LA's Most Promising New Label Is Also One Of Its Most Sustainable
One of the most important trends in the fashion industry is something that will hopefully stick around a lot longer than the current 90s revival: it's adopting a sustainable approach and we're not just seeing this in "crunchy" indie brands, but even in the current collections of the biggest names in the business (Stella McCartney and H&M among them). For those of us who are making it a point to buy brands that are environmentally friendly, it's a great time to be a shopper. And one emerging label in particular has captured our attention for not only being beautiful, but built around an impressively green business model.
Los Angeles' Devore Poole came about when its two founders, Eva Devore and Lindsay Poole both found themselves disenchanted from years of working in the industry, its major carbon footprint being of top concern. The two started to brainstorm a clothing line in response to such issues: one that was made locally and ethically in small runs using deadstock materials, and was designed to get maximum mileage in your wardrobe—so you can buy less in general. But for Lindsay and Eva, having a sustainable and mindful brand wasn't about following another fashion trend, it was a personal passion.
We sat down with the women of Devore Poole to tell us a bit more about how the brand came to be, their conscious practices (both in business and at home), and what they're hoping for the future.
How did you two first connect?
We met a few years ago while working at a design studio in Los Angeles. Very quickly, we realized we both shared an appreciation for craftsmanship, quality, and community. After work we would talk about wanting to do our own thing, but didn’t want to do anything with fashion unless it had meaning and gave back in some way. We would talk about our love/hate relationship we have with the industry and the many different ways we have seen how companies are managed and realized our morals and ethics were in alignment.
Working in the fashion industry, you must have witnessed so much waste that's pretty standard practice for most labels. How did that shape how your line was created?
Absolutely. There are a handful of companies, even large ones that try their best to utilize that waste, but sadly the majority of them still don’t pay attention to the amount of waste they are producing, and it ends up in landfills where it can take up to 200 years to fully biodegrade. By using deadstock fabric we are utilizing the leftovers of a wasteful system, but there has to be change to that system too. The use of deadstock fabric is just scratching the surface of the issue, and it's nowhere near a whole solution, but we think it's a good start. Our vision is that as our brand grows, our resources will grow, and we can begin to incorporate more sustainable and renewable fabrics into our collections ultimately becoming a zero waste company.
We plan on using renewable fabrics in hopes of reshaping a wasteful system and influencing the way other designers choose their fabrics. Because our supply of any given deadstock fabric is very limited, our production reflects this with small quantities and one-of-a-kind wares, which we think makes each piece truly special.
In your personal life, what are some things each of you do to stay conscious and sustainable?
Lindsay: Everyday I try to educate myself on all the different organizations out there that are doing good for the earth, its people, and protecting endangered species. I donate and support them when I can. I shop less, and when I do I make an effort to shop from designers who have close relationships with their factories, and shop local and ethically made products that aren’t too trendy. After all these years, I still thrift and shop vintage stores, which is ultimately the most sustainable way to shop, and personally one of my favorite!
In my home we recycle, we try to cut down on our plastic waste, we shop local farmers markets, pay attention to labels and boycott products that endanger wildlife, we try to improve our energy efficiency at home, and although I do eat meat, I am conscious about cutting down the amount I do eat throughout the week. I have a huge place in my heart for the species on our planet and I want to make a conscious effort to protect them and the land.
Eva: As a Californian, I closely monitor my water use, a habit I got especially used to because of the recent drought we just experienced. Watching the impact has been eye-opening, and although the drought is officially over for now, the effects are lasting and continue to remind me just how precious mother earth really is. I recycle and try to cut back on waste by using reusable bags and containers. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking (that's where the heart of my home is!) and I keep it stocked with fruit and veggies from the farmers market. Supporting local growers is such a vital part of the community.
As far as clothes go, I shop less and support ethically made brands that align with our message. The quality of a garment made before "fast fashion" existed is so hard to compare to anything made today, so I truly value the craftsmanship of a vintage garment. Lindsay and I bonded over our shared love for vintage clothing since we both grew up rummaging through thrift stores, I think we can both say that love will never die!
Devore Poole pieces are very minimal in design and versatile so you can wear them a long time. Is that part of the concept?
Yes, definitely! Minimal designs, clean lines, quality fabrics that last, and attention to detail are what you will find in our collections. Versatility is important. You can have one of our pieces for a long time and feel good about wearing it because you know it was ethically and sustainably made.
How do you imagine the brand to look in 5 years?
We hope to have a nice creative space where we can employ likeminded, talented individuals who care. We hope to have made a difference in some way and have our brand connected to organizations that help protect the environment and the people and creatures within it.