Sometimes, hearing about store closures and major brands suddenly discontinuing their plus size lines, it can feel like the push for more and better options in plus is futile. But there is one area that never fails to hearten me as a reminder of the progess we’ve made: All the cool new indie brands that are plus-focused or have new extended size ranges. I featured five that are on my list in the March launch of this new Five Indie Designers feature, including the buzzy sustainable label Wray NYC. Since today is Earth Day, I’ve decided to focus this month’s feature on brands that are taking an environmentally conscious approach to production and beyond. So here are the five sustainable plus brands that are on my list:
Fashion Brand Company (sizes XS-4X, some collections XXS-7X) Saying Fashion Brand Company *does their own thing* is accurate, but it is also very much an understatement.
Exhibit A: Their tagline “Not fashion. Not a brand. Technically a company.”
Exhibit B: Their official company description on their site: “Unique and Affordable clothing specifically designed for lizards but modeled by humans in human sizes.” (I don’t know if the fact that they actually do sell lizard clothing makes this more or less confusing, TBH).
Exhibit C: When a stylist for a Vogue shoot reached out to FBC for samples, founder Penelope Gazin responded with a one-line email: “What’s Vogue?” And then she published the screenshot!!!!!!!
Honestly, I was a fan immediately just based on the strength of the clothes themselves, but since I started following Fashion Brand Company, I’ve been watching them with increasing open-mouth admiration and awe at how little they truly GAF about the typical boundaries of fashion. And still, the fashion world absolutely loves them (myself included). Their small batch production helps them keep that ethos sustainable, with little to no inventory waste, and they are excellent proof that sustainable does not have to equal boring.
Almost There (Sizes XS-5X) If you are looking for chic dresses that are sustainably made without even a *hint* of crunchy aesthetics, Almost There is for you. I am particularly drawn to their silky pale blue Coco Dress, with a timely square neckline and adjustable ruching on the high front slit – perfect date night material. They also offer more casual linen mini and midi dresses, and even some office-friendly sheath silhouettes. Almost There takes a multi-faceted approach to sustainability, making choices from deadstock fabrics to domestic production to eco-certified dyes to keep things as environmentally friendly as possible at every step of the way. They even plant a tree for every dress purchased!
Oge Ajibe (Sizes XS-5X) This eponymous Canada-based label is all about making fashion in sustainable production and fabrics available to a wide range of body sizes. Designer Ogechukwu Ajibe chose to make their most recent collection is entirely out of deadstock fabric that would have otherwise become clothing waste, introducing some new prints into her line, but I’m still ogling the rich colors of her loungey spring collection – I know my fashion wants have been heavily influenced by a year+ indoors, and I want to feel cute and comfortable in my clothing. Ajibe’s designs look like they’d fit the bill on both counts.
Nettle Studios (Sizes XS-4XL) Even if you want natural fibers like linen and organic cotton, you don’t have to be limited to the earth tones sustainable fashion is so often known for (though those colors are trending right now, so they aren’t a bad option either). If you are looking for bright vibrant hues in sustainable natural fabrics, San Francisco-based Nettle Studios is a great place to start. Their oversized trapeze overalls are definitely calling to me, as is this hot pink linen set that I want to wear all summer.
Warp + Weft (Sizes 00-24) I’m not exactly sure how indie Warp + Weft is (I think they are a sister brand to my longtime fave DL1961), but I do know they are among the most sustainably made denim out there. Jeans have been on my mind a lot lately, and W+W has the type of current, on-trend styles that are still way too hard to find in plus, especially outside of fast fashion. I’ve been eyeing this cropped wide leg pair, and I love that it comes in two different styles of denim fabric, and a few different colors of each, so whether you are looking for stiffer denim or a stretchier version, you have options.