We believe that our brand is nothing without the people who draft, fit, cut and sew our clothes. No matter how much thought or preparation that goes into an idea or design, the reality is that we would have nothing to send our customers if it were not for our production team. Brands brag about all of the critical boxes they check off (sustainable clothing, size inclusive, etc). But how does any of that matter if we’re not also talking about ethical clothing? Each piece in our collection is designed, cut and sewn in one location in Philadelphia, PA. We are a vertically-integrated company, meaning that instead of outsourcing to a factory, we’ve built garment production capabilities ourselves. We refuse to outsource our work overseas and employ people in deplorable working conditions just for a faster processing time or cheaper price.
Every piece we sell is made by an Alice Alexander employee in our studio. We have an awesome team of sewers who work in a well-ventilated and sunny workshop, who absolutely love what they do, work 8 hour days with plenty of breaks and are paid fair wages (above industry standard). Because no one should work any other way. Treating our employees like the deserving human beings they are does increase our prices, but we simply do not believe in anyone profiting or benefiting from cheap labor. And we’re not going to apologize for that. We know our employees on a personal level, they are amazing human beings that the world is lucky to have and we cherish them just as much as we cherish our customers.
Where our clothes are manufactured is equally important as the people who make them. Our studio is located in Philadelphia, PA (where our founder and CEO resides) because we know that there are hardworking, capable individuals in the U.S. who need jobs and some of them happen to be our neighbors. Nearly 400,000 residents in Philadelphia live below the poverty line and another 35,000 are without jobs. So we’re investing in our home. Over the next five years, the goal at Alice Alexander (beyond connecting more socially conscious women to responsibly made clothing) is to create 100+ manufacturing jobs for low-income Philadelphians, increasing living wage jobs in a city racked with poverty. We care not only about how our work affects the environment, but also the people in it.
Alice Alexander promises our customers continued transparency about the who, where and how behind our clothes. We are confident that our customers can say that the pieces they purchase from us are size inclusive, sustainable and ethically-made. And we think that’s pretty great.
We are size inclusive not just because we believe that every body deserves beautiful, high-quality clothes, but because fit issues are leading to even bigger environmental issues. When clothes kind of fit, they end up thrown out and in landfills or incinerators. Or, they end up returned and unused. And we’re sorry friends, but even then they end up in a landfill or incinerator. By getting your size right, we reduce the chances of contributing to the 80 pounds of clothing that the average American throws out every year. Gambling with size is gambling with the well-being of the earth and that is not a chance we are willing to take.
To prioritize fit, we employ an extremely low-waste, made-to-order production model. We keep no inventory on hand, which means no overproduction, and no costly, environmentally damaging garment waste. We only make it when you want it. And we responsibly recycle our fabric scraps. Scraps are separated into two bins, one to be used towards future designs (cuffs, collars, pockets, etc.) while very small scraps are recycled with a zero-waste fabric recycling company called TerraCycle.
Producing sustainable clothing is not just about how the clothing is made, but also what the clothing is made with. At Alice Alexander, we only use earth-friendly, biodegradable materials in our designs. We search the world for the most earth-friendly materials available including hemp, organic cotton, linen and tencel. Not only are these better for the earth, they're more comfortable! We have also completely eliminated the use of polyester because it is made of petroleum which can take hundreds of years to break down in a landfill and also releases micro plastics in our oceans.
Speaking of plastics, traditional fast-fashion uses single-use plastics repeatedly throughout their shipping process. Single-use plastic is used when they ship garments from the factory to the supplier, from the supplier to the store and again from the store to the customer. We do not use single-use plastic in our shipping process. When prepared for shipping, garments are wrapped in recycled paper and shipped in recycled and recyclable packages. Even our shipping labels are zero waste! We take our fashion footprint very seriously and are constantly seeking ways to minimize our environmental impact.
Cheap, fast-fashion is costing us the earth, so we are slowing things down. We are taking the time to think about who is making the clothes, where they are being made, how they are being made, what they are being made with and who they are being made for. We want to assist our customers in curating closets that are fashion forward not because they consider a moment but because they consider the future. We want our items to have a purpose, not just a place in a closet. We believe that making sustainable clothing is a necessity, not a trend, and that investing in great pieces that can be easily styled to suit your needs is the most sustainable wardrobe move you can make.
There’s literally an app for everything...but clothes still don’t fit most women. Why? Because we’ve gotten size all wrong. Have you ever shopped online at a new clothing store and gone to pick your size only to face that dreaded dropdown: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL? So you click on “Size Chart” hoping for help. You start in the left column and scroll down to “L” which tells you that your bust should be this many inches, your waist that many inches, and so on. But wait, according to the chart, your bust size matches a size “M”. You end up paying $100 dollars for a size “L”, and when it arrives, it kind of fits. So you kind of love it. And you kind of wear it, meaning you never do. It hangs in the closet with the rest of your kind of fitting clothes and you walk around all day kind of feeling good about yourself. Except for those days where you wear THAT dress or THOSE pants that fit just right and seem as if they were made just for you.
At Alice Alexander, we get it. Size is more than just a bust, waist and hip measurement. Some women have shorter torsos and longer legs, or shorter legs and longer torsos. Size is height, length, and proportion. And we’re not 1’s, 2’s and 3’s or apples, pears and bananas. We’re just different. No two people share the same DNA, so no two people should share the same closet. We want your closet to look as unique as you are and your clothes to accentuate everything that makes you...you. Our clothing is body aware, meaning we are intentional about how our clothes fit the body. Who else can wear it best when it was made for you?
Originally started as a plus-size clothing company we quickly pivoted to include women of all sizes when we realized that adhering to the traditional straight size/plus size paradigm was furthering a cycle of exclusivity. We design clothing for ALL and currently offer sizes 0-30. Sizes are offered as a starting point and for ease of purchase, but we simply make clothes for all bodies. If our size chart doesn’t work for your body, that’s on us, not on you, and we’ll make a garment just for you in your size at no additional cost.
We believe that the future of fashion is without barriers. That we will stop trying to divide women into groups that work against one another. That all women regardless of their size can wear the same garment, can care about the same values and can invest in the same pieces. We believe that diversity and inclusion is the only way forward for the fashion industry and know that Alice Alexander needs to be an active part of the conversation and helping to lead the way. So no matter your height, width or length, we see you and we’ve got you covered. Literally.