FtC: Gingi Medina of Equites
Taking Tall Orders
August 2017 / Originaly posted at FtC Magazine Digital
I read somewhere that the “need for women in the workforce” was “essential to sustainable practices and conscious economics.” While I couldn’t agree more, it’s really a more pressing issue to discuss how we can all work on these principles together, male and female counter-parting one another to support a more cohesive and whole cycle towards a world sustained.
My name is Gingi. I’m a fashion designer.
So what do I know about sustainability?
I never really wanted to own my own label but I was enthralled with the
creative process from start to the finish of manufacturing.
The manifestation of a viable product solely out of my imagination was addictive reinforcement and became the fuel I burned. The more my artistic skills developed the more I became keenly aware of the byproduct waste associated with the traditional manufacturing process that was available to me in my chosen industry. 70 percent of all garments made each year end up in a landfill.
When I was 24, I was at fault personally for a container, of one-day late product,that was then deemed unstable and discarded. I begged and pleaded with my employer to allow me to find another buyer for the stock. I was told to “do my job and reorder...the same exact stock we just threw away! The reason given was because the company “had to make greater numbers than last year.”
I remember leaving that meeting feeling nauseated; saddened at what my “job” had entailed...and my involvement. That feeling has stayed with me till this day and was one of the catalysts, the pivot in what was to be quite possibly, the rest of my life’s work.
From that day forward, every step, starting with quitting my job in the ‘Fashion Industry’ was to understand how to counter this action that I had blindly been taking for years in producing items that were not only unnecessary, but an actual threat to the planet’s survival.
Growing up in one of the leading fashion metropolises- Los Angeles, the opportunities to intern and assist with some of the premier designers there at the time, helped me hone my craft as my style developed. Learning in Los Angeles fashion district was a tremendous opportunity. I took advantage of all avenues available.
I knew the years of tutelage, designing clothing bags and products would pay off. Eventually, I acknowledged that to be truly honest to my endeavor, I’d have to one day find a more sustainable way to achieve the quality results that I wanted for my
However, being a designer is not as glamorous as most little girls and some boys envision. Watching lauded events,celebrities, the flashing lights and flair of the lifestyle that surrounds the fashion world, portrays a completely false idea of what it actually takes.
So what does sustainability in fashion look like?
Consider a world wherein you need something. Yes, it is one of the top three needs of survival. Food, clothing, shelter. What if we actually looked at our lifestyle and shopped accordingly - considering minimalism as a term to motivate with the consideration of how our weeks, months and seasons play out.
People ask me a lot to be their stylist. I end up being more of a life coach and show people ways of intelligent and minimal living which in turn, usually ends up creating the space internally and externally for a much happier individual. “Oh my gosh you mean I can actually live with less, be more intelligent with the things I choose and feel complete and assured at my resources being well spent and respectful of nature?!” These kind of comments and the ah-ha moments is the really rewarding part of what I do.
Styling was only a small step and I knew I could make a much larger impact. I imagined a label which was aware of our limited, once before bountiful resources. With an intense desire to develop a new way to manufacture with higher quality processes that would leave successively smaller imprint and leftovers, I opened Equites - a lifestyle brand. In my continued efforts to reach greater sustainability, I find myself trying again and again to discover methods that will reduce the massive carbon footprints inherent with traditional manufacturing. Brainstorming ways to use materials that utilized the entire plant, animal, or raw substance is my every waking moment.
Imagine knowing your leather boot did NOT come from a grown-for-their-skin operation. Imagine feeling great about paying for something that actually provided for your life, no matter which climate you were in, which social event or important dinner or day and night out awaited Imagine this garment being made with vegetable dyes, supporting indigenous peoples of whichever land it came from and maintaining the natural livestock existence. No stress, no slaughter, no waste, NO NONSENSE.
Think about where your fashion comes from, who actually makes it, the processes and impacts involved from concept to your body.
Welcome to the House of Equites.
You want to be a rebel?
You want to be fashion forward?
Do the right thing.
As I was behind the scenes, in the dirty, dingy factories to make my dreams come to life, I was at best, a slave to the fashion world, but not for the reasons most were. I worked hard to learn my craft. As a designer, most say I’m crazy to suggest a world wherein we not only consume less, but to also take on the task of learning and teaching the world how to produce less, sell less and make less everything. Product, waste, emissions and the false sense of belonging that most major brands are after. The major fashion houses all have stout to make themselves the desired object. That very necessary bag. It’s always a nicer picture when people are just trying to make money.
It’s all so damn casual. I’m here to personally challenge every major label that’s not only taken advantage of us for so long, but has been fueling the false sense of belonging to a certain social group, as they serenade you into believing their advertisements.