My name is Morgan Hamel — and I am the founder of The Garment.
Here at The Garment, we're neither clothing designers, nor stylists, neither "influencers", nor business strategists. But, I am an expert on Ethics, and I have a background in corporate responsibility — and a joyfully-recovering over-shopper (more on that later).
So how, might you ask, did I end up starting a company that frequently requires me to try on clothes in my co-working space bathroom while filming myself on Instagram talking about them for thousands of people to see? (Mmm yes, that's happened more than once.)
I found myself desperately searching for something to wear in my closet full of clothing (ah the good ol’ #nothingtowear dilemma) only to realize much of it didn’t fit or I didn’t want to wear it—and no amount of early-morning trips to the mall were solving it.
Sustainability and responsibility in business and life has been important to me for as long as I can remember. My closet (not to mention bank statement that reflected a weekly trip to Anthropologie for sale items I’d notoriously consign after wearing just once) on the other hand, told another story.
It began in my closet—So I purged my wardrobe—trendy, far-from-classic, low-quality, found-it-on-sale-so-I-bought-it clothes: be gone!
Get out, clothes I’d kept in hopes I could consign them for close to what I paid for them—and weirdly never liked wearing. Goodbye all things ill-fitting, dated, falling-apart-because-they-weren’t-made-to-last.
In their place? Cue massive holes in my wardrobe that desperately needed filling if I wanted to get dressed every morning. I committed to finding and investing in quality pieces from businesses I knew to be responsible that were stylish, classic, and going to last.
And, what’s even more, I committed to building a wardrobe that reflected both my personal values and the fact that I knew I was worth more than my clothes. While I wanted to wear classically beautiful, quality garments that were made with integrity, I also wanted to experience connection and feel shiny and pretty without having to buy a new shirt.
Finding clothing made from responsibly sourced materials, by brands committed to ethical labor practices, that were both fashionable and fit well was difficult at best and downright frustrating in the lower of moments —
and when I did find them, my friends clamored for information on how they could get their own, basically shopping my closet as I curated it.
As I found a few great pieces, I also found myself thinking: “This has to be easier if it’s ever going to work for everyone.” I realized I was pretty good at finding a solution, but I was putting an awful lot of energy into this to keep it just for me and my friends—I wanted to find a way to make ethical fashion, well, sustainable, for anyone who was feeling the way I was.
My dad’s background in sales had rubbed off on me—I knew that if a sale was difficult for the consumer, they were likely going to quit before completing it. (And, the opposite is also true—as evidenced by my fascination with the J.Crew sale rack.)
If that same shopper couldn’t find what they were looking for, from a retailer that is ethical and accessible—things were over before they could even begin.
That’s when I knew we needed a bridge between responsible brands who were creating ethical clothing and the people who genuinely wanted to find ways to make their wardrobes more sustainable.