Ruby’s incredible experiences early on in life certainly helped her hone in on her passion. She stresses how important it is to try many different avenues to find the right one. “I think that if you are in your 20s or early 30s, don’t be afraid to fail. Know that falling flat on your face and having those challenges is a gift,” she says. “I think that because I had so many challenges in my 20s, so many ups and downs, it helped me clarify what I wanted and where I wanted to be. That kind of clarity is only possible if you feel like you’ve tried everything, there are a lot of lessons to be gained from failure. I like to say that failure is my greatest teacher.”
Through activism, grass-roots work, and a deep sense of passion, Ruby realized she wanted to pursue her dream of working in fashion but from a women’s empowerment and sustainability standpoint. We often think about how working conditions and supply chains affect our ecological footprint, but we do not often consider it in terms of gender equality. She mentions how she was an activist which, at the time, was a largely male dominated space, so she is used to having to battle her way for her voice to be heard. “I realized that so many people who are affected negatively by the fashion industry are women, especially those working in the supply chain,” she continues. Initially, Ruby was unsure how she would make the transition from NGO work to the fashion industry. “At the time, in 2010/2011, traditional careers in fashion didn’t fit my skill set or my interest. So I was really digging to find how I could get involved in fashion in a way that made sense for my work as an activist for women’s empowerment,” she explains. “After doing more research, I realized that in sustainable fashion, the focus is not limited to the environment, but extends to human and women’s rights, encompassing issues of race, class and gender.” It wasn’t until 2014 when she went to Paris for graduate school that she finally made the move to fashion, a transition that came very naturally to her.