About Us and Our Mission
“Future thinking in fashion needs to include past thinking.”
Charlene Nijmeh, Chairwoman
Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of S.F.
The idea for Bonafide Fashions was born in our “past thinking” thousands of years ago when the region of the San Francisco Bay Area was inhabited by Indigenous tribes living in harmony with our planet. These indigenous tribal groups were the ancestors of the modern day “Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area”
The idea for Bonafide Fashions began as ideas and belief systems regarding sustainability and responsible environmentalism, and it was passed from generation to generation for thousands of years until it reached today.
Charlene Nijmeh, the Chairwoman of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, is the President and founder of Bonafide Fashions.
Charlene credits her Native American roots for starting Bonafide Fashions.
“Native Americans had very different ideas than the western cultures of those that came to colonize our lands. My ancestors lived “with” Mother Earth not “on” her. They had no need of possessing the land. They lived a sustainable lifestyle making sure not to overuse natural resources to the point of threatening our survival. They co-existed with the land, water and air and had a special connection with our planet. Native children are taught to act responsibly towards our resources. We are taught to think about how our decisions affect 7 generations down the line. Today many have forgotten those principles and it is our duty to remind them”
“So, when I discovered that major fashion brands were destroying their excess inventory in the billions of dollars, I knew that we needed a better model.”
Chairwoman Charlene Nijmeh
In 2018, British luxury brand Burberry admitted that destroying excess inventory was part of its strategy to preserve its reputation of exclusivity. This caused consumers to push for a boycott of Burberry over its wastefulness. The outrage of their customers worked, and Burberry announced it would no longer destroy its excess product. But Burberry isn’t the only brand with this dilemma. Every brand needs to find channels of distribution for its excess inventory.
It is simply irresponsible when you think about clothes that were never worn being destroyed. The cotton was grown, the energy was used, the labor was put in, and then the stuff gets burned. This represents all kinds of waste across the fashion production system.
That is the main reason we encourage consumers to buy more secondhand and excess merchandise inventory if they are interested in environmental impact.
This idea to create an e-commerce site that focused on selling new and pre-owned, never worn clothing, shoes and accessories was a way to honor Charlene’s sustainable teachings while creating a space where luxury and everyday fashion brands could be sold to consumers without the worry of being sold fake or knock-off goods.
Hence the name Bonafide Fashions. We authenticate every item on our site. We guarantee that every brand sold on the site is legitimate. In this way we can build a trusting venue for consumers and brands alike.
“Fashion Brands had a real problem. Selling discounted items created a whole slew of problems. Because of the steep discounts, how does the consumer know they are buying the legitimate brand or simply a copy or fake item. The internet is flooded with fake goods, and it is difficult for consumers to weed out the bad apples. So, I wanted a safe space for buying discounted (luxury, high, and everyday fashion brands) so that we can give consumers confidence that they are getting a great deal on great brands and making the least environmental impact that’s possible”
Chairwoman Charlene Nijmeh