Fashionable women often feel like they have to choose between being stylish and being sustainable. There haven’t traditionally been a lot of options for environmentally and socially conscious clothing that work for real women. But that’s exactly the problem that fashion startup Maven Women aims to solve.
Founder Rebecca Ballard said in an email interview with Small Business Trends, “I entered fashion from the law and advocacy space and at that time I was a frustrated consumer seeking elegant clothing created in a socially conscious way. Over the past decade this vision has evolved into a company born out of my desire to make all of my consumptive choices in line with my values.”
The company has six core values that it uses to drive every step of its process, from sourcing materials to photography. Those values are: supply chain awareness, global women’s empowerment, connectivity and education, restorative justice, natural beauty and slow fashion.
More specifically, those values mean that Maven Women uses materials like organic cotton, baby alpaca, silk and tencel instead of synthetic materials that create waste and pollution.
But it’s not only about using sustainable materials. Maven Women strives to address a number of different issues that affect women. It does this through donating to causes, like domestic violence prevention in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and through involving actual women in its decision making process.
The company uses a co-creation process where customers can vote on their favorite clothing designs to move them into pre-sale. According to Ballard, this process really helps women become more connected to the clothing they purchase, rather than feeling completely disconnected from the fashion industry.
Overall, Ballard simply wants to create a different experience for women who want professional and elegant clothing without feeling like they’re contributing to the massive pollution and other negatives that are often associated with the fashion industry.
Ballard says, “I view the purchasing power of each consumer as a form of advocacy to create a kinder, gentler world.”