Friday, May 9, 2008

Changing the World, One Garment at a Time
PureFashion is a faith-based modesty program promoting the wearing of clothing that is 'trendy but tasteful, pretty but not provocative'.

It began in 2004 when 11-year-old Ella Gunderson made US national news for her letter to Nordstrom's department store.

The letter said: "Dear Nordstrom, I am an eleven-year-old girl who has tried shopping at your store for clothes (in particular jeans), but all of them ride way under my hips and the next size up is too big and falls down." Nordstrom management was quick to answer her complaint, apologizing for the inconvenience and offering to find a solution to her problem.

Ella's sentiments expressed the unvoiced concern of teenagers and women of all ages, landing her in prominent newspapers and national television shows. The result of the media attention was that Nordstrom developed a new category for junior customers on their website called Modern and Modest.

With the flurry of media attention, organizers of Pure Fashion shows seized the chance to take modest fashion forward. Have a look at their website -- it's very inspiring. Work is underway to get the program going in Australia, and it's spreading to a number of other countries as well.

Nordstrom's "Modern and Modest" range doesn't appear to exist any more. Perhaps if more girls like Ella Gunderson publicly approved or disapproved of store selections, positive outcomes would be longer lasting. One way you can help this happen is to provide feedback for the stores where you shop. PureFashion's online store stocks Retailer Feedback Cards.

I've designed a Boutique Narelle version of the feedback card. Email me and I'll send it to you for free. You can then print it at home, using coloured card if you wish, cut them up, and carry them in your purse to use when shopping.

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