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Factory 45

Updated: May 6, 2020

A Few months ago I spoke with Shannon Lohr, the amazing founder of Factory45 where she works with entrepreneurs to launch clothing companies that are ethically and sustainably made. These better clothing options for consumers are now available all in one place: a recently launched, one stop shop - Market45.

Shannon got her start in 2010 when she co-founded {r}evolution apparel, a sustainable clothing company for female travelers and minimalists that was featured in The New York Times, and Yahoo! News.

To date, she has worked with over 200 entrepreneurs in the sustainable fashion space, many of whom have gone on to launch some of the most transparent supply chains in the fashion industry. Shannon has worked as a consultant for crowdfunding projects that have surpassed their goal amounts by as much as 300%, and has worked closely with startup apparel companies from all over the world to create ethically-made products with a focus on environmentally-friendly materials and transparent supply chains. Shannon is a strong advocate for increasing supply chain transparency through sourcing, localization and storytelling. She’s been named a thought leader for the future of fashion by Triple Pundit, and she writes frequently about conscious consumerism and the intersection of fashion and environmentalism.

The word SUSTAINABILITY has been quite over-used in the past few years. What does sustainability mean to you?

For me, sustainability means doing the least amount of harm to people and planet as possible. When it comes to the fashion industry there is no such thing as "perfectly sustainable" - if you're making something new, then it has an impact. The goal is to lessen that impact and improve upon your supply chain whenever and wherever possible.

What inspired you to start a SLOW fashion journey?

I started a clothing company back in 2010 and learned very quickly how damaging the fashion industry is to people and planet. I told myself that if I was going to start a business, then it would do more good than harm. Along that journey, I started to clean up my wardrobe with the more I learned about about the traditional fashion industry and then that snowballed into becoming a vegetarian, an always-aspiring minimalist, wearing only clean, non-toxic beauty products, reducing my use of plastic, and the list goes on.

What has been the most challenging part of running a sustainable business?

Communicating the value of sustainable and ethical fashion and why it costs significantly more than fast fashion.

What is the most socially positive project you have ever worked on?

With each new sustainable fashion brand that launches through Factory45, I feel part of a collective project that is making a significant impact on the fashion industry.

How do you encourage your friends to integrate sustainable practices in their homes and lives?

Leading by example. After many years of trying to "argue my point" I've learned that the best way to encourage change is to lead by example and answer questions from people who are genuinely curious.

Change is made by small intentional steps.

If you could give someone just one advice to live more sustainably what would it be?

Start with one thing. Whether it's your wardrobe, the food you eat, the beauty products you use, recycling and composting, or something else -- choose one thing to improve and once you feel like you've permanently changed your habits around that one thing, then move into the next thing. Change is made my small intentional steps.


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