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Fashion is for everyone. Clothing can heal.

One of my biggest personal gripes with the fashion industry is how exclusionary it is – not just in size and price accessibility – but in pretension. Everyone wears clothing – yet the industry at large spends money + energy making folks feel left out, not good enough. They hope this is “aspirational” – that we will pay hand over fist to get an invite to the cool club. But for many folks – it just makes us not want to participate at all.

No more. Not here. Fashion is for everyone. And it can heal.

I’m so excited to release our newest campaign highlighting these ideas. See below for 5 quick videos featuring each one featuring a woman as we chat about why they hate shopping, how fashion makes them feel left behind, and then watch us start to solve it all.

Stunning videography by Monet Eliastam, Models + Participants are: Christina, Michelle, Tricia, Jacqueline, and Meghan

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Model of the Model : Jenna Lee

January’s Model of the Month feature is Jenna Lee! Jenna joined the SG family during the #InYourSize campaign and then came back for our Spring 2017 runway show.

Always happy to have her! Learn more about her below.

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?

I’m a subacute rehabilitation nurse. I help take care of patients after surgery. I love my job but it’s beyond challenging at times, so I do model as often as I can. I try to split to two equally.

2. How did you get involved with the brand?

I got involved with the brand via social media. I had seen a friend wearing an amazing printed maxi dress that I loved. When her caption mentioned smart glamour, I followed their social. I saw not only unique clothing, but unique models and I was so impressed. I saw a post for a casting and I remember feeling comfortable submitting (which was a first) because it stated it was specifically looking for all body types, not just the ones who “typically” get cast.

3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?

 I have modeled and walked for SmartGlamour multiple times. I truly believe in the work Mallorie is creating because there is such a need for ethical, stylish clothing in all sizes. I love being a part of her campaigns because they really feature everyone. There’s no exclusivity, which is unheard of in mainstream fashion. And the fact that she makes gorgeous clothing by hand and customizes it for all sizes is something that’s super special. I’m all about everyone feeling beautiful and that’s what she is about as well. Because of that, I’ll always be a supporter and come back.

4. What does body positivity mean to you?

 Body positivity to me, means that you are happy with yourself in your current state and you want others to feel the same. It kills me to hear people say “ugh like 10 more lbs to lose before I can wear this or do that” I literally cringe because your weight should not stop you from doing anything in your life. We are ingrained with expectations to look a certain way and be a certain size to have “permission” to dress in certain fashions. Breaking all those rules is what body positivity means to me. Embracing everything- rolls, thighs, blemishes, stretch marks etc. Chances are most people have them and the energy we use to act like we don’t is much better used elsewhere. Body positivity is about not waiting to attain perfection but realizing you are perfect as you are, and then having the confidence to flaunt it.

5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be?

 The message I hope to get across to everyone from my photos is that you don’t have to fit the mold that society has created to feel beautiful or take a beautiful picture. I don’t fit it at all. I’m petite, actually plus size (16), and I’ve modeled for multiple companies, still dress fashionable, and most importantly, wear what I want. There’s no reason you can’t do the same.

6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?

 I would say first off, you need to come to terms with your insecurities because modeling is a career where thick skin is a must. More times than not you’re going to hear no. Understanding that that no doesn’t make you ugly, or too fat,or just not good enough- it only means you weren’t a good fit for that brand at that time. So, use it as a learning experience and keep it moving. The best advice I’ve ever heard is : you’re not going to be for everyone and that’s ok. You can’t allow the No’s to effect your sense of self worth and confidence. After you feel you have a strong sense of self and plenty of confidence, I would jump in and take some photos. They don’t have to be professional at all- have a friend take some on their phone just to get comfortable in front of the camera. Look at the pics and see what poses and facial expressions you like and try to expand those. When your comfortable, post them to your social! Use social media to your advantage because there are so many great photographers out there looking to shoot for their own portfolios that you can both benefit. After a few shoots, re-evaluate. Make sure you’re having fun with it. It shouldn’t be a source of stress or negativity. If you are, then start branching out to an actual portfolio and maybe some castings. Be brave! You don’t lose anything by applying. You lose by not taking the chance and that’s where you’re confidence and body positivity will come into play.
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Model of the Month : Moet Cristal

A few days late, but our last Model of the Month feature from 2017 is here, in 2018! This month we are introducing you to Moet Cristal – an SG staple who has been in multiple shoots, shows, and campaigns. Moet even created the floral backdrop from our Fall 2016 shoot and show. Learn more about this awesome artist below!



