Working in a company that supports Fair Trade and ethical fashion is always a nice environment to work within, it means that it has some core ethics behind the scenes; Those ethics go ALL the way through the chain, throughout every facet of the business. Fairness isn’t just for some but for all, including workers in the UK. It’s about the way we work within our team, with our brands & our customers and how they deal with us.
Working in the store as first hand sales associates, we also each have different additional responsibilities such as the advertising, merchandise, sales admin, web site management and social media; Which when put together are a curious demographic in employment terms. We are female and all mothers. This was not pre-planned it was an organic evolution and one which works well together.
We obviously do have other commitments, we get called away unexpectedly, we usually want the same holiday times and if one of our children is off sick – it often means that last minute its difficult for us all to adjust & adapt; Not only that, but we all tend to want to have the same staff clothing, which believe me, is just as important as the others! So, I think as an employed member of AIRR it is quite brave of Ayesha (the boss) to be so fair and work with us all, sometimes in a juggling type of fashion to accommodate all our needs. As much as I am a feminist and believe in equality and would like to believe it’s not something employers choose to consider, the reality is that it often isn’t the case. However, what we prove at AIRR though is, that while all the above is true and sometimes its a juggling balls in the air type of situation – we prove that it not only works, but that it works well; We all care and try to help one another out – it goes further than just being a 9-5 job, but is each a part of our lives.
The AIRR Team, Jo, Zoe, Livvy, and the best boss, Ayesha.
Being part of an ethical business means that any unfair employment terms just can’t exist.
Ethical business is on the rise elsewhere too. Big high street companies are starting to look at their production chains, the cost of water wastage and garment waste in the long term, not just the quick buck side of things. In dealing with companies Ayesha and us all working here (including me, Livvy) have seen that the brands we deal with, who carry their ethics throughout their business in the same way we do, are the stickers. The ones pushing, haggling or not working, fairly tend to not be around for as long.
Flexibility is key but holding onto core principles is paramount for an ethical business. Women working together on a task is very empowering, we all share our feelings and work to accommodate them naturally, ethically, sustainably and healthily (apart from fair trade chocolate, obviously!)
Some of the clothes staff have fought over this season…
The People Tree Madeline Maxi, black and stylish this is a summer must have http://www.airrclothing.co.uk/People-Tree-Madeleine-Dress
A Beautiful Story Wishes Chalcedony Necklace, simple and subtle but beautiful and summery http://www.airrclothing.co.uk/A-Beautiful-Story-Wishes-Chalcedony-Necklace_A1O4AP.aspx?nh=300638
TOMS Black Morocco Crochet shoes go with everything as well as being super comfortable http://www.airrclothing.co.uk/TOMS-Black-Morocco-Crochet-Women-s-Classic
Matt & Nat’s Whilem Poppy bag- Just the right size and just the right colour http://www.airrclothing.co.uk/Matt-Nat-Poppy?nh=309157
Sense Organics is not just for babies! The beautiful vanilla & Lavender smell is gorgeous, and its so kind to skin and super easy to use everyday, a staff favourite that is not getting shared with the staff’s children! http://www.airrclothing.co.uk/Sense-Organics-Body-Lotion-for-Baby-Family?nh=300638
So, in short – we are pretty luck working here – but the point is, if you are looking for work, looking to set up your own business or even work within a larger business already – the key often is what you put in, you do get out. Working together well, leaves a happier, healthier & stronger environment and a stronger motivation to make things work.