The Minis: Emily Bell - Boston

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Hi Emily! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have always loved fashion and had a passion for environmental and social issues that plague our modern economy. I always knew I wanted to fuse them all together, and have been doing just that over the past 10 years in Boston. I really want to inspire a change in the way we engage as consumers so that we have a better understanding of how our daily purchases directly affect our world. 

What led you to begin STRAPT
STRAPT was born out of my fashion background and waitressing career. My chef boyfriend said that I should make aprons for chefs in Boston because all the other apron companies were subpar. I laughed, but here we are two years later!

In addition to STRAPT, you also have a clothing company called Emily vs Bear. When did you begin this and what makes you passionate your work?
Emily VS Bear has been around for about five years. Originally as American made luxury pieces, but after the election we had a radical make-over. There are a slew of issues that are in need of immediate action, the most pressing probably being climate change. With that, comes a web of intricacies that can be very overwhelming. We are trying to dissect them all in order to figure out how to live a life that doesn’t feed the system we are fighting against. For example, if you are someone who was against the Dakota Access Pipeline then you need to get your money out of big banks. If your money is in a big corporate bank, then the chances are that they are using your money to help fund big oil projects as well as other nefarious activities. It is irresponsible for us as consumers in the current state of the world, to turn the other cheek. We need to fight these companies where it hurts.

Each one of your pieces calls attention to an issue. What do you want people to learn or understand when they purchase one of your pieces? 
The shirts are meant to be conversation starters. A lot of people don’t pay attention to what is going on or are not educated enough or think that changing a lightbulb will fix the problem. I want to give a platform to these issues and educate people, young women especially, on how they can help fight the destructive system we have ALL helped create. The fast fashion industry is #2 as far as pollution, only behind oil. That’s a big deal, and something people need to be thinking about when they are buying $10 shirts here and $20 jeans there. Not even to mention the labor issues associated with the industry. 

How do you balance running two businesses?
Haha. That’s a very good question. I am constantly moving back and forth between priorities for each and what is the one thing that needs to get done right now. I usually will spend one day with focused attention towards one company and then switch my focus for the next day. It’s definitely exhausting and not sustainable in the long run, but it’s where I’m at right now. Building the group of people around me to help me juggle everything is a big priority. It’s all about having the right people!

What are some of your favorite places in Boston?
I really love the seaport innovation district down by falcon pier. The old factory buildings are so beautiful and walking through some of the buildings where all these design companies are is like being a kid in a candy store. I also love sitting on the docks down in this area and forgetting about the bustling city for a minute. Any ocean water brings me peace of mind, if only for a second. 

Find Emily at:
Strapt Website / Instagram
Emily VS Bear Website / Instagram

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