1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do? 

I’m a freelance plus size model, visual artist focusing on curvy colorful work in mixed media, photography & digital form, as well as a personal care assistant. 

2. How did you get involved with the brand? 

I found SmartGlamour through their Winter Holiday campaign in 2015. When I went through seeing all those women of different heights, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, modeling such cute, luxurious styles, I was hooked on the brand. I then signed up for their newsletter and followed SG on Instagram and I auditioned in January/February 2016 for their Spring Fashion show and lookbook. 


3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?

The clothes are beautiful and unique! However the core, the soul of SmartGlamour is so beautiful. It is the atmosphere created by so many diverse, intelligent, multi talented babes who are all awesome in their eclectic ways, coming together for the sake of empowerment through designer Mallorie Dunn’s fashions. When we join together for an SmartGlamour event, shoot, or show, the feeling of encouragement oozes from each SG babe. It’s like a big fashionable, feminist family!

4. What does body positivity mean to you?

Body positivity is accepting and embracing yourself (and others) as you exist in this moment. Body positivity is for everyone and every type of body. It can be hard to unlearn what society tells us is “ideal” – but it’s doable by living moment by moment. What I have learned through working with and following SmartGlamour is that body positivity is realizing that your experience is only yours, and to be really bopo one must be able to listen to the multitude of varying experiences the people you encounter have. It is also standing up for yourself and people who are marginalized by the standards of society. We each deserve to achieve greatness and love ourselves as we are. When we advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves and may not an fair chance, we can all make progress and thrive.

5. If there is a message you could put across to other women/femmes/non binary through your modeling photos – what would that be?

I’m a very hairy, queer Puerto Rican woman, average height at about 5’5.5” tall, size 24-28 (3-5x depending on the brand), who deals with acne, wears glasses, and has had to cope with mental illnesses such as anxiety, ptsd, and depression throughout my life. I say all of that because society/trolls will try their best to make you feel terrible for being HUMAN – but I’m still out here being FIERCE, FAT AND FABULOUS!!! Modeling is something that I do for myself, and I love to do it, but it can be challenging when things are pulling at you to do other things, including hate yourself, or put yourself last. You have to learn to put yourself first! Learn to love yourself first and to see the innate beauty in not only your body, but your mind and spirit. Treat yourself well and exude your unique greatness in life. Those quirks you have are what makes you, you. Don’t let ANYONE (including your inner bully) dull your shine!!!

6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?

I would say DO IT! It is fun and very rewarding!!! If they are looking to make a career out of it,  I would give this advice: It’s competitive but I believe there’s room in the industry for everyone who will work hard for it. Start small and locally. Find someone, could be a friend, family member, or a photographer who is local to you to take photos of you. Take portraits and full length shots; experiment with poses, facial expressions, angles, and learn to find your light.
Practice, practice, practice! Post frequently on your social media and tag the brands that you wear. Google is your best friend; Research everything you can about the industry and niche you want to work in. Invest in what you need to present yourself the way you want, whether it’s clothes, makeup, tech, books, or classes. It can be an expensive adventure establishing a career as a model… But take it slow, one day at a time, one step at a time, and believe in yourself – you’re amazing, beautiful!

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5 Fashion New Year’s Resolutions to Make 2018 Your Best-Dressed!

It’s almost 2018 — which means that “New Year’s Resolution” season is just around the corner. You know: the couple of weeks where everyone resolves to become less themselves. Smaller. Quieter. More “disciplined.”

