Updated: Dec 5, 2022
Earlier this year, Culture Canopy was featured in Fashion Manuscript, written by Mia Patten as part of LIM's Storytelling for Sustainability assignment focusing on purpose-driven companies.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved all things fashion. It’s been the only business I’ve wanted to pursue a career in as it gives me a space to be expressive and reflective of who I am. I also have a strong love for the environment, connecting my love for fashion and sustainability is where my passion lies.
Therefore, I was so excited to sit down and chat with Jay Barrett, founder of people-centric, human-resource company Culture Canopy, about our shared values and what drives him each day.
Jay Barrett learned about the unethical processes of the meat industry years ago and became a vegan, a process I similarly went through when I started educating myself about the impacts of the food and meat industry in my high school’s vegetarian club. The change to better food was the start to his purpose-driven journey to work towards a more ethical and sustainable future for people and the planet. Those values of ethics and sustainability through his personal lifestyle transitioned naturally into what Jay believed is important: Equity for all people. Barrett worked towards that mission and lead human-resource teams at Kering and Stella McCartney over the past 12+ years. The fact that Barrett has been working for social responsibility at such mission-driven companies is exciting to me, as I admire brands and designers who put planet and people at the forefront of their business.
Barrett's work at successful female-led, environmentally- and socially driven brands inspired him to drive more change across more companies. And in 2021, Jay decided to create a business of his own and broaden his impact. Jay's purpose is to continue his people-focused work with businesses that stand for something good and that empower women in the workplace. Jay Barrett's new company, Culture Canopy, represents his drive and all that he has urgently worked for. Jay implements belonging, purpose, and sustainability into the foundation of his brand’s mission and works by educating and guiding his brand clients on ethical recruitment, transparency strategies and people analytics.
Culture Canopy demonstrates how to present genuine transparency of work and gives aid in recruiting people that come from diverse backgrounds in order to come together for an innovation-driven work environment. Barrett speaks heavily on the importance of the recruiting aspects of his position to find a range of candidates with different backgrounds and experiences, driving change to become more human centric.
Climate change is a social and an environmental crisis. Barrett, born and raised in Europe, is super-aware of this because climate change is at the forefront on the news across Europe. I took this to heart as I spent much time in nature growing up, it has played a special role in my life and has driven my passion for environmentalism. His great work attempts to lessen the social crises of climate change and build up people so they can be mindful of the planet and people.
Culture Canopy is setting a foundation for mindful business practices through policies, certifications, and people-first guidelines. So much of climate change effects start within the business models of companies all around the world. The way that Barrett speaks about his work, passion, and what drives him to make positive changes with everyone he works with gives me great hope. The way that ethical businesses, that have such a large impact on people and the planet, address brand values through transparency and communication also gives me great hope. A better world to me is a world where people come together to make positive changes, whether in business or life, in regard to environmentalism and ethics. A better world includes great drivers of change, like Culture Canopy, and is a world that includes every person and company being gentle and loving to all people and the planet. I have hope in that better world because of positive change-makers like Jay Barrett, and my goal is to follow similar footsteps with an intersection of fashion and environmentalism.