Ethics & Sustainability
more than just personal styling
I’m about inspiring true confidence and empowering you to be the best version of yourself from the inside out – and doing it in a socially and environmentally responsible way. It’s an approach that considers more than just one outcome, I explore:
- Confidence & Style
- Personal Branding
- Purpose & Values
- Ethics & Sustainability
These do areas do not work in isolation of one another, they are not tick boxes. When we combine all of these elements we create something that goes beyond the superficial, we create meaning and that’s where we make our personal impact. It’s intentional.
Unlike most businesses I sat down and created my values first and built everything else on top of them, they are the foundation. They are my guiding principles in everything that I do, at work, at home and everything in-between.
I believe it is possible to live life and do business ethically and sustainably without causing harm to other people, and minimising our negative impact on the planet. I personally cannot empower women by supporting an industry that exploits other women, forcing them to produce cheap, fast fashion for a moment of fashion vanity.
It’s why I created the Ethical Brand Directory a resource not only for my clients, but a way to connect other style conscious consumers to the independent brands that are making a difference, and truly care
what ethics means me
Ethics means something different to us all. Here at Roberta Style Lee, we define ‘ethics’ as our moral compass. This means acting with integrity and respect adhering to actions (not just words) that protect:
what sustainability means to me
Sustainability in business can mean lots of things – and can be interpreted in many ways. I define sustainability as the impact the business operations has on the environment. Sustainability is about our environmental footprint.
It’s also about how we sustain our business over the long term without burning out, we must continue to explore how we can maintain our sustainable principles alongside our financial health and happiness. Something we are very focused on for 2023 and beyond.
Personally, I hate ‘waste’ I like to be resourceful and the state of landfill and the overuse of plastic makes me feel deeply saddened. It is the general lack of lack of respect of our beautiful planet that compels me to do as much as I can to reduce my negative impact on the world.
Every actions count – and whilst we recognise it’s not possible to be fully ethical and sustainable in all that we do – we are committed to being conscious and making the best decisions we can with the knowledge we have and financial resources available
values I live by
Respect people and the planet
I believe that it is possible to live life, do business ethically and sustainably, without causing harm to other people, and minimising our negative impact on the planet. This means supporting far fashion brands and advocating for preloved, care and repair over purchasing new.
Trust & transparency
I strive to always do my best and take action based on thorough research. I value transparency, and I am committed to continuous improvement. I don’t pretend I am doing more than I can. I won’t work with brands or promote them if the are in conflict with my values andI will review brands with total honesty.
Teamwork & collaboration
I use my business to inspire women and fashion businesses to take positive action. I prefer to focus on implementing solutions to help clients and businesses to become more ethically aware and sustainability focused.
Integrity & honestly
I will never compromise on my values or knowingly support unethical practices. I will decline working with individuals and businesses that are in direct conflict with my values and do not care about equal rights for people or protecting our planet. I will support those who are open to changing and bring them on the journey. For paid brand reviews I will not withhold constructive feedback, or be influenced to say something that is not in my own words.
Compassion & inclusivity
I realise that it is not possible to be 100% perfect, and to expect that from others is unreasonable. That applies to being ethical or sustainable in one’s wardrobe, everyday life or in business. I respect those who are striving to do better and I am committed to supporting them on their journey. It is important that I continue to challenge my own learning and understand the world through multiple lenses and adapt what I do to be more inclusive.
Every action taken is done so with consideration and thought.
The impact of my businesses decisions are always measured against their impact on:
- Other people
- The environment
- And budget.
Whilst every effort is made to only invest in and support other companies with strong ethical and sustainable standing – sometimes the focus is on ‘resourcefulness’ and making the most out of what already exits – even if this is not the most ethical or eco-friendly option.
Avoiding sending items to landfill and maximising the life expectancy of all business related products and equipment is my way of being more ‘sustainable’.
Whilst I try to be as ethical and sustainable as possible, it’s not possible to do so 100%.
- Taking time to select suppliers and ask questions about their ethics and sustainability policy
- Supporting local, independent businesses wherever possible
- Buying second hand business equipment, rather than buying brand new where possible
- Partnering with other businesses with similar values
- Reducing travel by car
- Consolidating travel into certain days where possible
- Walking more
- Cycling more
- Stopping the use of business cards and using a bamboo card with QR code
- Ensuring flyers and printed materials are kept to a minimum
Where budget permits the most ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly options will be used for any promotional products or general day-to-day business supplies.
Staff and Suppliers
Every member of staff that works for Roberta Style Lee and the Ethical Brand Directory is ‘encouraged’ to take responsible action whilst under the employment of the ‘business’.
- All members of staff and volunteers are recruited based on:
- Suitability for the role
- Attitude and commitment, evidence of ethical and sustainable practices
- Shared values
- A genuine interest in doing business for ‘good’
Supplier and partnerships auditing process will now include:
- Reviewing any potential brand, supplier, service provider or venue’s ethics and sustainability policies.
- Discussing with the appropriate person what their efforts look like in terms of being responsible and ethical in their direct workplace and across their supply chain
- Understanding their sustainability efforts across operations, sourcing transparency, materials used, fair working conditions for workers, environmental policies, shipping & packaging.
- Checking and validating any claims and memberships and certifications.
- Interviewing the founders/owners to understand their position on ethics and sustainability in business
- Reviewing their website and published policies.
- Highlighting if key information is missing and asking them to provide it.
- Personally reviewing the products and services (if applicable).
- Asking them to demonstrate the lengths they are taking to become a more ethical and sustainable business.