Blog | Client Stories
6 Female-Founded Brands to Shop During Women’s History Month — and Beyond
By: Team Backbone | March 22nd, 2022
At a Glance:
March is Women’s History Month, and when it comes to the female-founded brands using Backbone PLM, there are plenty of ways to celebrate. During this month and beyond, the Backbone team shows our support of the strong female leaders making an impact on the environment and the fashion industry at large. We’ve rounded up six female-led businesses that are breaking barriers with size-inclusive products, sustainable materials, ethical labor, and more.
Whether you are shopping for fashion, apparel, accessories, or home goods, the female-founded brands of Backbone PLM have it all. Continue reading our latest blog to learn more about the influential women and the innovative stories behind these great brands.
1. Parachute Home
Parachute Home is founded on the belief that when we take care of our home; it takes care of us. Making high-quality sheets, towels, robes, rugs, and anything else soft and wonderful, Parachute Home brings comfort to your world through premium, accessible essentials.
As a design enthusiast and super consumer of home goods, Founder and CEO, Ariel Kaye, launched Parachute Home in 2014 as an online-only, direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand focused on creating impeccable bedding. According to Kaye, “I couldn’t find a single brand that was high quality, affordable or easy to shop. I realized there was a hole in the market and saw a true business opportunity,” she said.
Believing in quality, thoughtful design, and social responsibility, Parachute Home products are crafted using only the finest materials. Made with love from expert craftspeople and fourth-generation mattress makers, the Parachute Home team approaches design with a clean, modern aesthetic. “Quality is always at the heart and versatility is the goal,” Kaye explained.
For Parachute Home, it’s not only about caring for its products, but caring for each other. Parachute’s Oeko-Tex certification means all products are made safely without any harmful chemicals or synthetics. The brand has also partnered with the United Nation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to send life-saving malaria-prevention bed nets to those in need.
Parachute Home is also going carbon neutral and introducing circular programs designed for material reuse and recovery. The goal is to become certified carbon neutral by Earth Day 2022 — starting with measuring emissions and offsetting 100% of its footprint with verified carbon credits. Later this year, the brand plans to launch its first circular program — the Recycled Down Pillow — which is made of sanitized down from returned Parachute pillows with a recycled cotton shell.
The spring 2022 Organic Collection will be GOTS® (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, meaning the entire supply chain meets stringent ecological and social criteria set by the GOTS® organization. It certifies finished products as being free of harmful chemicals, pesticides, and residues. “From farm to finish, we’re deepening our commitment to a more sustainable supply chain,” Kaye expressed.
Responsibility is not just environmental, but social as well. Taking onus, Parachute Home ensures it only works with ethical manufacturers that meet criteria of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). What’s more, Parachute Home is committed to sourcing only Fair Trade Certified rugs, meaning they meet rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards, including safe working conditions, environmental protection, sustainable livelihoods, and community development funds.
Parachute Home actively improves its brand, operations, sourcing, and supply chain. It is a path of continuous improvement — not a set destination — to incorporate stewardship of our planet into all business decisions and encourage conscious consumption by making durable products you’ll love forever.
2. Girlfriend Collective
Supportive, sustainable, and stylish — who says you can’t have it all? Co-founded by Ellie Dinh, Girlfriend Collective is a sustainable clothing brand with inclusive sizing options from XXS to 6XL. When so many companies tout transparency while hiding behind a flashy headline, Girlfriend Collective’s goal is to be as transparent as possible and design with substance in mind. Every part of its development process — from sourcing raw materials to collaborating with brand partners — is handled with care.
For Girlfriend Collective, a high-end fit is not a matter of cost, it’s a matter of time. The fashion brand takes the time to ensure every design is so stunning that you won’t cycle through it the next time you look through your closet. Beyond that, the brand focuses on finding a community of people who care about where their clothes come from as much as how they look.
It all starts with 100% post-consumer water bottles that have their labels removed, are crushed into billions of pieces, and washed until they are sparkling clean. After that, you receive a soft, recycled yarn that eliminates the need for petroleum and diverts water bottles from landfills at the same time. Building sustainability into the heart of the brand was a top priority from the start for founder Ellie Dinh.
Here’s a breakdown of Girlfriend Collective’s sustainable products:
- Packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable
- Compressive leggings and bras are made from 79% recycled polyester and 21% spandex
- Leggings are made from 25 recycled post-consumer bottles and bras are made from 11
- LITE Leggings are made from recycled fishing nets and other waste using ECONYL® yarn. The LITE fabric is made up of 83% recycled nylon and 17% spandex
- T-shirts and tanks are 100% cupro, a delicate fiber made from waste the cotton industry leaves behind
- Yarns are made in a zero-waste, zero-emission facility in Japan, then constructed at our SA8000-certified factory in Hanoi
SA8000 is a social accountability standard and certificate developed by Social Accountability International (SAI). They created this certification to provide a standardized guideline to protect the integrity of workers’ conditions and wages. SA8000 overlaps with Fair Trade certification, but while Fair Trade is predominantly used for farming, SA8000 is a certification used in factory conditions.
BAGGU makes simple, playful garments for everyday living. Emily Sugihara founded BAGGU at age 24 after realizing the potential for stylish, sustainable tote bags. “I march to the beat of my own drum,” Sugihara explained. More than a decade later, her entrepreneurial spirit, unmatched passion, creative vision, and inventive style continue to set her and her brand apart from the crowd.
The popularity of the tote expanded into a vast collection of bags, socks, hats, travel pouches, storage cases, home goods, and accessories. Layered prints, florals, and vintage denim are part of the trademark aesthetic as Sugihara encourages bold fashion with functional design. Each product highlights color, proportions, and most importantly — sustainability.
