From department stores to online retailers, there’s no shortage of stylish, designer clothing in the world.
But beyond malls and downtown shopping strips, there exists a wealth of creative entrepreneurs redefining the fashion industry. From eco-friendly dresses and organic cotton, to handmade jeans and custom suits, here are 20 clothing startups to put on your radar.
Wishing that dress shirts had more than three sizes? Stantt at your service. This clothing startup scanned real life body types in 3D to generate 200,000 measurements and 75 custom sizes. Shoppers only have to scan in their arm, waist and chest size to find the custom shirt for them. Stantt also sends customers a free measuring kit which helps ensure that sizing is consistent across orders.
Nineteenth Amendment seeks to tell the story of up and coming designers and manufacturers. The online platform allows independent designers to sell directly to customers — without traditional inventory requirements. In addition to giving designers an audience for their work, customers gain affordable, first-person access to designers and their exclusive fashions. Nineteenth Amendment also believes in transparency, and their sustainable retail model and local manufacturers support this idea.
These wrinkle-free, quick drying dress clothes stay clean and sharp no matter where you take them. Bluffworks pants are equipped with hidden security pockets and a phone or passport pocket, all in machine washable materials. The apparel is designed to withstand travel, athletics and a long day at work, effectively redefining pants and suit jackets through comfort and style.
This contemporary womenswear brand is on a mission to bring eco-fashion to the masses. Wabi Sabi steers away from the toxic petrochemicals currently used, avoiding all synthetic, chemical and artificial materials. The earth conscious brand also uses 100 percent recycled plastic and packaging, recycling all production and shipping materials when possible.
Cuyana is a women’s clothing startup company focused on the lean closet movement. Rather than buying a new clothing item every time you’re invited to an event, this movement centers on the idea of buying high quality clothing pieces that last longer. Cuyana’s philosophy is that fewer, better things lead to a more fulfilling life. By focusing on craftsmanship, premium materials and lifestyle, Cuyana differs from average clothing companies centered around short term trends.
Modavanti is another clothing startup with a focus on eco-friendly fashion. Modavanti unites sustainably-minded, activist designers with conscious consumers who want to make a difference through their purchasing habits. From cruelty-free dresses to organic, non-toxic lifestyle wear, Modavanti has all the do-good clothing options you can dream of. The company also has a clothing recycling program, where customers can send in their old clothing and receive $20 in store credit.
Mott and Bow
This high quality denim company creates one of a kind jeans with a custom wash formula. Many of Mott and Bow’s popular jean styles have a resin application, where each jean is either sprayed with or dunked into a resin mix that creates a unique look and feel. All resin coated jeans are pre-cured and cured in an oven and then hand scraped, giving a distressed look that varies in material and intensity.
Kniterate is a digital knitting machine that brings small scale knitting production to studios, makerspaces, schools and more. Kniterate allows anyone to create their own sweaters, scarves, beanies and other knitted apparel through a simple, user-friendly software program. The computer controlled machine takes the hassle out of manual knitting and makes it easier and more affordable for designers to create work.
Trumaker is a menswear brand that builds custom shirts and suits. The ideal customer is men who like to look stylish, yet don’t want to endure the hassle of shopping. Customers complete a short style quiz, and stylists at Trumaker hand pick and ship items for easy try on. Trumaker prides itself on making luxury clothing accessible through personalized service and superior quality.
If you’re looking for stylish, high-quality outdoor and adventure gear that you can count on, look no further than Topo Designs. All of Topo’s apparel is made in the USA and boasts ethical, sustainable manufacturing practices. Topo operates on the belief that all clothing is part of a story, and their colorful, standout designs display this creative mission.
Wool and Prince
Who knew wool could be lightweight and comfortable? Wool and Prince uses superfine wool to make naturally odor and wrinkle resistant clothing that’s six times more durable than ordinary cotton. Wool and Prince clothes are so durable that they eliminate the need for frequent washing, dry cleaning and ironing — all processes that significantly age a shirt. In fact, the Wool and Prince founder wore a shirt for 100 days straight without washing or ironing it, and when the story when viral, the brand sold 3000 shirts in two days.
Blank Label is a custom menswear company specializing in classic style formal wear. The apparel company follows a customer’s order instructions on measurements and preferences to to create custom fit shirts, polos, suits, pants, denim and outerwear. Customers can visit a Blank Label store or place their order online, and clothing is shipped directly to the buyer in one to three weeks.
For every shirt, hoodie or piece of clothing purchased, Endangered Apparel donates 20 percent of its profits to an animal sanctuary. The clothing company was started by two American animal activists who wanted to make a difference in preserving the natural world. Endangered Apparel works alongside The Elephant Sanctuary, The Australian Koala Foundation, Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Big Cat Rescue to help save the lives of endangered animals.
Ratio Clothing is a Denver-based apparel company committed to crafting well-fitting, American-made clothing at an affordable price. The all-custom clothing company is rooted in personalization and perfection, and the clothing is aimed at the casual, versatile professional man. Another goal of this conscious clothing company is to stimulate local communities by establishing powerful manufacturing bases.
Acustom Apparel takes custom fitting to a new level. The company uses digital measuring techniques to create a 3D body model. Combined with data points and fit preferences, the digital tool creates an algorithm that leads to the perfect fit. Acustom Apparel also makes it easy to customize small details on a shirt, like cuff designs, stick colors and lapel styles. Creating a design takes just 15 minutes and customers can have their garments shipped to them anywhere in the world.
JL The Brand
This premium sock company began with a group of friends who wanted high-quality, American-made socks. JL The Brand uses American Pima cotton — a type of cotton that produces softer, finer knits. Socks from JL the Brand are colorful and creative, featuring sock designs with stars, stripes, polka dots and even chili peppers.
Crane and Lion
This Boston-based clothing startup is designed to empower active, fashionable women with clothing that transitions across daily occasions. Crane and Lion’s athleisure clothing taps into modern fashion trends while optimizing movement, comfort and support. The company’s name comes from two key poses in yoga that, when combined, embody the balance of power and relaxation.
Wear Your Label
Wear Your Label is a mission-driven apparel company focused on creating conversations around mental health. With the motto “It’s okay to not be okay,” Wear Your Label seeks to end stigmas around mental health and create a more accepting culture. The company also delivers 10 percent of its profits to mental health initiatives and partners with charities to instill change in society. Another unique aspect of Wear Your Label is that they’ve removed guys and girls clothing sections from their website, thereby creating more safe spaces for transgender youth online.
Founded by two best friends who wanted more affordable, sophisticated fashion options, Brass Clothing crafts high quality pieces that are gentler on the environment than fast fashion. By creating long lasting, foundational pieces for women, Brass Clothing achieves a more sustainable fashion model. Brass Clothing’s product promise centers around beauty, quality, versatility, ease and purpose.
Criquet was born from a desire to find the perfect polo shirt. This Austin-based menswear brand is inspired by classic, iconic American styles and created for the man who is equal parts preppy, sporty and casual. All of Criquets shirts use organic cotton and source local materials, like a third-generation Texas shirtmaker. In addition to selling club shirts, polos and button downs, Criquet also sells shoes, golf accessories and a variety of hats.
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