The Hip Humanitarian - Interview with Hayley Swindell
Let me introduce you to Hayley Swindell - the mastermind behind the ethical Subscription Box the Hip Humanitarian. Hayley reached out to me a few months ago to connect and hear about my journey as a business owner and we immediately hit it off. She's a gem and I'm excited to introduce her to you!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have lived in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas, since I was in middle school and love it more than just about any other place on earth! I live with my wonderful boyfriend who makes moonshine for a living, I enjoy shopping at Whole Foods about every chance I get and would establish a permanent nest in Anthropologie if they would let me.
I think it’s safe to say I am a really happy person 95% of the time and find lots of joy in life’s sweet nothings. I find cooking extremely relaxing, love to entertain and wish I could have music playing in the background of my life at all times!
When did you first become interested in Fair Trade / ethically made products?
I got into Fair Trade and ethically made products when I began to really take an interest in philanthropy while I was at The University of Texas. I became extremely passionate about living thoughtfully once I understood that every little purchasing decision I made had the power to really have a positive impact.
I should mention that I have a serious shopping addiction, so clothes, shoes, beauty products, jewelry – they all seemed to be a good place to start my ethical living journey!
Why did you decide to start the Hip Humanitarian?
I actually started The Hip Humanitarian in college but it was completely different at the time! It started in my sorority house when I noticed that we were all coming back with shopping bags quite often yet not a ton was ever leaving the house. Closets were just getting fuller and stuffed with clothes we didn’t need! So literally one night I had an idea and I asked everyone to donate any designer clothes and accessories they didn’t want anymore to what was then “The Hip Humanitarian Project.” I then gathered them and sold them on South Congress during First Thursday, and donated 100% of the profits to a different Austin non-profit each fashion season. It was a blast!
Fast forward a few years, and the present day Hip Humanitarian was born, and I love what it stands for. I truly believe that if we all chose to “fashion our lifestyles for social good” that our world would be a completely different place.
Everything that we carry at our online store and in our subscription boxes does good in one of the following ways: items and products are either fair trade, philanthropic, organic or eco-friendly. There are some incredible designers and brands out there that not only look good, but also do so much good.
And that is what our mission is now – to spread the word that these incredible brands do exist and the subscription boxes are designed to introduce them to you!
Can you tell us about the different subscription boxes you have available?
Oh yes! I love our boxes!
Each month there is a new theme and in each box you can find 2-4 full size and sample size lifestyle items that fit that month’s theme. Lifestyle products range from clothes, to purses, to jewelry, food, kitchenware, home décor, etc.
When ordering a box, you can chose between three different options so we can be sure we are sending you items that fit your lifestyle! You can chose between “The Minimalist,” “The Hollywood” or “The Free-Spirit.”
Subscriptions are also super flexible – You can chose to purchase just one month, or your can subscribe to The Hip Club and not only will this get you discounted boxes, but you can pick and chose which months you want.
Each month, we will send you an email revealing the upcoming month’s box theme - if you don’t want it simply don’t reply, and if you do then all you will have to do is click “Send me this box” and you are set.
It’s great because it’s commitment-free, customized to you, AND relieves you of that guilty shopping feeling. Now you can treat yourself and do some serious good all at the same time!
What item or company have you discovered that you just can't live without?
Oh my goodness, so many. Purse & Clutch is of course one of my local favorites and honestly I have so many in every lifestyle category now that it is hard to chose!
I just got a shipment of samples from Kahina Giving Beauty and cannot get enough of their face and body products. The scent of their rosemary lavender soap bar is intoxicating. So right now they are definitely the brand I am crushing hard on!