Change is the name of the game for Erin Allweiss. As the co-founder of No. 29, the leading New York-based conscious media agency, Erin has cultivated global brand awareness for her clients and innovation across a number of industries. Erin's passion is infectious, and in a sense, it has also become a staple part of her personal style — which is comprised of a tightly curated rotation of some of the fashion industry's most cherished sustainable brands (including Coclico). As a longtime devotee of our brand, we loved seeing how Erin styled our Float Sandal and hearing more about her entrepreneurial journey. This interview also includes more about her thoughts on fashion, activism, and life in Brooklyn.
I’m the co-founder of No. 29, a media and marketing agency that works with brands that are committed to impact.
Every client we represent and collaborate with is future-oriented. They think about and actively work to change the status quo – be it through fashion, design, activism, food, tech or art. We want to demonstrate that anyone, regardless of industry, can affect change.
I previously worked in politics – for a progressive and incredibly thoughtful congressman from Portland. This is central to who I am and how I operate. We’re at a critical moment in time, and politics isn’t simply politics – we’re talking about history judging how we deal with fundamental human rights and the health of the planet. My focus these days is on driving interest in those creating positive change. That and registering people to vote.
When we first launched No. 29, people thought we were crazy to create a firm that only worked with brands focused on impact and sustainability. I think they only saw impact as coming from NGOs, but my co-founder (Melody Serafino) and I always believed that fashion, art, film, and everyday brands are what drive change. Each time we make a purchase, we vote with our dollars. So why not orient people to have their wallets reflect their values. We want to work with the best of the best in sustainability from every industry. It’s why our clients range from a mezcal brand to sneakers, perfume, designers, scientists, champagne, artists and – yes – nonprofits.
Dressed for Change
I’ve been immersed in environmental politics for a long time, and in the past, I would often struggle with my love of fashion. Somehow the two loves didn’t seem to fit. Yet activism and fashion have always been linked. The suffragettes wore white to represent purity, green for hope and purple for loyalty and dignity. Every time I get dressed, I think both about who made the garment and at what cost. How much are workers paid? How are they treated? I do look at which brands I’m buying, and while I recognize sustainable fashion can be more expensive, I also am a big proponent of vintage… and clothing swaps. We can buy less and buy better.
I love that Carroll Gardens feels like a neighborhood. No tall buildings, just squat houses and old Italian bakeries, and butchers that are still churning out deliciousness along Court Street. I’m a hop, skip, and a jump away from Frankie’s – probably my favorite meal in the city. And as a runner, I love that I can spend mornings either in Prospect Park or along Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Somehow it reminds me of New Orleans, where I grew up. People talk to one another, and there’s such history. For instance, Al Capone got married in the church across the street from me, and my 87-year-old neighbor, Buddy, claims to have come up with the name “Carroll Gardens.” For the record, I believe him.
Erin on her summer resolutions - Be more present. I am the worst at meditating. I’m really trying (thank you Just Sit for the assistance)...
The last thing Erin heard that inspired her to get involved - Literally every time I read the news. In the last 24 hours: the Supreme Court nominee; children and parents being deliberately separated; Pruitt being replaced by Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who questions whether humans really impact climate change (um, what?); the U.S. intervening to stop the WHO from recommending breastfeeding; I could go on, but let’s just start there.
What "modern minimalism" means to Erin - Less stuff. I’m all about decluttering and am in the midst of a major purge.
My dad’s old t-shirts. I have one from New Orleans Jazz Fest 1981 and another from Rounders, his softball team. I feel close to him and home every time I wear those threadbare shirts.
Photos by Phoebe Cheong for Coclico