Social Science Scholar: Sustainable Fashion

This summer, I did a 9-week long internship with Behno, a sustainable fashion company based in  New York. Behno is a sustainable handbag company that uses ethical practices, sustainable materials, and sleek designs to create their handbags. They have two to three factories in which they produce their handbags and have paired with a non-profit to hire their employees. The non-profit is called MSA ethos which stands for Muni Seva Ashram. This non-profit provides workers with healthcare services, fair wages, accessibility to education, and equal status for women in the factories. By partnering with a non-profit Behno hopes to eliminate the horrendous practices of fast fashion companies such as H & M and Zara. The non-profit has six core pillars that represent the “The Behno Standard” including health, garment worker mobility, family planning, women’s rights, worker satisfaction and benefits, and eco-consciousness. Working as their digital marketing and social media intern, I was responsible for representing the brand appropriately on all social media platforms and through their website. 

My daily tasks varied from day to day but revolved around finding marketing solutions and content to post onto social media. Most of my work was done by collaborating with the founder, Shivam Punjiya who guided my creative thinking throughout my internship in New York. By collaborating with him, I put together a Marketing calendar which had all the online content we were posting. This included newsletters, Instagram posts, Facebook Ads and posts, and campaigns that would be active on the online website. This made it easier for me to do my job. When I first got into the office, I would check the marketing calendar to see what I would be posting that day. Everything would be efficiently planned at least a week ahead of time, especially social media posts. The company’s portrayal online was very important, so I was also responsible for making sure the website was easily accessed and usable in design. Furthermore, I attended marketing meetings every week to ensure that the brand was doing its best. Through the marketing meetings I learned how significant one campaign ca be and how it is vital that we push out content everyday to maintain the brand’s image. I had a great experience with Behno, but I realized before jumping in headfirst into the fashion world, I need more experience with different sustainable fashion brands. 

In the future, I plan to work for a sustainable fashion company. After seeing the collapse of many garment factories in India and Bangladesh, I wanted to learn more about problems in the fashion industry. After working with Behno, I realized building a reputable brand which is ethically and eco-consciously made is not impossible. It requires a lot of sleepless nights, but it can be done. I hope to create my own sustainable clothing line in the future and continue working for others along the way. 

Saadiyah Qureshi is a junior majoring in information communications technology and international affairs. She aspires to work for a company that produces sustainable clothing with the hope of eventually building her own sustainable clothing brand.

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