Normally, we’re not big fans of New Year’s resolutions here, specifically because many people use this time to get down on themselves. However, this year, we’re going to flip the script. If you absolutely must make a New Year’s resolution, why not make one that encourages you to show up, unapologetically, as more of yourself?

To help you get started, here are 5 body-positive, fashion-focused New Year’s resolutions:

1. Be Bold and Bright

First and foremost, New Year’s resolutions should give you the opportunity to become bolder, brighter, and more empowered. Which means: if you want to wear bright colors and make a statement, then go for it! Now is not the time to get smaller or take up less space in the world. Wear the thing “they” said you “couldn’t” wear. Be outrageous. Flatter yourself. If what you wear tells people what you stand for or how you feel about yourself, then use it to show the people of 2018 how you do you.

Looks to inspire you:

 

 

2. Be Sexy — for You

For all too long, femmes have been conditioned to believe that sexy is a thing you should be for other people’s enjoyment. While it’s nice to share yourself with another person, too often, that’s not what we’re doing when we dress or act “sexy.” There’s nothing wrong with showing yourself a little love and tapping into your own sensuality — but we need to make sure that, when we do it, we’re loving ourselves first. So let’s make a resolution to take back the gaze and find a little self-love first — so that when we choose to share our “sexy,” it’s an empowered, consensual choice.

Looks to inspire you:

3. Be Fancy

These days, it feels like everyone’s dressing down — from the theatre to the office, loose jeans and hoodies seem to be the norm. But sometimes it feels good to dress up and go out looking like a million bucks. The good news is: you don’t need a million bucks to get a little fancy. Just a few nice pieces with some statement jewelry, and you’re all set for a night on the town — or a very fancy trip to the grocery store. Whatever floats your boat!

Looks to inspire you:

 

 

4. Be Unconventionally Professional

In the working world, dressing “professionally” usually means either a) dressing as masculine as possible or b) muting your clothing choices so as not to “distract” anyone in the office. (Sigh.) In 2018, let’s take back the office. Yes, you can be professional and still look femme. Yes, you can wear bright colors or unconventional designs and still get the job done. You spend the majority of your waking hours at work — don’t waste another minute trying to please other people with your appearance.

Looks to inspire you:

 

 

5. Be a Show-Off

According to society, one of the worst things we can do is be proud of ourselves — and want to share that pride. Too often, we take that advice to mean that we should hide ourselves even when we’ve got something special to share. The thing is, there’s a line between showing off to make other people feel bad about what they don’t have and showing off the parts of yourself — mental and physical — that you love. In 2018, emphasize some of your favorite assets with off-the-shoulder, peek-a-boo, and cropped pieces. Be a show-off — because pride is only a “sin” when you’re using it as a weapon.

Looks to inspire you:

Sheath dress with keyhole cut out

The Joan Sheath Dress

What are YOUR New Year’s fashion resolutions? Share your photos and resolutions in SmartGlamour wear on Instagram with the hashtag #SmartGlamourNYE! (And if you need a few pieces to get yourself started, check out the SmartGlamour shop now! Our end of year sale is going now – 20% off + free shipping will be added to your cart automatically, ending on Jan 1st, don’t miss it!)

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Introducing the SmartGlamour Tribute Series: Feminist Artists of the 1970s

It’s almost Christmas, but did you know that SmartGlamour’s clothing lines have a hidden “easter egg?” You may have noticed that many of our products have people’s names — that’s not just a stylistic choice; it’s a deliberate way in which we pay homage to the people who have made waves and pioneered the way forward throughout history.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the Holiday 2017 line, which celebrates feminist artists of the 70’s:

Renate Eisenegger

Renate Eisenegger is a multi-disciplinary avant-garde artist from Germany. Some of her photographic work includes painting her face with bright white paint and abstracting herself with geometric lines or photographing herself disappearing as she covers her features with cotton and tape. Recently, during an exhibition of Feminist Avant-Garde art in London, Renate Eisnegger stated, “For over forty years, no one took any interest in my works. They were all in the attic.” If you can find some of her art outside of an attic, then you should go check it out.

