Poplinen: A New Era in Fashion
Fashion is ever changing. In the context of human trafficking, sustainability, ethics and environmentalism this isn’t always a good thing. "Fast fashion", the obsession with quick-changing styles and seasonal trend clothing, is often characterized by waste, poor-quality products, unethical labor and more. However, change doesn’t always have to be characterized by something negative. Change can be a good thing. The fashion industry is starting to recognize the problems it has helped to create and facilitate. A new era in the fashion world has arrived, and it’s a change for the better.
One person making an effort to bring about a new kind of promise in fashion is Desiree Buchanan, the founder of an emerging company called Poplinen. Poplinen as a brand is just starting to make its debut in the fashion world, and they would like your help! They are a women’s shirt company where fun pieces meet requirements of functionality, style and comfort. Currently they have a Kickstarter going that will help in finishing up company details like a well-designed website and the production of their collection. These one of a kind pieces are made in Los Angeles from sustainable materials including vintage and deadstock fabric. Desiree says, “Poplinen was founded out of a place of personal need with the devotion to make better fitting, effortlessly cool shirts that women feel empowered in. I want to be thoughtful about what we’re doing here, and truly scale to meet the shirting needs of all women.”
Desiree wasn’t always interested in fashion however. It wasn’t until she moved to New York that her own sense of style emerged. When I asked Desiree about the start of her interest in fashion, this is what she told us: “A couple years ago, I started to research how the fashion industry works. Meanwhile, as I struggled to find quality shirts that ticked the boxes on my checklist—fit well, felt great, and didn’t break the bank—it hit me: women’s tops weren’t getting the attention they deserved.”
“Poplinen was founded out of a place of personal need with the devotion to make better fitting, effortlessly cool shirts that women feel empowered in. I want to be thoughtful about what we’re doing here, and truly scale to meet the shirting needs of all women.”
So what was Desiree to do? Create her own clothing line of course! Poplinen has ethical and environmental goals integrated into the business model that reflects Desiree’s own personal values such as “fair wages, giving back, good working environments, [and] implementing best practices for our planet.” Poplinen is prioritizing full-disclosure and direct-to-consumer business models which means they want their consumers to know where and how their clothes are being made, with direct access to the information behind the company. Desiree writes, “These newer business models are setting the bar high, and putting the customer first, which I can get behind. Now there is this accessible direct line of communication with the brand you’re purchasing from.” She also commented that, “There are already other companies pushing this agenda (ie Eileen Fisher, Reformation and Everlane), I look forward to seeing Poplinen be a part of the change.”
“These newer business models are setting the bar high, and putting the customer first, which I can get behind. Now there is this accessible direct line of communication with the brand you’re purchasing from.”
I asked Desiree, what is it that women will love about Poplinen? She answered, “I think they’ll love the concept of a core collection of shirts they can easily go back to at any time of the year.” With fast-fashion it is common to see different styles of clothing make a debut only to never be seen again a few months later. I know that I have been frustrated at times when I bought a piece I really liked and found it as a staple in my closet, but wasn’t able to buy another one because it was already gone from the stores. Desiree commented that Poplinen will be different. “We’ll also do fun seasonal designs and collaborations, but the idea of knowing you can always go back and find what you’re looking for is special.”
Not only is Poplinen looking to give their consumers a brand and style that they will love, but they are making a priority of giving back to the community. Desiree "thinks [consumers will] also be delighted by our partnership with Step Up Network: a non-profit that propels girls from under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused and ready to join the next generation of professional women. With each purchase, we’ll be donating a certain percentage of sales to their programs. I love their mission, and looking forward to partnering with them.”
“We’ll also do fun seasonal designs and collaborations, but the idea of knowing you can always go back and find what you’re looking for is special.”
If you want to support Poplinen, their Kickstarter is available until March 19th and is an all-or-nothing funded project. On the Kickstarter page they display their collection of 5 shirts that are available, each made uniquely to fit women and fit a versatile style -- from professional to casual activities. Some of their shirts even feature a sunglasses loop, one detail that I absolutely love. In funding Poplinen you're not only supporting a great company, but also receiving some awesome rewards for helping. Personally, I love the Diana shirt which you can get if you support Poplinen with a $75 dollar gift.
“I would like to see Poplinen perfect tops and blouses for women of all body shapes. Whether petite, lean, or curvy, our mission is to make shirts that women everywhere can look and feel great in. So, while we are starting small, the work is definitely cut out for us.“
Eager to back Poplinen and be the FIRST to receive their versatile shirts? Click below to access Poplinen's Kickstarter campaign.
And if you're in the mood for a pick-me-up, watch their fun promotional video:
About the Author
Amanda Kinney is a senior at The Master’s University and calls Southern California home. She enjoys long walks, rain, photography, and all things peppermint. On a daily basis she can be found eating vegan food and talking with her peers about ethical issues. She is enthusiastic about joining the Dressember team and plans on being a life-long advocate against slavery.