Five Female Founded Socially Responsible Brands to Watch

February 26, 2018

Whether your New Year’s resolution is to shop more sustainably or you’ve been a dedicated consumer of the slow fashion movement, you will definitely want to keep tabs on these five socially conscious, female-founded fashion brands. 


Maggie Winter & Jac Cameron, NYC

🍑 back into it

A post shared by AYR (@ayr) on

AYR, which stands for All Year Round is “anti-trend” and is the minimalist’s dream brand. Denim, sweaters, shirts, dresses, coats — AYR has it all. Every piece is seasonless and the brand is rooted in a strong conviction for slow fashion. Designed in NYC and produced in LA with high-quality materials, their pieces are made to last you through every season which means you will consume less.

Their Instagram feed is effortlessly cool and shows that style and trend are two very different things. Founded in 2014, they have made quite a name for themselves in a short amount of time and Bloomberg named them one of the “50 Most Promising Startups You’ve Never Heard Of.” So now that you’ve heard of them, go check them out. And if you want to see just how many different looks you can get out of wardrobe basics, check out their Instagram here.

Christy Dawn

Christy Dawn Peterson, LA

Founded by model Christy Dawn Peterson, this brand was launched in 2013 with dresses made out of deadstock. Deadstock is all of the fabrics that go unused by textile mills or fashion brands and according to a 2016 study, there is 40 billion square meters of leftover textile per year. The brand still primarily focuses on dresses but has also expanded to knits, accessories and outerwear. Christy Dawn is the epitome brand of ethereal and boho-feminine aesthetics.

The brand is happy to walk you through their manufacturing process, which is all done in LA by local artisans, in a very transparent way on their website. While you’re on their website, peruse their travel blog and profiles on “Friends of Dawn.” You should also subscribe to their newsletter, because if you like what you see, it’s likely to sell out fast as their inventory is quite small.

Elizabeth Suzann

Liz Pape, Nashville

Made with quality materials and practicality and elegance in mind, Elizabeth Suzann is designed and manufactured in downtown Nashville. Founded in 2013, their vision lies in the “hope that by producing and consuming mindfully, we can focus on craftsmanship, reduce waste, and create truly impeccable clothing for the discerning customer” according to their website.

This womenswear brand primarily uses silk, linen and cotton and is as functional as it is feminine. Designed with every body type in mind, you are bound to find something perfect for you in every season and in your favorite earth tone. Shop Elizabeth Suzann here.

Hackwith Design House

Lisa Hackwith, Minnesota

This St. Paul, Minnesota based slow fashion brand is truly a Midwestern gem. Draping, knotted accents and silhouettes that effortlessly wrap around your body are the trademarks of the Hackwith Design House. The brand launched in September 2013 with one “limited-edition” design and every Monday after that for 25 weeks they released one new design. Today, they have five collections (Core Collection, Swim, Basics, and Plus) and continue their tradition of launching limited-edition designs on Mondays.

Many of their designs are made to order in their dedicated efforts to reduce waste and every item is made in their St. Paul studio by their in-house team of seamstresses. Check out their Instagram here and shop their designs here, you surely won’t be able to wait until you’re wrapped up in them.

Nena & Co.

Ali Hynek, Utah and Guatemala

Nena & Co., an exclusively-artisan-made accessories brand, founded by Ali Hynek, features handbags, jewelry and other lifestyle accessories such as camera straps. The brand is designed in the US and made in Guatemala by local artisans and uses the fabrics from Guatemalan textile looms. In addition to managing 60+ seamstresses, leather craftsmen/women, master weavers and administration staff, Nena & Co. also works in partnership with fair-trade co-ops.

The accessories are unique and exude the beauty of this country’s heritage. The brand stocks very limited quantities every week and only restock on Fridays at 7am PST and 7pm PST so you should definitely sign up for their newsletter to stay up to date on Nena & Co.

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