Lynn Hershman Leeson

Lynn Hershman Lesson is living art. For two years in the seventies, she created an entirely different persona and lived that persona’s life instead of her own. She explored her own femininity through the construction of someone else’s — of her experience, she said, “Through fiction you can sometimes get to a deeper truth.” Beyond using herself as a canvas, her later art included film and digital technology to explore desire, femininity, and social construction.

Cindy Sherman

A woman after my own heart, Cindy Sherman explored the performance of “woman” through photography throughout the seventies. Using makeup, wigs, and clothing, she constructed a series of personas and photographed herself, raising questions about “common stereotypes and cultural assumptions” while simultaneously creating and critiquing the photograph and its viewer.

Karin Mack

Austrian artist Karin Mack also played with identity in her works. She began her career as a documentary photographer — one who photographs things as they are — but she quickly moved to concept photography to explore and deconstruct the idealized image and the expectations we place on the image of “woman.” One of her most striking series explores “the death of the image…as an act of liberation.”

Mary Beth Edelson

Mary Beth Edelson is an American multidisciplinary artist who was also active in the feminist and civil rights movements of the 60s and 70s. Her work deconstructs patriarchal history, as in Some Living Women Artists/Last Supper, where she replaced the heads of the men in da Vinci’s famous painting with her peers. She often turns to goddesses and strong female characters and tropes from history and fiction in her art.

Hannah Wilke

Using unconventional media, like chewing gum and laundry lint, Hannah Wilke’s work was radical and in-your-face. She was a performance artist who was unafraid to shy away from the taboo — which meant that many of her pieces were evocative of (or explicitly about) the vulva/vagina. She often used her own body as a canvas — such as in an iconic photograph of herself covered in chewing gum shaped like vulvas in the S.O.S. — Starification Object Series.

VALIE EXPORT

VALIE EXPORT was born Waltraud Lehner. As a revolt against parents who had been complacent during the Nazi regime and against patriarchal norms, she shed her father’s and husband’s names, and instead took the name of a brand of cigarettes. Her artwork was performative and in-your-face — including a piece of performance art called Tap and Touch Cinema, wherein she wore a curtained “theater” on her upper body and had passersby touch her unseen breasts through the curtain. She also wrote a powerful manifesto on women’s art in 1972.

It’s amazing how much feminist art has flown just off below radar of popular culture. If any of these women and their work sparked your curiosity, go and take a deep dive! The more we support the feminist art that does exist, the more room it creates in the popular narrative for art like this. 

SmartGlamour pays tribute to more than just this one group of people — stay tuned for future posts explaining the backstory and history behind the names of your favorite pieces of clothing.

And don’t forget: December 1 is your last day to shop in order to receive your order by Christmas, and December 8 is your last day if you want your order in time for New Year’s Eve! If you’ve been waiting to order, now’s the time.

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Model of the Month: Farin

This month’s model of the month is Farin! Farin has been modeling for us for just shy of two years, and has participated in shoots, shows, and videos. Learn more about her below!


Farin in the Marilyn Dress from Spring 2016

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?
I direct opera and coach singers, and stage manage theater. And some other modeling.
2. How did you get involved with the brand?
I saw a friend’s sister model a dress I loved. Once I learned more, I loved the fashion, and the representation without tokenism, and the message. I got in touch, and was asked to be woman of the week!
Submitting for the next casting call was oh-screw-it standing-in-my-kitchen-at-1:00am decision, and a great one!

Farin in the Ayla Camisole Dress and Janis Suede Duster from Fall 2017

3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?
It’s so satisfying, and such such a positive, celebratory environment, for one thing. And I’m proud to represent what it means. It has impact; people have written that it means so much to see someone with a cane as  a ‘model’ in an uncompromisingly fashionable and glamorous way.
And while it is challenging for me to do, I’m in grateful shock at Mallorie’s support- many times even physically! (literally #womensupportingwomen!)
4. What does body positivity mean to you?
It means more than I can possibly unpack. But more than anything, it means treating bodies as wonderful, without pretending one is a shape or size it’s not. It means bodies aren’t problems, or worth, and deserve agency and joy.

