to promote sustainable fashion!
Retrospecced is run by two wonderful women who wanted to change the way in which we buy our eyeware. Tracey and Lucy are a mother-daughter duo, and both are passionate about making the eyewear industry more sustainable.
Tracey is a fully-qualified optician with years of experience running her own business in the Midlands. Lucy is actually a geologist, but grew up working in her mum’s practices at weekends. They realised that when people buy new pairs of glasses, their old ones were often going to waste – and that’s where the concept of Retrospecced was born!
Retrospecced was founded to give vintage and upcycled frames a new lease of life! Tracey and Lucy also wanted to support the work of amazing charities who are providing vision care across the world, and this is done through our partnerships with charities Vision Aid Overseas and the Lions Club International. By donating 20% of what each frame is sold for to the charities, it means that each sale equates to providing a vision test and pair of glasses for someone who needs them in the developing world!
Perhaps more than ever, women are sharing their experiences, are thinking outside of the box, and are building communities. They are at the forefront of creative side hustles, working-from-home, and sustainable enterprises.
In fact, over 86% of Etsy businesses are female-owned and – in a report carried out by Lyst – “Women are more conscious consumers, seeking out and purchasing [from] sustainable retail brands more often than male customers.”
So it is clear that women are playing a huge role in the sustainable movement through small – yet effective – businesses that are typically run from home and are – more often than not – environmentally conscious.
However, that is not to say that all women have a carbon footprint of zero and that all women are striving to exist sustainably. In reality, women are responsible for much of the fast fashion market and the disastrous waste and consumption that takes place across the globe today as a result of the industry.
Hubbub and WoolOvers carried out public polling and found that 58% of women aged 16-24 don’t know what ‘fast fashion’ means. They also discovered that there is a generational divide when it comes to attitudes about fashion; when asked whether they would repair an item of their wardrobe, only 33% of women aged 16-24 said that they would, compared to 50% of women aged 54 and over.
These findings imply that younger women see fashion as temporary, transient and easily disposed of: an attitude that we desperately need to change.
The work we are doing at Retrospecced may just be a small part in this bigger picture but we believe in our mission and the impact that we can have on the world and the environment.
According to First Eye Care, more than half of all women in the world wear glasses, so if all those women chose a funky, vintage pair of frames over a cheap, unethical and mass produced pair, we would see huge decreases in waste and carbon emissions. Moreover, more women would start to value the clothes and accessories they own, viewing them as unique and special as opposed to replaceable, cheap and momentary.
So we need to continue to unite, build communities and empower each other to think ethically and sustainably.
Whether it’s to celebrate International Women’s Day or Mothers Day – whether it’s your daughter, sister, friend or Grandma – get them feeling empowered with a new way of seeing the world!