4 Female-Founded Sustainable Brands That Will Make You Feel Hopeful About the Future
“Sustainability isn’t just important, it is critical,” says founder of Amber Fort Bedding Tessa Ghenender. The global shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has given us a glimpse into what a greener, cleaner future for our planet could look like, and with more time at our disposal for thorough research, this is the perfect time to invest in quality products that are good for you and our environment.
Worth recently spoke with four female founders about why sustainability is important now more than ever and what is keeping them hopeful as we enter this “new normal.”
Handmade in India by fair trade certified artisans and shipped directly to consumers in sustainable and recyclable packaging from its Ventura, Calif., warehouse, Amber Fort is a hemp bedding line that provides customers with an eco-friendly alternative to something that every person needs.
“While it has been difficult navigating through the new quarantine-norms that COVID-19 has brought upon us, I believe this forced pause has helped us to reevaluate our needs and even wants,” Ghenender explains. “‘Quality over quantity’ feels extremely relative, and I believe it’s the perfect time to invest in products that have a positive impact on both you and the planet.”
Founder and designer Clarissa Egana’s goal was to create chic athleisure from organic, non-toxic fabrics that were as Earth- and skin-friendly as possible, and thus Port de Bras, an ethically crafted and sustainably sourced brand, was born. Egana credits the brand’s local, sustainable business model and zero-waste policy as being a superpower in response to this global crisis.
“I’m looking forward to a humbler, and yet more empowered, society,” Egana says. “This pandemic found a drastic way to teach us that we are all one, and that is one powerful weapon.”
With specialty fabrics produced by a family-owned mill in California and garments manufactured in a sustainably operated facility in Brooklyn, New York, Softwear is about as sustainable and local as you can get. Inspired by her mother’s defeat of six brain aneurysms and a 3 to 5 percent chance of survival, founder Sabrina Zohar created a collection of timeless, comfortable and high-quality loungewear pieces that not only feel good but are also good for you and the planet.
“Sustainability equals longevity to me, and as women, we have to always be thinking of how to preserve our future and ensure there is a planet to keep growing from,” Zohar says. “We have to use our voice for something that impacts us all—and that is our planet still being around in a few years.”
Prota Fiori, according to founder and CEO Jennifer Stucko, represents where the past meets the future—think eco-friendly materials such as upcycled grape and apple skins merged with the high-craftsmanship of shoemaking to create beautiful, sustainable and chic luxury footwear.
“It is my belief that once the dust settles, people will become more conscious of what’s important to them and that includes the well-being of our planet, especially since we have all been directly impacted in some way, somehow,” Stucko says. “I believe consumers will show this shift through their actions, and that includes consumption habits. I believe that sustainability will become the new norm, and I am truly looking forward to this.”