First of all, we would like to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone that entered our contest. We loved reading all your stories: learning about why buying sweatshop-free clothing is important to you and how building a conscious closet has changed your life. We feel very lucky to have such an amazing community around us and to be a part of such positive change. There were lots of laughs and more than a few tears. It was a tough choice, but one entry especially touched our hearts.
We would like to extend a warm congratulations to our winner, Allison Singh! We are so excited to share her story with you and we are looking forward to having her as part of our upcoming Fall Lookbook.
Thank you so much Allison and once again to the entire Grey Rock community. It is only because of you and your willingness to support sweatshop-free that we are able to change lives both in Guelph and around the world. Over the next few weeks, we will share some more of your stories on our blog and our Instagram page, so make sure to follow us, subscribe to our newsletter and stay tuned!
See you all again soon!
- Courtney & the Grey Rock Team
"I first became interested in shopping sweatshop-free when I was twelve years-old and read an article about a boy my age named Craig Kielburger and the organization he had started to free child workers. After that, learning more about child labour and other human rights issues became an obsession of mine and my grade eight independent study project was on Child Labour. As an adolescent, it was challenging to shop sweatshop-free due the fact that I would have to be voting with my parents’ wallet instead of my own. I felt that I could not ask them to spend more on my clothing when they were already providing me with so much. During University, the human rights activist in me was buried in a pile of exams, text books, and debt as I relied on the sale racks to fill my closet.
Once gainfully employed and looking to build a professional wardrobe, I found myself frustrated with the high prices and low quality of the clothes in the mall stores. I began to wonder how much more it would really cost to buy clothing that was ethically made. I did not know where clothes like these could be found, and what companies I could trust, until a Google search lead me to a webpage announcing that a store, Grey Rock Clothing Co. was opening soon- and right around the corner from my work! This was it! No more excuses. I have funds and accessibility. I couldn’t wait to check it out!
Over the past few years, I have visited Grey Rock on a number of occasions and over time, the proportion of ethically made clothes in my closet is growing. Not only do I feel good about the way the clothes are made, they are also of higher quality. I feel like I can tell that the person who made these clothes cares. Like they feel valued and respected and want to do a good job. It feels good to put these clothes on my body and I love to tell people about my favourite store in Guelph where everything is sweatshop-free and ethically made. Beyond that, shopping at Grey Rock Clothing Co. has pushed me outside of my fashion comfort zone, and with the help of Beth and other staff, I have learned to embrace bolder patterns and new shapes on my body.
Shopping at Grey Rock Clothing Co. has taught me that investing in high quality, ethically made clothing is an investment in myself and in a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. The type of world I want my daughter to grow up in."
(Photograph Taken By: Kevin Garvin)