It all started at a young age. Growing up in small-town Ohio, early values included supporting small businesses, buying products that were Made in the USA -- and made to last. I wore hand-me-downs. My mother shopped smart and she often made my clothes. Shopping was a treat (not a daily activity) and purchases were thoughtful. When I moved to NYC and began my professional career, I was seduced by the thrill of shopping at the big, fast-fashion retailers, until one day, I wasn't anymore. The temptation wore off as fast as the clothes wore out and I suddenly didn't enjoy being a part of our massive consumer culture. In 2005, as I was beginning to reclaim my childhood values and become a conscious consumer again, I discovered a movement was happening: London Fashion Week had launched Esthetica, which was devoted to showcasing ethical brands; and brands such as Loomstate and EDUN where showing the cool and sexy side of "eco fashion". Yet, retail had not caught up. When I found myself at a crossroads in my career, I had my AHA moment. Less than a year later, I opened KAIGHT in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
The mission was simple: To provide consumers with fashion-forward clothing and accessories options that meet the following criteria: local production, organic textiles, reclaimed materials, fair-trade or zero waste; we source goods that reflect a value system that respects humankind and the environment. KAIGHT values good product design and quality above all else. All of our products should be worn for years to come. We aim to create a shopping experience that is based in integrity, authenticity and transparency.
Since opening, Kaight has been recognized as a leader in the slow fashion movement and has been featured in Vogue, Elle, CBS, Expedia.com, Ecocult.com, Inhabitat.com and more. Now located in Brooklyn, KAIGHT continues to be a destination for those seeking well-designed clothing and accessories by independent designers with an emphasis on sustainability. While Kaight continues to be a leader in the sustainable fashion community, the store has evolved to become a specialized neighborhood boutique. Our customers are our neighbors and friends, and I love being a part of our local community; in many ways, it feels like I've come full circle.
I'd love to be a part of your community, too, so please let me know if there are ways to enhance your online shopping experience.