Recently I had a chat with Kimberly Barasch, the founder of Altress. As soon as she started talking, I knew we had synergy despite our very different products. We found one another after joining The F Project: a collective of female founders working together to raise our collective profile and economic success.
When I used to shop for cycling apparel, I saw racks and bins full of "meh" jerseys and terrible shorts that were certainly produced cheaply, en masse, and likely not going anywhere. There was an excess of garbage. Literally. 60% of all apparel is incinerated or ends up in landfills within 12 months of being produced. So how tragic is it that an industry built upon enjoying the outdoors is contributing to its demise??
To combat this trend, we [locally] produce timeless, durable cycling apparel in small runs, maximizing the lifespan of our apparel, and minimizing our footprint. Our apparel is an investment: in your wardrobe and in the environment. Some call this sustainability. We call it common sense.
Likewise, Kimberly and Altress are shifting the fast fashion paradigm. Having worked in fashion, launching big brands, and watching scions of retail falter in this fast changing landscape, Kimberly decided that on-demand manufacturing and customization are the future of apparel. AND, they're doing it in New York. They are offsetting the price of producing domestically with not producing massive amounts of inventory that sit on the rack and risk being sent to landfill.
She and her team are setting out to create the fastest supply chain in the world for customization and on demand manufacturing. They're filling the market's void for high quality customized apparel at an off the rack price point. With Altress, you pick the style, color, and size, and the dress is made for you, and delivered to you within twelve days. Think: modern, sophisticated silhouettes (hey, like us!) that never go out of style. Dresses that can take you from the office to a cocktail party, and transcend seasons.
Altress is creating not only a more sustainable business model, but also more equitable and ethical sustainable model. And we can't wait to say we knew them way back when...