When it comes to fashion, Nina Farran was an early adopter. “My mom would joke I would wear her high heels as a toddler, which resulted in many tumbles down the stairs.” While attending the University of Pennsylvania in the late 2000s, Farran partnered with a nonprofit organization called OmniPeace to sell branded apparel to raise funds for schools in Africa. After almost four years of working in finance, she decided to combine her interests in style and humanitarianism to launch Fashionkind, a shopping site with a focus on sustainable fashion, in 2014.
Within two years, Farran transformed the online platform into a digital souk for her favorite ethical wares from around the world. On the site, you’ll find new arrivals like environmentally conscious knitwear from Ryan Roche, eco-friendly textiles from Ace & Jig, and fair-trade sneakers from Veja—currently favored by Hollywood A-listers like Emma Watson and Marion Cotillard.
“I feel an extreme personal connection to every collaboration I work on with our artisans and designers,” Farran tells Allure. “We currently have Michael Nelson sunglasses that were hand-beaded by Lucy, one of our artisans in Kenya. A percentage of the profit goes to an education fund that sends her daughter to school. She even got her first report card.”
Why a sustainable future is so important:
This ties in with Farran’s belief that shopping should go beyond buying pretty clothes. The site is also home to an ethical fashion glossary and blog posts that showcase the technique behind traditional skills like indigo dyeing and textile weaving.
Style-wise, the entrepreneur embodies the company’s ethos on sustainability and high-end fashion: Both can co-exist under the same chic umbrella. Her daytime wardrobe includes paint-splattered baggy jeans from Rialto Jean Project, heels by Sydney Brown, and a crop top by Voz—all ethically produced brands featured on the site. “You can probably catch me wearing my Rialto boyfriend jeans. I’ve worn them so much, there’s a hole in the back,” she says. “I’m always running around with my dog, Vela, so comfort is key.”
Farran has the same relaxed approach to beauty, relying on all-natural products like Moroccan black soaps and rose oil she picked up in her travels. Though Fashionkind hasn’t ventured into beauty yet, the site will soon expand its offerings to include children’s clothes and menswear. “I try to be a hedgehog with my business,” she says, referring to an Aesop tale about a hedgehog who uses its brains (and quills) to outsmart a pack of wolves. “As cliché it is to say, I do believe everything happens for a reason. I try to be intentional with every opportunity we pursue and make sure it relates back to our mission.”
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