There are clothes and accessories and then there are clothes and accessories. These five brands up the fashion game by linking socially and eco-friendly awareness to their already amazing lines and aesthetics. Hey, if I can get an ah-mazing pair of boots and help at the same time, then I’m in.
Zero + Maria Cornejo
Chilean-born Maria Cornejo has taken “locally made” to a new level. Now a New Yorker, she has made her own Nolita neighborhood into her atelier and storefront and produces 70% of all garments and accessories in the Garment District, basically her backyard. Her label, Zero + Maria Cornejo, is committed to reducing environmental impact, using sustainable fabrics and, since the company is owned and run by women, looks to work and empower women by creating collaborations with female artisans around the world.
You may recognize Fortuned Culture’s founder, Azie Tesfai, from a little known TV show named Jane the Virgin. When not on set with Gina and the gang, her focus stays on her jewelry line which is designed to symbolize human needs like health, love, faith, wisdom and balance. Each piece is linked to a charity or orphanage that helps fulfill the daily needs of children, like getting them school books, safe transportation, doctor visits, paying workers and more. Each time you purchase a bracelet or necklace, you know exactly how you are helping…pretty cool! Check out her Mexico collection here.
Fortress of Inca
Texas-native Evan Streusand created Fortress of Inca after discovering the beauty and intricacy of Peruvian boots during a backpacking trip through South America. The company sources it’s supplies and has all products handmade in Peru. It does an audit of factories asking basic questions like: Are the workers being paid a fair living wage? Are the workers being paid social security insurance? Are the workers given adequate time off and are the working conditions safe? He doesn’t accept “no” as an answer.
It was five hard years working in the New York fashion industry before Auralís Herrero-Lugo started her own line Auralís Studio. The negative environmental impact fashion has encouraged Herrero-Lugo to start a clothing label focused on creating eco-friendly garments, hence making fashion’s relationship with the planet a main priority.
Carla Fernández is inspired by her childhood spent on the northern border of Mexico by Texas. Her textiles fuse ancient Mexican techniques and patterns with Western influence. She works closely with artisans to create contemporary garments seeped in tradition to break stereotypes and perceptions of Mexico.