Farin on the Fall 2016 Runway

5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be?
It takes work. There’s a lot about everyone that’s invisible, no matter how glam they look! Whatever feels like a struggle isn’t just you, and doesn’t take away from your shine! And that you aren’t relegated to less than anyone- all of you can shine!
6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?
Of course know the demands, including openness. But if you feel the pull but are scared? Be scared, try anyway. At least with SG, you won’t regret it.

Farin in the Hedy Colorblocked Dress from Fall 2016

 

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Life Before Fast Fashion

Believe it or not, there was life before Forever 21.

Clothing was not only not disposable, but also not available at the drop of hat (or a credit card). Fashion was an investment — clothing took time to make, so people cared for their garments in order to extend the life of their closet. In this post, we’ll take a brief journey into life before fast fashion:

A Very Brief History of Fashion

For most of (Western) history, “fashion” was reserved for only the wealthiest people — kings, queens, and aristocracy. Fashion was expressive — a way to show off position and standing. Clothing, on the other hand, was functional. Most people just wore their fabric to keep themselves (relatively) clean, warm, and protected.

As time inched toward the late 19th and earliest 20th century, however, manufacturing made fashion slightly more accessible to “all,” where “all” still mostly included the upper echelon of society. Textiles were more readily available, and dyes were less of a precious commodity. As wealth increased among the middle class, so too did access to fashionable clothing.

Garments, however, were still made to order. Women had to know how to sew, or at least have the money to pay someone who did, as pre-made clothing was still a few years away. The Encyclopedia of Fashion shares that, during this time, people would take apart the high-fashion garments coming out of Paris to create patterns, allowing people to create their own versions. However, this still needed to be done in the home or by tailor.

Fashion Gets Faster

The combination of the sewing machine and factory production lines helped push the ready-to-wear industry into the fore.Men’s clothing was the first clothing to be mass-produced. But women’s clothing lagged behind in terms of technology. According to the Encyclopedia of Fashion, the first mass-produced piece of women’s clothing was the shirtwaist, which, per Wikipedia, was “a separate blouse constructed like a shirt.” As shirts were originally menswear, it makes sense that this would be the first piece of women’s clothing that was mass-produced.

Marsha Neck Tie Satin Blouse

Though we don’t sell any shirtwaists at SmartGlamour, we do have plenty of beautiful blouses, like the Marsha Neck Tie Satin Blouse.

(The term “shirtwaist” may sound familiar, as most modern references to this piece of clothing, at least in America, are made to the tragedy at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in 1911, where around 146 people — mostly women — were killed when the factory caught on fire.)

One of the reasons that women’s clothing took longer to reach mass-production than men’s was the question of standard sizing. Women’s clothing was “dependent on a precise fit” and could be altered to take into account the latest trends out of Paris. This meant that women would make clothing to fit themselves; however, with pret-a-porter (or off-the-rack) fashion, women had to fit the clothing instead.

The Influence of “Standard Sizing”

It wasn’t until the 1940s that “standard sizing” came into being — the Small, Medium, and Large we know of today were based off of the measurements of 15,000 women, most of whom were white and smaller than the average. Per a Time article about the problematic history of sizing, standard sizing “measurements still primarily relied on bust size, assuming women had an hourglass figure.”

It was necessary, however, to figure out standard sizes for manufacturers, because, by this time, department stores were using catalogs to sell clothing to women all around the country, even in rural areas. They couldn’t take the measurements of everyone and custom-tailor clothes; there would be no way to cater to everyone and still make a profit.

diverse women holding signs saying all bodies are good bodies

All bodies are good bodies — but standard sizing would have you believe otherwise. Don’t let the tags get you down; vote with your dollars instead for companies like SmartGlamour that believe in creating clothing that fits YOU.