Sustainability has been a part of BAGGU’s mission since it started making reusable shopping bags in 2007. For much of BAGGU’s history, sustainability efforts focused on the elimination and minimization of waste in operations and production processes. Given BAGGU’s limited resources as a small company, prioritizing waste reduction became a natural focus to eliminate single-use plastic bags.
As the company has grown, Sugihara works to commit greater resources to operating and addressing sustainability more holistically. The current Sustainability Team includes members from each department and meets every month to identify and prioritize new opportunities for improvement across the company.
Sustainability initiatives include:
- Minimal waste design
- Designing for longevity
- Using recycled nylon, canvas, mesh, polyfill, and packaging
- Creating products made from vegan leather
- Applying biodegradable poly bags and dry packets
- Refusal to incinerate or landfill deadstock products
- Code of conduct that highlights expectations on compensation, working hours, labor, product safety, environment, and more
4. Andie Swim
With stylish staples engineered for modern life, Andie Swim was created by founder Melanie Travis to make swimsuit shopping a breeze. No more adjusting, tugging, or pulling — just well-made, well-cut suits that look great, feel comfortable, and keep everything where it should be. We won’t encourage skinny dipping, but an Andie Swim swimsuit feels like you aren’t wearing anything at all.
The team at Andie Swim works hard to provide the internet’s best swimwear shopping experience based on the Andie values: support, quality and fit, and peace of mind.
Andie knows we’ve all been through the struggles of swimsuit shopping, so it is a company tailored to your needs. When you need a swimwear expert, a try-on cheerleader, or a kid-friendly vacation recommendation — Andie has you covered.
More than attractive swimwear, Andie Swim is designed with every fit preference, every occasion, and every body type in mind. Using feedback and wear tests from thousands of women, Andie makes swimwear for everything you are and everything you do.
Andie Swim believes its products are made for life’s sunniest moments, so you can spend less time thinking about your swimsuit and more time making memories. When you wear a suit that fits, enjoying yourself comes naturally — and that’s the Andie Promise.
A wardrobe for a more abundant life, ADAY is creating a better future for you and our planet. ADAY was founded by two entrepreneurial friends, Meg He and Nina Faulhaber, to make capsule styles cleverly designed to be as versatile as possible. Each piece is sustainably-made with innovative super fabrics for durability, longevity, and easy care. Every item is repeatedly tested for function and comfort, fully machine washable, and designed with seasonless design details. While an average clothing item is worn only seven times before being thrown away, our aim is for you to become an outfit repeater: to wear and love each piece of your ADAY over and over again.
ADAY works to take less from the planet and keep materials in circulation. Suppliers sign Commitments to People and Planet, ensuring their care for ethics, environment, and the well-being of their workers. ADAY only chooses suppliers that actively work on reducing the environmental impact of their processes through energy-efficient manufacturing, reduced water consumption, and reduced waste. When sourcing fabrics, ADAY focuses on sustainable, long-lasting fabrics such as recycled, regenerated, biodegradable, and bio-based fibers, as well as renewable fabric manufacturing, eco-friendly dyeing and finishing, and innovative performance properties.
Within these fabrics, the bestsellers are crafted with REPREVE® polyester and TENCEL™ Modal, created from recycled post-consumer plastic and sourced from beechwood trees in a closed-loop production process (so that no waste is generated from the production process, including materials, energy, and water). Additionally, the Biofleece material is designed to reduce microplastics and biodegrade within 90 days, even in marine water.
Every fabric used is Bluesign® or OEKO-TEX® certified, meaning fabrics do not leach harmful chemicals into the environment. Other certifications include R.E.A.C.H., GRS-Global Recycled Standard, and Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). These technical fabrics are vegan, animal-friendly, and designated “cold wash” items, which helps save over 2,000 pounds of CO2 per year vs washing in hot water.
6. Dagne Dover
Bags that get it, Dagne Dover creates problem-solving accessories that keep up, stay organized, and look good doing it. Designed for humans getting the most out of life, Dagne Dover was founded in 2013 by three women, Melissa Mash, Deepa Gandhi, and Jessy Dover, who come from different backgrounds but have similar drive and passion. When fate, hustle, and a lot of hard work intervened, these three women formed Dagne Dover — a company aimed at making lives easier through empathy and excellent design. Dagne Dover loves making people happy, and its bags do an excellent job of that.
For Dagne Dover, responsibility isn’t a fad, it’s a necessity. Caring for the Earth is important, which is why the company strives to become a more eco-friendly brand by eliminating dyes and hazardous chemicals from its products while launching a 100% vegan collection of wallets, card cases, and totes. Excess scrap materials are used for sampling to minimize waste at factories, and the Almost Vintage initiative lets you buy and sell used Dagne Dover goods, encouraging eco-friendly fashion. When Dagne Dover receives an excess inventory or returns, they are donated to charities like Single Mothers Outreach and Closet On Main so they can live a second (or third) life.
Dagne Dover believes good design is everything. From fabric development to the final product, everything is chosen and crafted with top-notch performance. Every little detail makes a big difference, which is why Dagne Dover partners with creative makers all over the world who share this belief and help bring its bags to life.
The Celebration Continues
Celebrating women’s history goes well beyond the month of March. With so many tremendous female-founded brands making strides in sustainability, we are proud to have these organizations under the Backbone PLM platform.
If you are curious about how each brand uses Backbone to achieve a more sustainable practice, discover our collection of case studies, blogs, and free resources to learn more.
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