Founded by Nicki Patel and inspired by her journey along with her pup, Milo, milo + nicki is an ethical fashion brand with Indian and Zambian roots. milo + nicki's handwoven creations are made with natural fiber, and the designer ensures that she keeps sustainability at the forefront of her brand. Read on below to learn more about milo + nicki, the founder's story, and what's behind her heart-centered brand.
What inspired you to create your brand? What's the story behind it?
My name is Nicki and my partner in crime is the handsome, crazy energetic stud Milo (my pup). We are an energetic, indomitable duo that love hard and care deeply about people and the planet. Milo and I both hit rock bottom in 2014. The combination of our health problems, Milo having a major injury, and a very stressful burglary that spiraled us both downward, we begin to slowly feel the floor crumble beneath us. And no doctor or specialist had a remedy.
I lived in fear of not knowing what the next day, hour, or minute held for us.
By combining our health rollercoaster with my love for fashion, my mission to empower women, and my drive to bring awareness to a deep-rooted destructive consumer industry, I came to create milo+nicki.
As we conquer our fears, take a leap of faith, never give up on ourselves, and live a life full of color, I hope to empower you to do the same.
Why is it important for you to participate in ethical and sustainable practices?
The fashion industry is the second largest pollutant in the world, just behind the oil and gas industry. It is saturated by corruption and pollution with stories that never hit the newsstands. What we wear is something more than a piece of cloth. It has history, meaning, roots, sweat, and tears. The sacrifices in each piece of cloth is an untold story, but with milo+nicki, I hope to bring these hidden truths to the surface and build an awareness that drives the ethical and sustainable fashion movement.
Our goal is to educate, empower, and inspire change. We as consumers hold the power for change, we just have to decide with our dollar what we value.
What is the power of your ethical approach to fashion? How does it create a more conscious lifestyle?
As we began our journey a little over a year ago, I searched high and low to find the perfect fabric supplier, to locate the most ethical local factory, and to create the least environmental impactful supply chain. I realized this was tough, very tough, but I knew that this was something that was very important to us due to our love for the planet and the people. Our power is creating a clear and open formula for transparency coupled with the story of our brand.
If we are open with our consumers, they will want to learn more about our story and brand, which will make them feel more empowered to share our story and support our brand, but also educate and empower the cycle to continue through to other aspects of their lifestyle.
What message do you hope to spread through your work?
With milo+nicki, I want to empower the ever-evolving women, wherever they are in the world, to push the limits within themselves and within society to conquer her fears, take a leap of faith, never give up on herself and live a life of color. Because no dream is too big, no passion is too small, and no routine is unbreakable.
What changes do you hope fashion can make to be more conscious of the people and the planet?
For the consumers: ask questions and use the power of your dollar to cast a vote for what you believe in. Knowing how something is made, where it is made, who it is made by, and why we made it that way is not only crucial for shifting the industry norms and practices, and holding brands accountable, but it allows the consumer to feel empowered, inspired and educated on what they are putting next to the largest organ on their body.
For the industry and brands: share the story of the entire process of creating the pieces, be transparent in your supply chain, and be responsible to the people and planet on what and how you create.
To support milo + nicki's first collection, check out their kickstarter campaign here.