While ready-to-wear clothing meant big profits for large retailers, it also meant big problems for women’s emotional health. Per Wikipedia, “ready-to-wear also sparked new interests in health, beauty, and diet as manufactured clothing set specific, standardized sizes in attire in order to increase quantities for profit. Women of larger sizes had difficulties finding apparel in department stores, as most manufacturers maintained and sold the limited sizes across the nation.”

In other words: while ready-to-wear clothing made it easier for women to access and afford the latest fashions, the means of production left out large swathes of the population by necessity.

Fast Fashion  

Globalization led to another innovation in the garment industry, making it even easier for retailers to turn a profit — and quickly. By the 1980s, fast fashion hit the scene. Instead of long trend cycles, where styles could last several years before turning over, fast fashion meant that trends could travel from the runway to the stores within days, and the shelf-life of a given style could last only a few weeks, if that.

This really picked up speed in the late 90’s and early 2000s. Now, just a few years later, it feels like the norm. Millennials in particular have known almost nothing except mass-produced, standard-sized clothing, meaning that they have grown up with no concept that clothes should fit the person, and not the other way around.

Want trendy without the ethical issues? Check out SmartGlamour’s 2017 Fall runway looks!

Fast fashion is problematic in a number of other ways too, as it encourages overconsumption and unethical sourcing, production, and disposal.

A Happy Medium Between Ready-to-Wear and Custom Tailoring

At SmartGlamour, we strive for a happy medium between off-the-rack fashion and a custom tailored feel. We offer trendy clothing, but there’s no “one size fits all” here — we take into account all bodies and strive to make clothing that fits you, and not the other way around.

The bridge between the two is size customization. That means that you get to pick the style that speaks to you, but then order specific sizes for your sleeves, waistband, hemline, inseam and more. But if you really want a throwback (and an outfit made for you), then you can have the entire garment custom tailored for a small fee. 

Mallorie Dunn wearing a custom dress with measuring tape around her shoulders

Armed with measuring tape and a mission, SmartGlamour’s founder Mallorie is changing the way you think about fashion!

Our production line is one woman, her sewing machine, and a mission to make fashion that fits all bodies, which means that, while we can’t make clothing that costs $1 and lasts a week, we can create fashion that fits like a glove and can last for years. While we can’t go back in time to an era when clothing had meaning and value, we can create a future where it matters again. It starts with us. (Check out the SmartGlamour shop here!)

 

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Three Reasons Why We Need Ethical Fashion

Social justice is a hot topic right now — but activism is more than just wearing the word “FEMINIST” across your chest (although you can do that too!), and it’s also more than making a clever sign and marching (although protesting helps!). Activism and social justice are a way of life, and they should extend beyond the big showy displays of public demonstration and into all aspects of your life…

…including your fashion.

Women wearing the Amelia Graphic Tee

If you DO want to wear your activism on your chest, check out the Amelia Graphic Tee!

It’s not the words on the shirt that make you a feminist or an activist, it’s the shirt itself. Where did it come from? How was it made? Whose labor was used or exploited, and what was the impact on the communities and environment from which it came? These are just some of the questions you need to be asking yourself every time you click the “purchase” button if you consider yourself a proponent of social justice

What is Ethical Fashion?

Is your clothing ethical?

The Ethical Fashion Forum defines ethical fashion as “the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximises benefits to people and communities while minimising impact on the environment.”

By contrast, “fast fashion” — like the mass-produced clothing you’d buy from low-priced retailers with high product turnover, like Zara and H&M — is produced without an eye toward sustainability or community impact.

In other words: ethical fashion is social justice. And here are three reasons why:

1. Women make up the majority — of exploited labor

Did you know that, of the 40 million garment workers in the world, 85% are women? And, of those women, most are underpaid, even while the companies they work for are making money hand over fist.

