Changing the world is not a one-person job, yet, it can be done with one person at a time. Dulce Salerno believe that, in order for people to learn to help others, they should be taught about it at a very early age. Like eating, drinking and playing, Dulce was also taught to help others and give back to the community, not as a duty, but as a part of our everyday routine. And now, her non-profit organisation uses fashion as a force for good, enabling everyone to be a gamechanger.
Sublime: What initially inspired you to create an ethical and sustainable clothing brand?
Dulce Salerno: Like every mother, I want a better world for my children (little Dulce and my two older sons). A world far better than the one I currently live in. Ethical and sustainable fashion is a step forward into this world as it helps to eliminate injustice and forced labor, create better opportunities, empower women, save the environment and even help reduce poverty. It's also a way to create good habits in my children early on and set an example for them to follow.
S: What challenges did you encounter at the beginning?
DS: On top of being an ethical and sustainable fashion brand, Dulce Salerno is also a non-profit organization that raises funds for causes and donates all profits to charities. With so many important causes that need support and attention and with our overwhelming passion and need to help as many people as possible, it was extremely challenging at the beginning to select our causes and narrow it down to just four charities.
S: What excites you most about running Dulce Salerno?
DS: What excites me the most is knowing that I am making a difference in this world and that my children are taking part in this journey as well. Together we are creating something that is making the world better and this alone is extremely rewarding.
S: Could you tell us a little bit more about Shop by Cause ?
DS: Being a non-profit organization that uses fashion as a force for good, we have partnered up with four charities dedicated to providing people with their most basic needs: water, food and medical facilities. Those charities are: Water.org, the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL), Farm Africa and the Lebanese Red Cross. For each cause, we have worked with a talented artist from Monaco, Lora Rostagni, to create beautiful artwork and designs that raise awareness for the cause and tell stories of hope. Customers are able to browse and shop from the collection designed for each specific cause on our website (Shop by Cause).
S: How shopping your products contribute to a more sustainable future?
DS: Dulce Salerno is all about sustainability and working towards a better world and a more sustainable future for our children. This principle is reflected in every Dulce piece which is carefully crafted with utmost love and kindness towards both humanity and the environment. Our fair trade policies mean that children are in school where they belong and not in factories, that women are given the opportunity to create a better future for themselves and that all workers are paid fairly and not subject to unhealthy or unsafe working conditions. Our selection of eco-friendly and ethically sourced fabrics such as organic cotton or bamboo threads help save water and preserve the environment. We place high importance on quality which means that our fashion pieces will stay longer in your closets instead of being thrown away after a few wears. Finally, as all profits are donated to the supported charities, every purchase of a Dulce Salerno item contributes to improving the quality of someone else's life, eliminating poverty and hunger, providing access to safe and clean water, curing children and creating endless possibilities long after the product is purchased and worn.
S: Do you see the concept of ethical clothing gaining more recognition in the fashion industry?
DS: Definitely. More and more light is being shed on the importance of ethical fashion and consumers are becoming more aware and vocal about the negative impacts of the fast fashion industry such as pollution, modern day slavery and waste. Customers are finally realizing their power and demanding more transparency from fashion retailers and many celebrities are now advocating green and ethical fashion. This is all very positive and we're confident that in good time, this fashion revolution will not go in vain and that 'ethical' fashion will simply be known as fashion with ethical being the standard.
S: Tell us about the Dulce Salerno Deeper Purpose initiative
DS: The Deeper Purpose initiative is about being more than just a fashion brand and using what we do to create a powerful community of change makers. Through our fashion brand, we want to inspire people to do good and take part in this ethical fashion revolution, raise awareness for our causes, spread love, hope and kindness, empower the new generation and protect our planet and environment.
S: Give us a simple reason why we should visit your store this season
DS: Our fashion pieces are all centered around hope and carry with them powerful messages and inspiring art stories that will make you feel empowered. The positive vibes that come with our vibrant art designs are contagious and will not only make you feel good but will also spread around and inspire those around you.