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We've sent 13 trillion tons of our clothes to landfills in the U.S. alone—where they rot for 200 years—letting out toxic chemicals and dyes that contaminate our soils and water in the process. Much of these clothes are a product of the fast fashion community, which tempts us with an array of newness and irresistible deals but also are impacting the environment in hellish ways. Slow fashion communities have been investing in higher quality clothes—that actually will save us money. Each piece will last us for years to come. And that's something Rachel Temko, founder of Whimsy + Row is able to get behind. Just read this little quote she offered up: "I like my clothes like I like my cheese, quality over quantity." Cheese aside, Rachel has a vision, timeless clothing, rooted in sustainability that you can feel good in and feel good about. With modern shapes and insanely quality fabrics—we're ready to swap our cheddar cheese for Rogue River Blue (supposedly an expensive kind of cheese). Here's our super inspiring our Q+A with Rachel.

What is your favorite organic textile?

Linen is my fave! It’s super soft, strong, breathable and looks damn good. Made from natural cellulose fibers of flax, it’s 2x stronger than cotton and 3x stronger than wool. We make tops, bottoms, dresses and bandanas out of this superstar fabric. Just looking at it makes me feel a little calmer and wearing it actually makes my life easier.

Why is being sustainable so important to your brand?

Honestly, I never thought of Whimsy + Row being any other way. I have a huge crush on nature and would never want to do anything to hurt her. I focused on sustainable fashion in college, I’ve worked almost every position in the industry and seen from the inside how harmful making clothing is. Supporting small and well-crafted goods is highly important to me, I’ve always been obsessed with vintage and love a good story.

What are your sustainability practices?

We try to be sustainable wherever possible…

1 Sustainable Fabrics—We use low impact plant based fabrics (Rayon, Tencel and Linen), recycled fabrics (actually made from recycled materials) and reclaimed/deadstock fabric (excess fabric from other brands that we save from landfills).

2 Less Fabric Waste—We make bandanas and tops out of the excess fabric we have.

3 No water—There has been no water on our end that goes into making our clothing.

4 Packaging—All our packaging materials (labels, tags, tissue, stickers, boxes, shipping mailers, business cards) are made from recycled materials and are recyclable or biodegradable. We even send out tote bags with every purchase for customers to reuse!

5 Quality—Our goods are built to last and we recommend eco-friendly ways to care for it, so it will last longer.

6 No extra inventory—We cut smaller quantities - this way the pieces we make are unique and we don’t have excess stock that could potentially end up in landfills.

7 Ethical & Local Manufacturing—All our clothing is handmade in our DTLA factory where they care about their workers livelihood, pay above minimum wage, require clean work environments and treat their workers respectfully. Also producing locally decreases our carbon footprint.

8  Transparency : Through our social media outlets and email marketing we continue the sustainability conversation to encourage customers to live a eco-conscious lifestyle.

"Fashion shouldn’t be fast—what we wear is a taste of who we are and what we stand for. It should be thoughtful and built to last, not mindless and disposable."—Rachel Temko

Do you want to educate your customers about sustainability in a bigger way? 

Yes, my goal is to first be an eco-conscious community, second a clothing brand. We currently use our voice to our customers as a guide—educating them about our process and how they can be sustainable in their own lifestyle. We are currently incorporating this shared knowledge through our #WHIMSYWISDOM hashtag. We often collaborate with likeminded influencers and brands to spread the eco-conscious mindset. On the horizon, we will be hosting events and promotions centered around sustainability to further educate, stay tuned!

What is your best-selling piece?

Our Flora wide-leg pants made from deadstock fabric, we just can’t keep them in stock!

Sustainability often has this label of being ‘un-affordable to the masses’, which seems to be a reason people give for choosing ‘fast fashion’. In your own words why is it worth it?

Yes I hear this a lot and I get it, I used to buy fast fashion. When I made the switch to just purchasing good quality, sustainable, vintage or reused clothing, I actually saved money because I was buying less and taking better care of these pieces because they meant more to me.

Which other sustainable brands do you admire and why?

Patagonia, Reformation,  and Nisolo—they are a making a huge impact in the industry and paving the way for small brands (like me) to thrive.

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Finish the sentence. Shopping responsibly has...

Given me peace knowing that my decisions aren’t harming the lives of others.

The Whimsy + Row girl is…

Mindful, creative and kind.

If there’s one thing we should know about Whimsy + Row it’s that...

We are an approachable brand that cares.


*images are not owned by SHK. Via Whimsy + Row instagram.