Not only are the women workers forced to work 14 – 16 hours per day, but they must work in unsafe conditions that can lead to tragedy — and even when their conditions are “safe,” they are still without basic benefits, like maternity leave. (And before you protest that your clothes are “made in America” and therefore better, just keep in mind that we have a terrible record on supporting garment workers in the U.S. too.)

When you buy clothing from companies that sell fast fashion, you’re contributing to the exploitation of (mostly-non-white) women around the world — because you vote with your dollars, and every piece of clothing you buy from these companies is a validation of their business model.

mallorie dunn of smartglamour tailors a dress for a plus size model

From production to marketing, clothing should help women, not hurt them.

2. Materials impact the community

The environment is a social justice issue. Caring about the sustainability of your clothing sources is more than just about trees, water, or animal rights; our use or misuse of the environment affects people and communities around the world.

From carbon emissions to “landfill fashion,” the production and disposal of your clothing impacts the environment. And while you may not feel the impact of an increase in smog, the destruction of a forest, toxic drinking water, or an influx of material waste (at least not today), there are communities around the world that are hurt by the destruction of their environment so that you can wear the latest trend.

People often can’t fight back against the destruction of their land or their environment, especially when the companies that they’re fighting have more money and influence than they do, so it’s essential to understand where your clothes are coming from, how they were produced, and what happens to the excess when styles don’t sell.

3. Low prices hurt everyone but the retailer

At this point, we all probably expect our clothes to be cheap — with fashion turning over so quickly (and clothing made so poorly that we need to buy new clothes all the time), clothes have to be priced ridiculously low in order to get you keep buying. (Yay consumerism?)

Most fast fashion companies have seemingly never even heard of “Fair Trade” — they need materials fast, and they don’t want to pay for them. The Ethical Fashion Forum reminds us that Fair Trade is a safeguard against the “injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, and most vulnerable producers.” Yes, That means that, while you’re getting a deal on your $9 outfit, the producers of the materials get a raw deal instead. 

And while you may feel like you’re making off like a bandit, chances are you’ll be back at the store in a few weeks in need of new clothes. Cheaply made clothing isn’t meant to last, so you may actually end up spending more on the back end for multiple new outfits instead of a few quality pieces that last for years. This cycle of quick consumerism feels like it’s doing good (for you, anyway), but, frankly, we undercut our commitment to social justice with each purchase. 

Change Starts with YOU

Sure, it hurts to pay a couple of extra dollars for well-made clothing — just because we don’t see the immediate benefit. But when you consider the long-term costs of not investing in ethically-made clothing, the numbers look a lot different.

You don’t have to throw out your entire closet (Please don’t! We don’t need to add to the landfill!), nor do you have to max out your credit cards on the latest ethically-made clothes. Start small: add a piece or two to your wardrobe from a source that provides transparency around sourcing, pricing, and labor. When you need new clothing, look for small businesses that have a proven track record of sustainability and supporting women and people of color.

An easy way to get started? Shop with SmartGlamour. The company was built on a commitment to true social justice in our production and pricing, so you know exactly what you’re buying and how it’s made when you choose to shop.

We source our fabrics from local small businesses, and everything is handmade by the owner in Queens, NY.

Mallorie Dunn of SmartGlamour sits at her sewing machine, making custom clothing

Mallorie Dunn, owner of SmartGlamour, makes all of the clothing you see in our store!

We’ve also made our pricing model transparent so you know why you’re paying what you’re paying. Sure, we can’t compete with fast fashion pricing, but we don’t want to. Instead, we price fairly based on the indie and boutique market rates, and we reduce markup by cutting out the retail middle man.

 

And, of course, we’re a company founded on the principles of social justice, so when we say “all means all,” we mean it. Our clothes are custom made for women and femmes from sizes XXS – 6X and beyond, and we feature models of all sizes, races, identities, backgrounds, and abilities. We even give back with our products — when you buy anything from our Cecile line, for example, we donate a portion to Planned Parenthood.

You can show off your feminism, your activism, and your commitment to social justice in every new piece that you buy from SmartGlamour — your actions will speak for themselves, no statement tee required.

