Women supporting women, supporting women. That’s often what happens when you shop woman-owned, conscious fashion brands. We’ve pulled together some of our favorites for staying stylish even when you’re in hibernation mode. They not only strive to manufacture more sustainably, but these brands take care to provide women with fair employment and some go the extra mile to give back.
(Featured image: People Tree Knitwear)
While producing a short documentary film about Southern quilt-making, founder and creative director Natalie “Alabama” Chanin was inspired. She was moved by the stories of the many former seamstresses and textile workers who had lost work when local companies starting relocating production internationally.
Natalie’s company makes all pieces in Alabama, using mainly organic cotton. Alabama Chanin offers ready-to-wear as well as made-to-order apparel, and has expanded to include machine manufacturing, a cafe, tours of the studio and machine-sewing factory, and a “School of Making” that includes classes on making your own garments.
Shop it at Alabama Chanin:
Angelina Rennell founded Beklina, the first online “eco-boutique,” in 2006. The shop features a thoughtful curation of sustainable designers in home goods and fashion, and it includes their own eponymous brand. The Beklina line can be described as native-modern and art driven, using natural and sustainable fabrics and practices. Beklina ethically produces their clothing and shoes mostly in the USA, Nepal, Peru and Bolivia.
People Tree and its founder, Safia Miney, are leaders in sustainable and fair-trade fashion. They were the first clothing brand to receive a WFTO Fair Trade product mark, making certain that production is fair for everyone involved, including farmers, suppliers, artisans and trading companies. They also developed the first integrated supply chain for organic cotton, from farm to final product. People Tree uses fabrics such as organic-cotton and Tencel textiles and New Zealand sheep’s wool hand knit by women in Nepal.
British brand Beaumont Organic, founded by Hanna Beaumont, offers modern luxury clothing in casual styles. Their garments are made ethically in England and Portugal, using ultra-soft natural textiles of organic cotton, bamboo, linen and wool. Beaumont helps reduce overall waste by using “end of rolls” fabric left over from other companies’ manufacturing.
Long time friends Camilla Eckersley & Davora Lindner co-founded Prairie Underground take inspiration from skilled American craftspeople and seek to incorporate their ideals into the their business and everyday life. There are plenty of styles to choose from, but Prairie Underground reduces waste by keeping each product run limited in size. Everything is made in Seattle, Washington, mainly of organic cotton, hemp, Tencel (harvested from wood pulp) and Repreve (recycled fiber produced from post-consumer materials like plastic bottles).
“Fewer, Better Things” is Cuyana’s motto. They design modern but timeless silhouettes in fabrics made to last. Taking it a step further, co-founders Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah set up the Lean Closet program. When you add the Lean Closet card to your bag at checkout, they’ll send you a bag to fill with clothing you aren’t using. When you mail the bag back, it will be donated by H.E.A.R.T. to women who are in need. As an added bonus, you’ll receive a $10 credit toward your next purchase.
Once named “Most Influential Designer” by PETA, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart founded the world’s first all-vegan fashion brand, Vaute (pronounced “Vote”), in 2008. While the line does include uber-cozy sweaters and tops, most impressive is their range of warm, winter coats. They have a cruelty-free, down-alternative fill (Primaloft ECO) and a windproof lining, and both are made of 100% recycled fibers. The innovative materials are lightweight and non-bulky, but still warm enough to get you through winter weather feeling toasty and dry. They’re also $100 off with the code: HAPPY2018
“Every thread matters” to Tonlé founder, Rachel Faller. Tonlé is a zero-waste company, meaning 100% of the fabric is used. They source their fabric from scrap waste left behind by large clothing manufacturers. Any leftover bits from Tonlé’s production are then handwoven into yarn to create new textiles. Their clothing and accessories are handmade in Cambodia, mostly by women.
Considering their large social following, you may already be aware of Christy Dawn and her romantic line of vintage-inspired dresses. You might also know that they manufacture ethically in Los Angeles. But, did you know they make every piece using only deadstock fabric? Deadstock is unused and unwanted fabric that would normally be destined for landfill. Accordingly, Christy Dawn usually finds only enough fabric to do small productions runs, so they tend to sell out — meaning even less waste!
Faircloth & Supply
Phoebe Dahl of Faircloth + Supply creates effortless casual wear, perfect for stylish lounging. Their garments are made in Los Angeles using organic cottons, linens, recycled rayon and silk, and deadstock fabrics. They also use hand-crafted textiles made through the organization, Women Weave which helps empower women in rural India through education and employment. Another partner of Faircloth + Supply is The B Project, which provides access to education for girls in Nepal.
What are some of your favorite woman-owned fashion brands? Have you tried any of these? Please share your thoughts, recommendations or questions in the Comments section, below.
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