In our Brand Story Hero series, we showcase brands that in our opinion do a good job at telling their story. This week’s star of the show is Wear We Wander, an ethical clothing company.
Brand: Wear We Wander
Products: Clothing, Accessories
Founder: Bronwyn Connolly
Year Founded: 2014
Mission: “No Sweat, Just Sparkle” + “We CAN change the world one dress at a time!”
Back in the days when you were little more than a child, do you remember what you wanted to be when you were grown up? Bronwyn does. She always wanted to be a fashion designer. But, the way it often goes, life got in the way, until it seemed no longer possible to make that dream come true.
That was until a tragic incident changed her perspective on life completely. The loss of a wonderful friend made Bronwyn realise that life is short and that you had better spend it on living. So, she decided to take a year off to do just that.
Before she left to travel the world, she received a drawing from her sister, who is an artist. A beautiful bohemian girl with words swirling around her head and body. The handwriting being tiny, Bronwyn could decipher what it said, but she loved it and with it in hand, embarked on her travels.
Months later in Hawaii, Bronwyn stumbled across a poem called “New Beginnings” by John O’Donoghue, an Irish poet. The line that touched her heart was: “Awaken your spirit to adventure, hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk.” When Bronwyn discovered that those exact words were also what her sister had swirled around the bohemian girl that she had been gifted, she just knew, it was a sign.
A little while later, she had an interesting chat with a random stranger in Central Park, NY, and it inspired her to start following her dream.
The last and final stop of her wanderings across the globe was Bali. Here, Bronwyn also met Lisa, an artist and designer who had travelled extensively and had a strong appreciation for beauty. Together, they launched their fashion company, Wear We Wander.
During those nine months of travel and self-discovery, Bronwyn learnt that life is about adventures, big or small, love, dreams and high hopes and that everyone should have the opportunity to live like that. Because Bronwyn and Lisa care about people and the planet, they want to know who makes the clothes they sell, how they make them and where.
"Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That's who you really are, let go of any part of you that doesn't believe it." – C. Assaad – check out the stunning range of tiaras from Loschy available exclusively in Ireland to Wear We Wander – link in bio -#believeinyourself Pic: @jakubwalutekproduction Models: @lifestylejeanie & @l_tschappat
When you cast a keen eye at what reality looks like in the fashion industry, you very quickly discover that it is not pretty. Most workers, of which the majority are women, are forced to abandon their education early and find a job in order to support their families. They work long hours in an unacceptable environment and get paid next to nothing.
To Bronwyn and Lisa, employing workers and having them labour in an unsuitable work environment is unethical. No Sweat, Just Sparkle. That’s what they want.
In their opinion, women should thrive in their job, take pride in their work and should enjoy what they do. When you feel that way about your job, you excel in it. And that is the way it should be. The boxes that Bronwyn and Lisa wanted to see ticked are ethically produced clothes, fair wages for the workers, an air-conditioned environment and access to toilet facilities.
Wear We Wander provides the fashion conscious female with ethical clothing, with style and with substance, all the while without having to pay through their nose for it or to throw out their entire wardrobe.
Been a bit distracted and busy here this week in Wander HQ… Because we are opening a SHOP! Yep you read right, our very own store packed full of amazing Irish Companies making beautiful products using mother nature as their inspiration. It will be #home to Jewellery, Accessories, #Skin Care, Baby Wear, #Prints, Cards & Art. Unfortunately we will not be housing our clothing range, as its a little too tiny to facilitate that, but we will have our #crowns, #handbags and jewellery #collections. Pop over to @wilddesign_cork to keep up to date with progress, info on designers etc! �Exciting times ahead! x
Their Storytelling Lessons
Lesson #1 Be open about yourself.
Everybody has dreams and some of them feel impossible to realise. Bronwyn thought for a long time that her dream of becoming a fashion designer fell into the ‘impossible’ category. Nevertheless, she jumped over her shadow, and gave it her best shot. She shares Wear We Wander’s founding story on their website and is open about her personal life. Telling complete strangers private things about yourself is never easy. Bronwyn put her story on the internet for everyone to see, and people are impressed. By making herself vulnerable, the reader feels special because Bronwyn shared something that is close to her heart with them.
Lesson #2 Stick with your values.
In the days of high street fashion, clothes are obtainable on every corner for peanuts. Why should people buy Bronwyn’s clothes? What sets her apart from all the others who are flooding the market with their products? Because she has a strong set of values, which includes sustainability, ethics, kindness and the individual instead of the great masses as the focus of attention. That is unimpeachable for Wear We Wander. Those who share these beliefs can buy her fashion with an easy conscience.
Lesson #3 Band together with like-minded people.
Wear We Wander is a small brand, but it isn’t the only one that focuses on ethical production. Usually, small-scale businesses are strewn all over the place and are overpowered by big brands. To counteract that, Bronwyn initiated #greenfriday, where she asks the big players to support local, Irish brands for a day. In addition to that, she has set up Wild Design, a marketplace in Cork that showcases the products of local designers from Ireland. By uniting all of their voices under one roof, their outreach is a lot farther. That way, Bronwyn and her fellow designers are more likely to make a difference and advance the fashion revolution they are passionate about.
Their Storytelling Tools
#1 Instagram with a personality.
Wear We Wander’s instagram account is inspiring. Bronwyn and Lisa not only post beautiful photos of people wearing their clothes, they also share quotes that they themselves are moved by, as well as aesthetically pleasing photos of nature and human creations.
After you’ve scrolled through their feed, you feel so inspired that the only thing you need before tackling whatever challenge lies ahead of you, is that piece of jewellery from their instagram feed. So you order it.
Happy new moon – tonight grab yourself some space, head space and body space, take time to reflect on what you have and what you desire! Light some candles, breathe into that #space and believe in yourself, set your intentions and know that they will come true x "Through her effort, the bounty is made even more beautiful. Through her attention to detail, the fruits of labor are made even more perfect"
#2 Give credit.
How refreshing is it to see someone giving credit to another person like Bronwyn does. You see, nobody could actually know that it wasn’t her who sewed that dress you are wearing. But she chooses to tell you, because she feels that the woman that did make the dress should be the one that is being complimented. Giving credit where credit is due is an endearing quality in a brand.
#3 Live your values.
Being genuine and authentic about who you are and what you are aiming for, is an important tool in storytelling. For Wear We Wander, that is namely a bohemian lifestyle and all the values that come along with it. Because producing ethically is so important to them, they give back a percentage of all profits made to the communities in which they produce. Bronwyn also sometimes puts little gifts in with the orders of her customers, be it a poem that she thinks they might like or a crystal she thinks would go beautifully with the dress that they have just purchased. The way Bronwyn and Lisa treat their workers in Bali and Ireland, as well as their customers, aligns with their values.