Want to learn more? Check out this video!

 

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Model of the Month : Tracy Rivas

October’s Model of the Month feature is all about Tracy Rivas! Tracy was introduced to SmartGlamour in 2015, and has participated in campaigns, shoots, and shows since. She is a positive ray of light – and we love having her as a part of the SG family. Read more about her below!


Tracy in our Hillary Cropped Tee during the Fall 2015 Runway Show

 

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do? I work as a community events manager at WeWork. I oversee and source events for our 40 buildings in New York City.

2. How did you get involved with the brand? A good friend of mine, Alexa Rose Mullen, asked me to join her to visit a SmartGlamour pop-up shop in the East Village. I was immediately drawn to the clothing and the mission behind SmartGlamour. I was then asked to be a part of Mallorie’s #SameSizeDifferentEyes Campaign, which was an incredibly inspiring campaign and I became more in love with the brand than I already was.  I was then fortunate enough to walk one of her Fall Fashion Runway Shows and life officially changed forever. I am forever indebted to Mallorie and will be her advocate and ambassador for LIFE.

Tracy and Alexa in our #SameSizeDifferentEyes campaign


3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back? It’s an honor and a privilege to come back and model for Mallorie. Every time, I feel my super woman wings appear and I feel unstoppable. Supporting and representing SmartGlamour means I am helping to allow other women and femmes to feel comfortable and beautiful in their own skin.
 
4. What does body positivity mean to you? Body positivity means being unaffected by the judgments and criticisms of society where I am limitless in feeling badass, beautiful, confident and comfortable in my own skin. There is a sort of invincibility in the things that you can do when you are in body positive with yourself and with others.

Tracy in our Hensley Mesh Bralette with Appliques and Royalle Underwear

 
5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be? There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.
 
6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try? No one is stopping you but yourself, go out and show the world how incredibly beautiful and wonderful you are!
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Model of the Month : Bear Spiegel

This month’s model feature is all about Bear Spiegel! Bear has been modeling with us for just over a year now. They’ve participated in runway shows, photo shoots, campaigns, and videos. Learn a bit more about them below.


Bear in our Amelia Graphic Tee

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?

Primarily I am an actor and activist doing my best to use theatre to educate and inspire others. I also perform in the city living out my fantasy as a drag queen, Bear Lee Legal. And I’m finishing up my final year of college in which I am getting my BA in acting along with a minor in gender and sexuality studies.

2. How did you get involved with the brand?
I found a post in a Facebook group for queer women and transgender performers in which SmartGlamour was looking for models of all experiences to be in their #InYourSize campaign. I submitted, was selected, and was immediately hooked.

Bear in our Nikki Halter Top and Gloria High Waist Shorts

3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?

As a nonbinary person, I don’t always feel safe and validated in, primarily, femme spaces. SmartGlamour is a completely judgment free zone in regards to the clothing, my fellow models, and of course our fearless designer Mallorie. My gender and entire self never feels more validated than when I am doing a shoot with SG. I consistently leave with a smile on my face and an incredible amount of confidence.

4. What does body positivity mean to you?

To me, body positivity means minding your own goddamn business. It means that you focus on loving yourself, while not judging what anyone else is doing with their body. Body positivity is supporting ALL kinds of people in whichever way they choose to present themselves. My favorite motto is ‘your body, your choice’. This applies to what goes in my body, on my body, around my body, and out of my body.

Bear in our Carbone Cropped Sweater and Malala Pants

5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be?

Clothing is not gendered. It is merely pieces of fabric with holes cut out of it and cut in different shapes. I always shop wherever I want to shop in whichever ‘section’ I want to shop because if I find something that is cute, you can bet I’m going to wear it because I am cute.

6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?

My advice would be to make sure that you are modeling for you, and not anyone else. Find a supportive group of models/designers/photographers/etc. that want you to present yourself un-apologetically. Don’t try to emulate someone else when you model, just be you!!

Bear on the Fall 2016 Runway

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