Women en Route: Aliyah

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Our social media intern, Kylie, interviewed Aliyah, our summer merchandising intern for our Women en Route series. Here’s what she had to say:
When were you happiest? 
I am happiest when I am around Friends & Family, I don’t get much free time in between work and school so when i get that free time to be around them i am happy and at peace.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is not succeeding in life. I work so hard in school making the dean’s list every semester and achieving a 4.0 gpa while working in management at work just so i can shoot for an even higher position when I graduate. I feel that school is important but to have real work experience that relates to your studies is just as important and helps you way more than some think.
What is your earliest memory? 
My earliest memory has to be back in fifth grade when i started planning my own clothing line and drawing out garments. From that moment I knew fashion would be my passion and it has not changed to this day.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? 
I always wanted to be a fashion designer and design my own clothes. I took several sewing classses, started my own online store and even tailored clothing on the side. After high school I was over fashion design and fell in love with fashion marketing & management.
What is your five year plan? 10 year plan?
Five year plan: Continue to work in store management and build my résumé.
Ten year plan: move into corporate and become a buyer for a major retail company.
Who is the biggest influence on you? Why? 
My mother. She is my biggest supporter and cheerleader, she pushes me to go after what I want, be fearless and to never give up.
Who is your fashion icon?
Pinterest- I literally have two rooms in my house that are closets full of clothes and handbags. I don’t have a particular style, but I do lean towards the casual/ street style look. But, I’ll have an idea of what I want to wear type it into pinterest to give me some inspiration and I go from there.
What would you wear every day if you could?
DISTRESSED JEANS! We can’t wear jeans at work so if we could I would because you can’t go wrong with a cute pair of distressed jeans to go with anything, whether you dress it up or down it can make your outfit pop.
Why Steven’s College?
Stephens College was my one & only choice for the simple fact that they were the only school who offered Fashion Marketing and Management. Stephens College School of Design is a top ranked, accredited program that is one of the best in the country. The way the program is set up it allows you to gain so much real world, hands on experience that can give you the right tools to succeed after graduation. Stephens also puts you in front of several industry professionals who you can network with, build relationships with and help pave a way for you in the industry. I love Stephens because of how broad my major is and how my opportunities are endless I can be in store management, visual merchandising, marketing, communications, buying, allocations, planner, styling and so much more!
What is one problem in the world you would spend your whole life fixing?
Equal Opportunity.
Thanks so much Aliyah, we are inspired by you! 

Resources We Rely On

I got into a great conversation this weekend with a friend about how to know which companies we buy from are ethical or not AND what harm we are causing with our purchasing. A fitting question as we celebrate Independence Day this week.

Continue reading “Resources We Rely On”

Love What You Own

Post by our content marketing intern, Kylie McCalmont, a sophomore at the University of Missouri.

Sometimes less is best. With shelves of shoes and closets packed to the brim, I sometimes ask myself if I even wear a fifth of what bulges outside of my closet on a daily basis. Maybe if I condensed what I have to what I wear, I could truly focus on loving what I have – and maybe save myself a few trips during my next move. This idea prompted me to explore some of what other people love, and figure out why the articles have so much meaning. So I asked a few girlfriends to help me out.

Whether it’s because of a memory or it was just a fun purchase, these women from the University of Missouri share their favorite purchases and why they’re so special to them.

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Aubri Kaiser, Megan Mckeough, Isabel Charter and Madi Mckeough proudly pose with their favorite articles of clothing. (Left to Right)

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Aubri Kaiser clutches her uncle’s hand-me-down green flannel that she pairs with her favorite t-shirts and stretchy leggings.

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Megan Mckeough flaunts her cozy H-Town tee that lets her proudly represent her hometown all the way in Missouri.

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Isabel Charter flaunts her fuzzy sweatshirt that matches perfectly with some tattered jeans or soft sleeping shorts.

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Madi Mckeough shows off her trendy cactus skirt that she purchased from a cute boutique in Houston to pair with a snuggly sweater or a summer tank.

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Check out our website to find your special piece and read about our wonderful partners that produce ethical items.

Our Website: https://www.shoproute.org



Four years ago this week, on April 24, 2013, 1,134 people were killed and 2,500 injured when the clothing factory, Rana Plaza complex, collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

There are thousands more places around the world where children and adults are still forced to work in unsafe places and for far less money than is fair.

Fashion Revolution Week,  April 24-30, 2017 is a time for people from all over the world to come together, question, protest, and make our voices heard.  Route exists to raise awareness, to provide alternatives, and to support organizations that are changing the status quo that hurts so many. We are SO proud to work with so many partner groups that care so deeply about their makers.

