Hi Guys! Hope you are doing well. Today, I wanted to do something fun for the mind and good for the heart. As you know, I am a huge proponent of cruelty-free and vegan products. While it was so difficult to have access to these type of products in department stores or drug stores back when I was a teenager, I am so happy that teenagers today have access to these products today. It feels so powerful having a choice to do good vis-a-vis supporting brands that are ethical. I hope today’s youth realize that the rest of us didn’t have many options to do good when we were their age. Progress is always good, no matter how arduous, time-consuming, and small it is.
I write this blog partly to educate young people about products that are on the international market. Yes, things are always changing. I do know I support certain designers or brands for a reason and they can have a huge flaw, but there is always something good I want to highlight. Maybe they are doing things rights. Maybe they are doing something wrong. The point is that we can always learn from one another. I want you to do the work. Read into them. Experience them. I will say, I will never take you proverbially down the wrong or dangerous path.
Keeping that philosophy in mind, I’d like to focus today’s post on two female entrepreneurs. People these days confuse entrepreneurs with businessmen/women. There is a distinction, however. While businesses hire people and sell goods and services, the relatively newly- coined “entrepreneur” brings about a tectonic change in the world. For example, Steve Job bringing personal computers to the market or Bill Gates creating software for computers. Larry Page creating the internet or a group of my friends and me creating social media. The idea seems deceptively simple enough but leaves you with questions like “How did you do this?” or the ever-charming “HOW did you come up with the idea?”. The reality is that a series of experiences and decisions lead to such after-the-fact genius ideas that change the lives of millions or billions.
I knew of Kylie Jenner from “Keeping With The Kardashians” as the quietest of all her siblings. Today she is considered one of the youngest richest people in the world all because of a simple yet revolutionary idea of making cruelty-free and vegan makeup products, that I personally think she came up with. You would think that this humane concept is old as time, but believe it or not, until a few years ago, I couldn’t think of ONE makeup or beauty product that was cruelty – free or vegan. I remember brands like Wet n. Wild talk about animal cruelty in the 1990’s, but it was truly unimaginable that a makeup formula could be without, for the lack of a better word, animal body parts.
Then in 2013 or 2014, I saw Kylie talk about her upcoming cosmetic line (either on E! or Keeping Up With The Kardashians) and I was thrilled that this young woman had such vision. When Kylie Cosmetics were stocked online and in stores in 2015 they sold out in minutes. Right around that time, Kat Von D. came up with her own unique formula suited for those wanting more of the burlesque look. And today in 2018, there are several makeup brands available in Sephora that have cruelty-free or vegan collections.
The second entrepreneur I want to highlight is Misha Lakhani. A Pakistani designer educated in Europe and the United States, she is the first fashion designer in Pakistan with a philosophy of incorporating ethical and sustainable work practices. According to her website, she employs local artisans to work on her garments.
Honestly speaking, Pakistan does not have a council, committee or even a decent union that oversees thousands of low-wage workers working on precious garments across the country. I have heard and seen all sorts of experiences and stories of varying degrees while shopping at almost all designer labels in the country. There are only a handful of designers and brands I endorse because in dealing with them I saw transparency. Misha Lakhani, touted to be one of them, is in the forefront of this new fashion world curve. I hope more designers follow “suit”.
One way I know Misha Lakhani as a brand is ethical and sustainable is in seeing her designs. She goes for modern cuts fused with minimal traditional hand-work, which is very time-consuming. One thing I hate about Pakistani fashion is the amount of hand-done embroidery on it. This expectation brings in a host of problems where the prices are low and the demand is high, leading to worker abuse like no other. But designer brands like Farah Talib Aziz, Elan, Sana Safinaz, Tena Durrani, and Nida Azwer manage their creative and marketing outputs in such a way so that doesn’t happen. Whether it is high wages, use of high-quality fabrics with minimal embroidery, incorporating machine embroidery or taking a few orders at a time, these designer labels for a fact are shortlisted in my book as being conscious of ethical and sustainable work standards.
Misha Lakhani’s Miraka
Misha’s “Miraka” collection, which features a few shisha-tanka (See HERE) kurtas is quite adorable for your next soiree. The Vikram Kurti (See HERE) or the short Ziggy Kurti (See HERE) features beautiful red embroidery on cream fabric. The Ziggy Kurti is also available in aqua (See HERE) and in two different cream Kurtas (See HERE and HERE). For those like a softer look can go for the beautiful Mimi Kurti (See HERE). For something basic, you can go for the Chakor Kurti (See HERE).
These kurtas can be worn without a dupatta, however, can work them in with tulip shalwars, pants, shalwars, capris and for those ultra-traditional women, with ghararas.
Kylie Matte Lip Cosmetics
For those in love with Kylie Cosmetics, I love her matte lip collections. I know in the last 10 years or so, lipsticks have really taken a dip in sales because of their bad reputation regarding animal cruelty & animal testing. While women say they prefer the look and feel of lip glosses, I know the underlying impetus for the collective change has been the amount of criminal activity behind creating lipsticks. But I think thanks to entrepreneurs like Kylie Jenner that fear in buying lipsticks is of the past. Kylie Cosmetics have three matte lips collections – Matte Lipsticks, Matte Lip Kits, & Liquid Lipsticks. The three collections more or less look the same with the minuscule exception of how heavy the lip coverage is. The biggest difference is how they are applied. The Liquid Lipsticks and Matte Lip Kits come with lipstick formulas that can be applied as lip gloss. The Matte Lipsticks, on the other hand, look like traditional lipsticks.
Some of my favorite colors that can go with Misha Lakhani’s Miraka collection are the ultra-glam Victoria (See HERE), ultra-bright Boss (See HERE) or the subdued One Wish (See HERE). The Libra (See HERE), the Clove (See HERE), Head Over Heels (See HERE), and the Okurrr (See HERE) will go brilliantly with different Pakistani skin colors. And those wanting to try a fun pink in a matte lipstick can opt for Glam (See HERE), Flirtini (See HERE), or Miami (See HERE).