Women Owned Clothing Brands at Whole EarthPosted by Whole Earth | 03.16.2022
Women-Owned Clothing Brands at Whole Earth
As part of our celebration of Women's History Month, we thought we'd share the stories of several of our clothing brands that were created thanks to the inspiration and hard work of women. A few of the labels have been a part of our clothing department for many years, while one is brand new. Here are the stories behind some of your favorite clothing from Whole Earth.
FLAX began in the late 1980s as Angelheart. The company was created by twin sisters who sold their homemade linen clothing at a farmer's market in Ithaca, N.Y. Their comfortable classic styles were popular from the start. Looking for a good source of linen fabric, one of the sisters, Jeanne Engelhart and her husband traveled to Lithuania in search of possible partners. They found a worker-owned, women-run sewing collective and Jeanne Engelhart FLAX was born with their first pieces offered in stores in 1993. FLAX has been a part of Whole Earth for quite some time as we've found early FLAX labels in our personal collections. Engelhart left the company in 2001, but today's FLAX clothing is still a company owned by women, and its clothing is made by that same Lithuanian collective. FLAX continues to be one of our most popular women's clothing brands. The combination of breezy linen, comfortable fit and classic designs make it an ideal choice for our warm Texas climate.
Suzanne Williams came to clothing through working with customers rather than from the design side. While working in retail stores and as a rep for clothing companies, she felt that these companies did not understand their customers - who they were and what they were looking for. She wanted to make clothing that was more wearable, functional and comfortable. So in 1999, she and her husband started Habitat. They first created a small line of thoughtfully designed t-shirts. As their offerings grew, so did the business. Their secret was listening to customer feedback and providing the comfort and good looks that Habitat wearers wanted. Habitat is known for their striking use of fabrics and interesting details that make their designs stand out, like their very stylish buttons.
Carve Designs grew from a surfing trip to Mexico. As Jennifer Hinton and Thayer Sylvester lounged in a hammock waiting for the waves to roll back in, they lamented how hard it was to find boardshorts that could keep up with real women with real bodies and a real passion for adventure. And thus, Carve Designs was born. The company began selling rashguards and boardshorts in 2003 and has continued to offer stylish feminine clothing that fits actual women who actively engage in the outdoor world. While their focus is on surf and paddle board performance wear, they also make lifestyle clothing for everyday fun.
For years women have had to make do wearing work clothes designed for men that didn't fit well or regular jeans that weren't tough enough for the job and wore out quickly. Dovetail Workwear was created by the fortuitous meeting of landscapers Kate Day and Kyle Marie Summers with Sara DeLuca, an apparel industry expert. The three decided to design and produce Dovetail's first pants to fill the gap in performance and good looks in women's workwear. Today, they make work clothes for women, by women. Dovetail's first pants were extensively field tested by women who work as bike mechanics and construction workers as well as artists and firefighters. Their input helped hone Dovetail Workwear's fit, function and durability. These pants are made specifically for women's bodies. The fit includes a mid-rise contoured waist, stretch fabrics for bending, and a comfortable cut for multiple body types.
What the stories have in common is this: these company founders understood what their customers wanted and created clothing to match their expectations. At Whole Earth, we strive to find the clothing, shoes and gear that answer your needs for outdoor adventure and for everyday. Come see what we've found for you!