Behind the Scenes Eco Fashion Sotela

Slow Fashion is More Than Where Your Clothes Are Made

When I first started Sotela, I wanted everything to be made in USA. 

I found a factory in California to manufacture my Kickstarter run and looked at various fabric suppliers. 

The Tencel I’ve been using for our designs (Ryan Trousers, Stella Jumpsuit, Pocket dresses), are from the same Canadian company that mills their textile overseas in China. 

I felt the most comfortable using this company because of their prices and colors offered. However, I’ve started looking at other fabric options. 

The local supplier I’m looking to work with has linen, tencel twill, and a linen/tencel twill blend made in Korea. I originally thought it was milled in the USA, but alas, it’s not and I’m back to the drawing board. 

Going with this local supplier means I’d have to garment dye, which is the reason I haven’t used them before. However, I have friends who have done it so I’m willing to give it a try.

You can expect several pieces to be made with the same color and fabric. I’m so happy there will be more consistency within our collection. 


Another exciting change will be with how we manufacture. Instead of continuing with our hybrid made-to-order and traditional inventory route, we are considering the switch to 100% made-to-order. 

I’ve been thinking about Sotela’s fundamental values and how I want to align our company with what we believe in.

  • We believe in inspiring women to feel good about themselves and female connection is what drives us. How can we be more inclusive and make more women feel good about themselves? By Offering more sizes… 
  • We believe there is a responsible way to create products that doesn’t harm the planet. We’ve been doing that by solely using eco-friendly fabrics, but we could take it a step further by purchasing locally made eco-friendly fabrics. 
  • We design intentional pieces that can be worn through every season, but we don’t have to release for every season. I’ve often felt pressure to release new pieces every couple months, but rushing the process is the opposite of slow fashion. I want to be slow and intentional and create pieces that can be worn all year long. 
  • We want to create less waste and only make pieces you want. We don’t want to keep inventory and feel the need to sell sell sell. 

With that being said, a made-to-order model would allow us to offer more sizes, be more intentional with our productions and thus create less waste. Instead of not having the right sizes in stock or the right colors, we can have exactly what you want.

A lot of you responded to my Instagram post about switching to a made-to-order model and seem on board! I’m so happy you are excited about it as much as I am!

Fall/Winter 2018

Since there are so many things happening behind the scenes,  I’m moving forward with our next collection slowly and intentionally. It’s coming together and hopefully I’ll have something to show you soon.

One of the pieces that will be released first is a dress I’m designing with Olivia of Simply Liv & Co and Emily of A Day Pack for Dressember. They are planning to only wear this dress for all of December!

Since I’m planning to dye fabric for the next collection, you bet I’ll be using those delicious earthy tones that are popping up everywhere. The colors I’m planning to add are rust and different shades of olive. Love that tree look 😉

As always, thank you for your never-ending support! Things are never really linear in this process, so I appreciate you sticking by me through all the changes! 

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