Why I’m sick of sustainable and ethical fashion’s exclusionary marketing (ft. Automic Gold)
In this digital age of social media and inescapable advertising, we’re bombarded with images—and often, it’s the same type of images being thrown at us of skinny, attractive people looking effortless yet somehow perfectly put together.
Constantly seeing these impossibly perfect images can lead to mental health issues, including low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy (not to mention FOMO!). Honestly, I’ve been down the Insta rabbit hole of scrolling other girls’ perfectly curated feeds and well-lit selfies, coming out of it with nothing but body image problems and anxiety about the number of followers or likes I had.
Besides the models and bloggers you follow on Insta, the fashion industry is the worst offender of creating unrealistic expectations of beauty through the images they create and promote.
The sustainable and ethical fashion world is just as guilty of this as the rest of the fashion industry. I’ve discussed the lack of people of color in sustainable and ethical fashion before, but the industry also largely excludes non-thin bodies and non-cis people from its marketing.
Sustainable and ethical fashion’s exclusionary marketing makes conscious fashion seem elitist, when we should be trying to make it more accessible for all folks. If sustainable and ethical brands truly want to be part of a movement and not just ride the greenwashing wave for capitalistic gains, they need to do their part to make the movement more welcoming and accessible.
And I love beautiful editorial images as much as the next person, but I’m sick of seeing the same immaculately lit photos of thin, conventionally attractive models with smooth airbrushed skin (think Reformation and Everlane).
I want to see the products I believe in, modeled on people who look like me—and you deserve to see products you believe in, modeled on people who look like you, no matter your body type, gender, or ethnicity.
That’s why I’m excited to introduce you to Automic Gold, a brand with a refreshing and honest approach to marketing! They believe that companies should take responsibility for the kinds of images they create, especially when those images can have such a powerful impact.
About Automic Gold
Automic Gold uses diverse people as models, including people of color and trans and gender nonconforming folks. Their images aren’t Photoshopped, so you’re seeing how their jewelry will look on a real human being, in real life, not on an airbrushed model or in a perfectly curated flatlay.
In addition, their fine jewelry is ethically and sustainably made in NYC from reclaimed gold. Gold mining is an environmentally damaging industry (and not just kind of bad…it’s like, really fucking awful), so I like to look for fair trade or recycled gold jewelry.
All pieces are made from 14k solid gold, so they don’t tarnish easily or lose their color like gold-plated jewelry. I’ve bought tons of cheap, gold-plated jewelry in the past and have been so disappointed when the pieces began to lose their color or tarnish within months or even weeks, so I think the investment in solid gold is truly worth it.
Finally, Automic Gold is LGBTQ-owned!
Ethical everyday jewelry
At heart, I am a creature of comfort. Although I blog about fashion and post photos of myself wearing different outfits all the time, I actually default to the same comfortable outfits during the week when I’m not creating content for my blog. I rarely wear accessories in my everyday looks because I always forget to put them on, or they become uncomfortable throughout the day.
So when Automic Gold reached out to me and told me that their jewelry is meant to be ultra low maintenance and comfortable—pieces you can wear to sleep, in the shower, even at the gym if you forget to take them off—I was intrigued!
The Bead Chain Ring is a flexible, dainty little loop made of tiny beads linked together. I don’t really know how to describe the beads; they’re not spheres but instead have some flat and angular surfaces which reflect light to create a sparkly, almost shimmering effect. I honestly gasped when I took it out of the box!
I wore the ring to sleep, in the shower, and when I washed my face with zero discomfort. It also fits my tiny fingers!!! I usually hate wearing rings due to how difficult it is to find my size and how uncomfortable they can be, but this ring has converted me.
The Dainty Dangle Earrings look like something Mejuri would carry. They’re minimal and understated yet so perfect for everyday. I was surprised by how elegant they look! I already know they’ll become my new everyday favorites.
I think that the pieces are also fairly priced for being ethical and 14k solid gold.
Some of my other favorites (pictured above, starting from the top clockwise):
- Chain Loop Earrings: Just like the Dainty Dangles, but without a bar for a more minimal look.
- Circle Earrings: A classic, comfortable piece for everyday wear and available in different sizes.
- Circle Threader: A versatile piece for those with multiple ear piercings! I love how it looks threaded through two piercings and wrapped around the earlobe; it looks like your ear is dripping with gold.
Be sure to check out Automic Gold’s beautiful pieces here and send them some love!
What do you think about the sustainable and ethical fashion industry’s approach to marketing? Do you think brands have a responsibility to include more diversity in their ads and images? And what would you like to see more of in fashion imagery (diversity in age, body type, ethnicity, etc.)?
Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by Automic Gold. I received a fee and was gifted products in exchange for my creative work (styling, photography and writing) and an honest review. No amount of money or product is worth more than my relationship with you, and I strive to provide transparent and honest content.