So, what can we/you do this week and beyond? Wear your shirt inside out this week.  Ask hard questions. Find out where your clothes are made.  Take a picture of your clothing label, tag the brand, and ask #whomademyclothes? Purchase secondhand, purchase ethically.

Here’s more info on how to join the revolution: http://fashionrevolution.org/


Power of Interns

This semester, we have had four marketing interns working at Route. They have had two specific projects that they have been working on. The first was the True Cost film screening that we did in the store. They had lots of fun planning the event, and getting the store theater-ready!


The second project they have been working on is the launch of our first original Route product, the “Empowered” t-shirt line. They designed the tshirt with their own original art, found an ethically made t-shirt designer, and had the shirts printed. We now carry the shirts in-store and online, and are so excited for people to wear our creation!



Partner Feature: World Finds

World Finds was founded upon the basis that to lift communities out of poverty, they needed to be provided with work, not charity. Through this mission, it has created a community and a market for artisans to make and sell their products. By providing employment, World Finds has helped its artisans and their communities in India, Indonesia and Nepal by combatting poverty, improving educational programs and expanding healthcare initiatives.

World Finds itself provides a community for fair trade organizations and artisans, but it also does much more. By providing workshops to teach women to bead and sew, the fair trade organizations that work with World Finds help to empower women who can then empower other women in their communities.

Not only is each piece from World Finds unique, but it also helps to continue the cycle of women helping women. This necklace was handmade in India by a community of women that continues to grow with each purchase.

While all of World Finds products are helping to lift up women and their communities, they are also helping to educate young girls. The Girls Education Fund provides transportation, tuition, books and more to communities in India, which has helped triple the amount of girls who can stay in school.


From handbags to jewelry to hand printed scarves, World Finds offers on-trend, sustainable and ethical products that you can wear proudly, no matter your personal style. Their collection of scarves are perfect for this spring – throw one on during the cool mornings and tie it around your tote when the weather warms up.

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For a limited time, our Flora Scarf is 15% off 🙂 Click here to shop.

Blogger: Kathryn McDonnell, Route Intern

Partner Feature: 31Bits

Similar to Roūte, 31Bits was started by women who believed every purchase made can have a negative impact or a positive impact in the world. They use fashion and design to help women to rise above poverty.

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The “31” comes from Proverbs 31, where it describes a diligent woman providing and caring for her family.  The “bits” comes from what the beads are made out of…bits of paper! 31Bits products are carefully crafted by hand by skilled artisans in Uganda and Indonesia.


Their beaded products are made in Uganda from rolled up paper, sealed with a water-based varnish. Making beads from paper is a technique found throughout Eastern Africa. Their metal products and accents are made in Indonesia by skilled artisans who have spent years learning the craft.

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Every time our customers make a purchase, they are having a direct impact on the lives of our artisans and their families. Shop 31Bits necklaces in store or online.

Blogger: Saloni Gami, Route Intern

Film Screening: True Cost

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On Monday, March 13th, we hosted our first in-store documentary screening. Columbia community members were invited for an open-house style screening of the film, The True Cost, by director Andrew Morgan.

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The film explores the impact of the garment industry and how clothes we wear affect the world we live in. From where and how our clothes are made to who makes them, the film raised many questions surrounding the ethical production of garments and why we at Route are so passionate about knowing where and who made what we wear.

Following the film, Rafiqul Islam Rana, a graduate teaching assistant with the college of Textile and Apparel Management led a discussion surrounding his experience in the production of ready-made garments in Bangladesh.

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He shared about his experience in the industry and why coming to pursue graduate school in the U.S. can have an impact there. Those who attended were able to ask him questions and overall the evening was eye-opening and an intriguing look into what goes into making our clothes. We at Route hope to continue the conversation started here by hosting more monthly events partnering with various local organizations and campus groups. We would love to see you in store soon!

Blogger: Kaitlyn Henke, Route Intern

Product Feature: Tiffins

We work with Ten Thousand Villages to provide these fun tiffin carriers created by Noah’s Ark International Exports. A tiffin is actually a light mid-day meal, so these tiffin lunch boxes, which were made in India, will help you carry your food in style.


Noah’s Ark, the producer of the tiffin carriers, is a fair trade company that was started in 1986 in one room of a family home in Moradabad, India. Samuel Masih, the founder, noticed that exporters were taking advantage of handicraft artisans, so he started Noah’s Ark to promote these artisans and their crafts in a fair and safe environment. Noah’s Ark now employs around 300 makers, and provides them benefits such as education and medical treatment. Stop by the shop to browse the tiffin carriers and help support the makers.

Blogger: Adileh Nazemi-Tabrizi, Route Intern