A Bit About Us
Our journey in sustainability started about ten years ago, when we, individually, made the wise decision to switch to ethical fashion. Discussions about ethical and sustainable design and production had already started in the West, it was beginning to emerge into the mainstream fashion industry.
Up until then, like everyone, we used to shop fast. We’ve only heard about sustainable fashion through eco and vegan friends. Our knowledge was very limited. We traveled to Vietnam, to Cambodia and experienced the industry first hand. We were mostly curious and we wanted to learn more about the production of clothing, did we really need so much? We’ve realized that this is bigger than us and that we can best help by talking about it, exposing the issues, and offering alternatives.
Being part of this shift became essential to our cause. So two years ago, we took a step further and decided to build a little pop-up in Washington DC, to give us an opportunity to introduce our friends and extended community to local and international responsible brands we love. Since then, we were lucky to present our concept in three different locations in the past years before finally establishing our home at 1664 Columbia Road NW.
TRIBUTE is not just a store. With us, you’ll discover a mix of retail, art, culture and literature, all of which constitutes TRIBUTE.
At its core, our mission is to help our community understand the culture of clothing through various lenses, such as sustainable and ethical production, history, community, design, activism, and more. We want our customers to be conscious of how they shop and consume products. Over-consumption and dispensability is widely promoted by the fashion-industry, this rhetoric takes away from the environmental and humanitarian efforts that go into making the products we buy. TRIBUTE’s goal is to change that narrative by educating our community about the brands we curate. We want to honor the designers, producers, environment, and people who make it possible to buy these products. Tribute aims to tell the story behind the garments and home goods we sell.
Through our programs, exhibitions, and talks like Un/fold, the Fashion Library, and the Good Chat, we have created an educational space for fellow fashion lovers and nerds to learn about the different facets of the industry. Un/fold is a style anthology of Washington DC, “a research project that brings together art,community,photography, storytelling and fashion in powerful ways to look at the clothed body in the city as a site for production of meaning, narrative, performance and communication”. The Fashion Library is a curated collection of literature based on local and international fashion and culture, coming online in Spring 2021. The Good Chat is “a monthly one hour conversation hosted by the TRIBUTE team on current affairs like fashion, history, music, art, photography, new textiles, retail, and of course the COVID-19 and its impact.” And now, ConTribute will be another outlet to add to our educational platforms.
We believe fashion is a reflection of history, culture and community. It connects people all over the world.
Behind the Name of Our Store and Our Blog
The name TRIBUTE was first inspired by Amin Maalouf’s book, In The Name of Identity. In his book, the author talks about tribe and identity, discussing the identity crisis that Arabs have experienced since the establishment of continuous relationships with the West. Yes, the association with fashion sounds far fetched but this is actually not the case. All our work is connected to identities, relationships, and experience. Knowing this, somehow, tribe resonated with us. So we wrote it down on a piece of paper and started playing around, brainstorming. TRIBUTE made the cut. First, because of the idea of paying tribute, and honoring, makers, designers, history, and art. It’s a tribute to creativity and an appreciation of artisanship- recognizing the men and women involved in making your clothing and the treasures that adorn your home.
We later added “collective” to recognize the contributions of artists, photographers and designers, their work has been instrumental in building our brand and we hope to continue these collaborations.
When deciding the name of our blog, we wanted it to reflect our mission and compliment the story of our boutique's meaningful name. ConTribute was the perfect fit. By definition, to contribute is to offer something that enriches a person, community, or business. This meaning inhibits what our blog will serve to our readers and supporters.
What to Look Forward to from ConTribute
Contribute will further uphold Tribute’s mission of community and collectivity, by opening our metaphorical doors into who we are. The blog will be the voice of Tribute and inform our readers of the latest happenings in the shop.
We will have an overarching monthly theme that our blog will follow. The themes will work in harmony with Tribute’s social media as well. Our intention behind this concept is to take a deep-dive into topics that are important to our educational endeavors.
Look out for our blog posts on the first and third Monday of each month, we can’t wait for you to read them.
-The TRIBUTE Team