An Argument for Transparency

To buy, or not to buy?!

I have often heard people say, but am only just now experiencing it to be true, that going back to college after having had a career is completely different than going to college directly after high school. To clarify, I’m not going back to college, I’ve simply been attending a few continuing education classes at FIT.

But there is something to be said for your attitude in the classroom while you are in the midst of your career as opposed to being in a university setting hoping for your future career. To be able to immediately consume information and apply it in the workplace within the next day or week is so beneficial.


Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.

Sergey Brin, Co-Founder Google

This past winter one of the classes I took was called Ethical Fashion. Consider it an introductory course into the world of sustainability and ethics in the fashion and product design industry. It was a mind-blowing class that left me set back on my heels trying to figure out what direction to move in next. When I began Baker+Brown Co. I had a sense of our company values and the guiding ethics under which we would operate. I knew that transparency in our supply chain would play a key role in our business model. I had set these ethics and values in place simply because I believe in people, and supporting entrepreneurialism. I truly believe that our purchasing decisions can make a direct impact on others lives. It was while taking this class that I began to realize the true breadth of reality associated with the values I had been spouting.

Baker+Brown Co is a culmination of all the things that I am passionate about; design, productivity, and people. The designer in me wants to produce amazing products, but never to the detriment of exploiting anyone in the process.

Baker+Brown Co is a culmination of all the things that I am passionate about; design, productivity, and people. The designer in me wants to produce amazing products, but never to the detriment of exploiting anyone in the process. The entrepreneur in me wants to be successful, but never at the expense of being wasteful. I cringe when I see, wasted resources, wasted spaces, wasted lives not being used to their full potential. Those could come across as very vague statements, but in reality so much of this process of product production is incredibly vague. I could analyze endlessly every decision that is made within the process and still come to a conclusion where a step within the process is detrimental to our environment to people or to an economy.

Ethical decisions in sourcing and production can be an overwhelming topic. (Let’s be honest, I left the class scared to buy anything.) I’ve come to the conclusion however that I wasn’t far off-base by starting with transparency. At the end of the day, in a capitalistic economy where businesses answer to consumer demand, the only answer is an informed consumer. It is the consumer that will demand accountability from a company, and it is the informed consumer that will require truth and transparency. It is my sincere hope that survival of the fittest will prove true and that transparent, sustainable companies that operate with a high sense of ethics will weed out the alternative.

We'd be thrilled to hear your thoughts, comments, & feedback!


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