I entered law to pursue social justice, yet I had trouble finding clothing that fit my values, vocation, and aesthetic. Working on human and labor rights issues around the globe enabled me to understand how complex and harmful the global garment industry can be. The collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh was a turning point in global consciousness, prompting consumers to investigate the industry and demand better. It also propelled me to deeply ponder the best way to integrate my love of great style and passion for human rights. I felt blessed to work directly with Bangladeshis who were Rana Plaza first responders as the founding Board member of CriticaLink, and as my life evolved I could no longer fight the pull to create the type of clothing I had sought for a decade.
Never one to accept that something can’t be done, I refused to believe the status quo has to be the future. When I voiced my desire for more socially conscious apparel options I also found I was not alone. All of my friends wanted to build a socially conscious wardrobe, they just didn’t know how. These conversations also shared another common theme: limited options for well-fitting, flattering, and stylish clothing at an affordable price. The market hadn’t yet caught up to our desire for something better. It was still far too hard for us to make clothing purchases that value the people who work in our supply chain and their communities. The garment industry remained the second worst polluting industry in the world.
I started to see a number of fantastic socially conscious brands popping up, yet sustainable fashion wasn’t mainstream…yet. I believed the industry could do better by both those who make clothing and those who then wear it. And Maven Women was born.
I could wax poetically about all of the values behind our clothing line, yet once I made the leap to fully focus my vocation on Maven Women the hard, gritty realities of creating a thoughtful fashion brand become all too apparent. No one had created pieces with this aesthetic, fit, and social impact before and it quickly became clear why. There are few people in the fashion industry who truly understand the needs of busy working women as they age. Seeing how clothing is made showed me why I have to take so many pieces to the tailor, as many brands cut corners in the fittings process. Many ethical and sustainable brands also only focus on one element of their supply chain, as that's hard enough, yet we aim to make the most socially conscious decisions from farm to factory to final product. Fabric selection is incredibly complex and there are few options that match our aesthetic. It truly takes about two years of hard work with fabric sourcing, design, fittings, testing, and quality control to create a product that is thoughtful at every step.
My journey also had a bit of a (planned, yet how can one ever plan it?!?!?) "curve" ball. Less than six months after I launched Maven Women I became pregnant. In Maven Women's first two years my normally "pear-shaped" body has taken on more shapes than I can count with pregnancy, post-partum recovery, and breastfeeding; due to the latter I now have an "inverted triangle" shape for the first time! I've poured everything I've learned about what fits and flatters me in each of these seasons into our pieces. I even started working on maternity and breastfeeding clothing during this season. We do so many fittings that my water in fact broke when I was fitting one of our maternity prototypes!
I invite you to journey with us and invest in investment pieces!
Founder, Dreamer & Schemer
P.S. Yes, that's me in the photo above wearing Maven Women (and it was taken when I was pregnant!).