Connecting Ethical Fashion

Jessica Kelly from Thr3efold, an ethical fashion broker who connects buyers and designers with ethical factories in india and beyond talks with New York City Textile Week.



 Tell us a bit about your background and how your mission of connecting the fashion industry with ethical factories and manufacturing took shape.

I have loved fashion since I was a little girl and working in it is still a dream come true, but after I had a few years of experience in the industry from PR to sales to events and marketing, I had become restless for something more. Around this time I had the opportunity to embark on a volunteer trip to Zimbabwe. It was the first time I had been face to face with injustice and on my return flight back to New York I couldn’t sleep, I knew I had to find a way for this industry that I loved so much to change the world for the better. Fast forward a few years through a lot of brainstorming, building, and pivoting and I decided to go on a research & development trip to India to learn first hand the life of the garment workers and how the industry operated on the other side. I expected the worst, but was blown away by the incredible factories I met, both large and small scale, setting the bar in ethical and environmental standards, and I knew I had to bring them more work and make it easier for all brands to be ethically made.



How does THR3EFOLD help fashion brands and what services or resources do you provide?

THR3EFOLD is an ethical fashion brokerage connecting brands with ethical factories around the world. Through community and connection we are paving the road to a 100% ethically made fashion industry.


In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that the fashion industry faces today in terms of meeting the growing consumer demand for sustainable and ethical production standards?

Access. The factory world is vastly untouched. With so many factory options all buried behind poor websites, and almost zero presence inthe west, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack, not to mention finding one that meets your high quality standards consistently with excellent communication. We are trying to make this easier.


How does a commitment to ethical manufacturing help support the efforts around larger global issues like poverty, sex trafficking and slave labor?

We have to start believing in the role we each individually play in the global market and the progress it is able to make. One in six people work in fashion, making it the largest labored industry in the world. So not only does fashion play a large role in shifting cultural norms and society’s opinion but it also has the economic power to change lives worldwide. Choosing an ethically certified factory ensures that the people making your clothes can live a stable life that meets their needs and educates their children. It enables you to support global women’s empowerment as 80% of garment workers are women ages 18 – 35 often living in areas plagued by gender inequality, and in some cases these factories specifically focus on employing impoverished people groups such as individuals rescued out of sex trafficking and slave labor. Where we choose to plant our supply chain directly correlates with the positive impact we are able to make globally.


Where can visitors find out more about THR3EFOLD and the factories you work with?

You can learn more about ethical manufacturing at www.thr3efold. com and email us to start getting connected today. You can also stop by booth F28 in Hall 1D during the show to connect with us directly.