After graduating from Duke in 2007, Rachel Weeks went to Sri Lanka on a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her interest in “ethical fashion.” She was intrigued by the subjects she explored in her Women's Studies senior honors thesis, "The Wonder Bra: Theorizing Globalization, Women's Labor, and Consumption for Twenty-First Century Feminism," a study of the intersections between fashion and academic feminism. Soon her interest in the topic was going far beyond the academic.
While researching apparel manufacturing in Sri Lanka, Weeks founded School House, LLC, a college clothing and accessories company committed to producing socially responsible goods.
She joined forces over the Internet with fashion designer Colleen McCann and launched what has become a 54-product collection at a number of U.S. universities, beginning with Duke. School House's factory partner, JK Apparel, is the first living wage factory initiative in Sri Lanka and is supported directly through the sale of School House products.
Her work led to a tripling of wages for female workers in Sri Lanka. Additionally, she is committed to bringing textile work back to the US, with 75% of her apparel manufacturing now done in Durham. Weeks was named to the 30 Under 30 list of entrepreneurs by Inc. in 2012.