I’m in love with classic white pieces, and this Banana Republic top is one of my favs. I created this outfit by ‘shopping my closet’- and a friend at work actually asked me if the top was new! Score.
Shopping your closet is easier than you think. Here are three things I’ve found helpful-
Though I absolutely love this piece and styling it different ways, I also decided to dig in to Banana Republic, one of my favorite places to find unique pieces like this top.
Here’s what I found:
Gap Inc is definitely on the right track. That’s the parent brand over Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta. They believe in empowering women- in 2015, 70% of their leadership was made up of women. They’ve also taken steps to help female garment workers. Their program, ‘One Stitch Closer,’ shares inspiring stories of women all over the world. These women are part of Gap Inc’s career enhancement program, P.A.C.E. On their website they report that this program has ‘provided life skills education to over 30,000 female garment workers around the world’ and note that this number is continuously growing. I teared up reading about Emawati, a P.A.C.E. participant, who grew up feeling women were weak and couldn’t speak up for themselves. She now has a small business selling Indonesian headscarves online and eventually wants to open her own restaurant. Go girls!
On the environmental front, they are working towards stopping discharge of hazardous chemicals in their (giant) supply chain by 2020. They have also committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from their 2015 levels by 2020. I’m excited for more retailers to follow suit, knowing that the Fashion Industry is such a huge polluter. This might just be corporate talk, but I love that Gap Inc’s Melissa Fifield said: “We believe that environmental issues are fundamentally human rights issues.”
Still, they’ve got some skeletons in their closet that make me nervous. They, among with many other major retailers, were supplied by the Hameem Group’s factory in Bangladesh that caught fire in 2010. 29 people died- more than 100 others were injured. They were also involved in a toxic water scandal in India in 2013. And, in 2014, a whopping 25.9% of their factories didn’t provide even one day off a week for their workers. How many of us can barely make it through hump day? Can you imagine never having a weekend to look forward to? And that’s not the only violation reported from their suppliers.
Shopping Status: Bye for Now. I’m going to stop hitting up my fav Gap, Banana, and Old Navy stores for now. They are taking several steps to be better stewards of the environment, safety, and well being of their world and workers. However, I would love to see them be even more impactful in these areas. After learning more about them, I kind of sighed with relief, since I have a lot of clothes from Gap Inc. I’m impressed by their commitment to sustainability. Still, I want to support brands that are pushing the needle even further on sustainable style. I’ll be keeping an eye out on how Gap Inc continues to lead their industry in these “fundamentally human rights issues.”
Do you have any tips on shopping your closet? Anything that you want to share about Gap Inc/Banana Republic? Anything I should keep in mind when rating brands for sustainability? I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!
PS- White pieces are classic and versatile, and are great to anchor a wardrobe. Here are some of my favorite buy better white picks available now. And no, they're not sponsored. But if you’re wondering how to style any of these, feel free to leave a comment or contact me via the contact page or Instagram!
Gap Inc - One Stitch Closer