Guided by a core sustainability ethos, Kathryn Hilderbrand’s Good Clothing Company launched house brand Good Apparel, featuring meticulously tailored and beautifully designed garments.
The ethical, sustainable, and small batch production company that caters to independent designers, Good Clothing Company, has recently launched house brand Good Apparel. This gorgeous collection of ridiculously chic clothes disproves the stereotypes attributed to conscious clothing. Not only are the pieces sustainable, but they’re beautifully designed and meticulously tailored, too — a skill founder and master tailor, Kathryn Hilderbrand, has been honing since the age of sixteen.
After working as a tailor for 30 years, Hilderbrand transitioned from working for the public to working for designers, attributing it to her inability to receive a raise after decades in her field.
“The value in the work that we do as tailors is not understood and undervalued as a direct result of what consumers are able to purchase their fast fashion finds for,” she says. “So, since I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to change that dynamic with my tailoring business, I created Good Clothing Company.”
“We consider ourselves an ‘intelligent manufacturer.’ We care about our clients’ long term success, so we offer all the services that go along with that — consulting, development and production. The truth is, too, we are opening a door that wouldn’t otherwise exist for many independent designers because we offer low minimums on production that are not available overseas or with traditional manufacturing,” she says of Good Clothing Company.
Hilderbrand spoke of the opportunity she saw to offer quality work for designers who understand and are in need of the value of the trade, but also of how it happened to pair so well with her outlook on sustainability and creating U.S.-based jobs. As for launching house brand Good Apparel, Hilderbrand said it was “a natural fit.”
Not only is Good Apparel beneficial to the environment, but branching out from Good Clothing Company allowed Hilderbrand to offer higher wages to the in-house seamstresses, lower costs for consumers, and an outlet for the design staff’s internal creativity. The company’s vertical process means that everything is “designed, developed, and produced under one roof.”
In addition to the internal processes, Good Apparel designs small batch collections, defined by Hilderbrand as “a thoughtful production method that aims to eliminate overproduction and excess waste,” for seasons and in capsule form.
At times the inspiration may come from the time of year, while at others, it’s based on a particular fabric. The Chambray Collection, for example, focuses on a capsule collection created from a hemp and recycled polyester textile. Of the creative aspect, she says, “With our model of smaller capsule collections and a mix of sustainable basics we are able to really be flexible and have fun with our design process.”
The good news is, you can expect to see a new small batch collection every 45 to 60 days, including limited edition looks, that the website says defies traditional fashion calendars.
Every good tailor knows that materials matter, not only in how they perform, but also in how they were created. Just as important as the designs, Hilderbrand also holds the company’s textiles to extremely high standards, “We have a major focus on sustainable, organic and natural fibers. Currently, our collections use tencel, bamboo, organic cotton, hemp, recycled polyester, and linen. With the variety of fabrics that we use, we have sourced from multiple suppliers to ensure that we are receiving fair trade and organic certifications for the materials.”
And when it comes to the customers, Hilderbrand pays special attention to detail and fit. Not only does each piece have a bit of what she calls “edge,” but Good Apparel offers special perks, like manufacturing the pants with a long, thirty-five inch inseam that customers can have tailored to fit their proportions.
Evident from photos, the collections target a fashion-savvy woman, but also one who wants to look great going from the creative boardroom to the cocktail bar. Epitomizing the work to weekend concept, nearly all of these separates have the ability to be dressed up or down and are made to last, offering versatility, longevity, and yet another notch on Good Apparel’s sustainability belt.
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