This Earth Day, I wanted to take some time to share how VARYFORM approaches sustainability, as I believe it's my responsibility as a designer and garment creator to always consider my impact and share what we are actively doing today and every day.
So what is VARYFORM's approach to sustainability? What does sustainability really mean to us?
At the core, VARYFORM is a small business rooted in made-to-order elegant staple pieces that are meant to serve you season after season and make you feel like your most confident self while lending some flair to your wardrobe.
We are inspired by and in awe of nature. This regard for the earth touches everything from sourcing, to how pattern pieces fit on a marker (layout for cutting), to selling methods, labor , and end use.
Let's break it down:
- Timeless design: VARYFORM offers figure flattering, classic and elegant shapes that enhance your sense of femininity and well-being. We seek to offer relevant pieces that you can feel modern and polished in, but not rely on trends that can come and go.
- Quality Craftsmanship : We partner with manufacturers and seamstresses who are skilled in luxury garments and can apply those techniques for a contemporary/designer price point. That gives longevity to the garments and lets you be proud to wear something made with love and care.
- Made-to-order For You : Since our first launch in 2016 on NineteenthAmendment.com presale platform, we have been focused on made to order garments. Made-to-order means that your order initiates the production process (fabric is ordered, a pattern is printed, garments are cut, sewn, and then shipped). You receive production updates along the way. Made-to-order means less waste & that garments have a loving home because the owners willing to wait for them to be produced, raising the value of the garment overall and reducing the impact on the environment.
- Small Batch Production : For garments that have proven demand in certain colorways or styles, we do small batch runs in the USA. The goal is not to have any inventory, so these batches are very small typically 1-2 size runs if any. No reason to create something that will sit on a rack.
- Low-Impact Materials : Fabrics like silk, wool, linen, hemp blends, are easy to find among the collection in addition to European jacquards that are woven to order and sometimes even deadstock fabrics that have gone unused by other designers. While still offering accessible options, some fabrics for eveningwear or outerwear are not yet available in a cost effective natural fibers so there is a mix of natural blends and 100% natural fibers, but we are always searching for the best mix of eco-friendly, affordable, beautiful, and functional fabric suited to the garment. We are not 100% natural and don't claim to be, but are keeping up with advancements in the textile industry with an eye out for new fabric options that reduce water waste, dye pollution, and toxicity of synthetic fibers.
- Ethical labor - Sweatshop free labor, with all production either made in the USA (Chicago or NYC) or Made in Italy at a family owned knitwear factory, pricing for garments is set by the factory and not mandated by us, timelines for garments give factories time to produce it without working overtime or quick turnarounds.
- Life Cycle Emphasis on preserving and adapting clothes through tailoring with our affiliation with Tad More Tailoring, better wash & storage tips, greater appreciation for options like second hand clothing and clothing rental, encouragement of styling the garments in different ways and wearing them for years to come, not just for one season. This is an area we are excited to share more about in upcoming posts and has always been a personal focus.
Sustainability is part of great design and this is what VARYFORM strives to offer and improve upon every year.
The most impactful thing you can do as a shopper is to support brands that put sustainability and ethical labor as a priority and consider shopping from small businesses or shopping second hand. Support with your dollars, support with a referral, or support us on social media or through reviews. It goes a lot way to help us continue and helps us make a bigger impact through our work.
Thanks for reading!