Going Green sat down with Garik Himebaugh, the founder of Eco Stylist, to learn more about his experience building a sustainable fashion platform for men. Garik’s journey took him from peace worker, to MBA student, to discovering social entrepreneurship. Eco Stylist researches sustainable clothing brands around the world and makes it easy to access this via their shop.
Let’s get to know Garik better.
Garik, tell us a little bit about you and your background:
At university I studied peace studies, or as it was called Conflict Analysis & Resolution. Following this I landed a job in the finance industry. I soon realized this wasn’t fulfilling my dream of contributing to social good, so my journey took me to Iowa for an MBA, where I discovered social entrepreneurship. From there, I created Eco-Stylist, the trusted sustainable fashion marketplace for men.
What is a fun fact about you?
I started rock climbing because I’m afraid of heights.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
The importance of sustainability today is undeniable. Humans are killing the planet and we need to work together, across industries, in order to change that. In the fashion industry the epitome of un-sustainable practices is “fast fashion.” Fast fashion is the inevitable and ugly conclusion of a fashion industry driven only to “maximize shareholder value.” They’re focused on getting people to spend money on things they don’t need, at the expense of the people and the planet.
It’s encouraging today to see brands not focused on trends but on timeless pieces and fewer collections. Some brands like Taylor Stitch take back, repair, and resell their clothes. Meanwhile brands like Outerknown offer a lifetime warranty on their jeans. Ditching fast fashion is easier today than ever before and Eco-Stylist’s mission is to help you do so.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
10 years from now Eco-Stylist may not need to exist. I envision that the fashion industry will be better regulated, that most brands will have certifications, that all brands will pay living wages, and that all brands will be focused on reducing their environmental footprint. Sustainable fashion will become the norm and un-sustainable fashion will go out of business.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Make more sustainable choices. We don’t need to be perfect, but there are little things all of us can do to contribute to a more sustainable future for fashion. For example, we can not buy fast fashion, we can go thrift shopping when we need something new, we can repair torn or damaged clothes instead of throwing them away, and when buying new we can support brands that are better for the planet and better to the people who make our clothes. Even doing just one of these things helps. We don’t need a few people being perfectly sustainable, we need millions of people practicing sustainability imperfectly.
Going Green wants to thank Garik for sharing his experience building Eco Stylist.
Going Green, hosted by Dylan Welch, interviews leading experts in cleantech, sustainability, media, finance, and real estate on the Going Green podcast. Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify to listen to interviews with leading cleantech and sustainable experts. If you are interested in being featured on Going Green, click HERE.