The sustainable fashion industry is expected to hit $8.25 billion by 2023. But as sustainability has grown from trend to foundational pillar, one category has been left behind, legwear. That is until now. Introducing CLOVO, an emerging sustainable stockings brand. Learn how Megan Martis built her business from the ground up and the process that it took to get here, in today's Brands Behind the Scenes interview.
FromWhy did you start a sustainable stockings brand?
Living in Upstate New York, my co-founder Monica and I basically lived in tights for half the year. Out of frustration for how poorly they fit and how uncomfortable they felt, we began seeking a better designed solution. While studying fit, we also learned the harmful effects of plastic clothing on the body, how the chemicals from our clothing can enter our skin and build up in our bodies - it was scary. Moreover, especially since tights are fitted so close to a woman’s body, we learned how important it is to use natural materials free of harmful chemicals. We knew we had to do something.
How did you find the right fit?
From personal experience, we believed stockings needed a redesign and our customer surveys revealed that women hated how tights sag, itch, and do not fit their bodies correctly. So our first obstacle was figuring out how to redesign the stockings to be more comfortable while still providing structure. To fix this issue we decided to include a thin spandex short on the top of our stockings to eliminate sag and better fit all body types.
How did you find the right fabric?
Traditional stockings are made of crude oil based, nylon. From the start of CLOVO we knew that we wanted to use natural materials that were free of harmful chemicals and produced in a sustainable way. But delivering sustainability with quality is a difficult task, especially for an item like stockings that absolutely must be durable and soft. After attending a few material/fashion shows in NYC, we discovered the sustainable material Tencel by Lenzing.
We loved Tencel because it was:
+Super soft and stretchy
+ Produced from sustainably grown trees in Europe
+ Naturally biodegradable and incorporated renewable energy and closed loop production
+ Naturally absorbent and eliminated itch
How did you find the right factory?
Short answer? Lots and lots of phone calls. When we started our factory search, we knew we needed a manufacturing partner that would experiment with a new, natural material. We must have called over a hundred manufacturers that simply did not want to use our material or work with a startup. But with perseverance and a dedication to our mission we finally found our manufacturing partner.
How has COVID changed your plans?
COVID has taught us how to pivot. Prior to COVID-19, we had a plan to launch our sustainable stockings brand at trade shows. However, since they all were cancelled, we had to figure out another way to go to market and decided to go D2C (direct to consumer).
What are you proud of?
We are proud of how we placed high standards for our material since the beginning without compromise, even though it meant it took much longer to produce. We are proud that using a natural material saved over 500 pounds of new plastic from entering the environment in our first production run. In terms of performance, changing up the design of our product has led to performance improvements for the wearer and the environment because they are not only more comfortable, but also last a lot longer. Moreover, because the signature CLOVO short has been designed for the highest durability, CLOVO EverTights last a lot longer than traditional tights. All together, we are proud to produce sustainable stockings that are better for a woman's bodies, support them throughout their busy days, and are better for the environment.
Check out CLOVO's sustainable stockings here.
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