Q&A: Meet Cynthia Mcdougall, of Sustain All

When it comes to sustainable fashion, it can be hard to know where to start. With an endless barrage of information, countless new and established brands to research, and a mass of confusing terminology out there, it's understandable that anyone might feel a little overwhelmed.

 

What are 3 core values that you associate with your brand?

Sustainability, quality, lifestyle.

Where are your products made?

Los Angeles.

Who would you say are muses for your brand?

I'm not sure... I don't think I have muses :( I am into Zoe Kravitz's casual but stylish fashion and love how she can wear a cut off vintage tank with The Row boots. Then she makes a statement with the most beautiful gown and flawless makeup. Would be cool to see her in Sustain.

What one word do you feel best describes the culture of your company?

Creative and Open-minded. (oops, thats two)

How do you stay competitive in a market inundated with fast fashion?

We hope that people see the value in supporting conscious brands who are going out of their way to design with sustainability in mind. With so much information about the importance of this topic, we hope that consumers choose brands that are creating pieces made to last, keeping a beautiful aesthetic.

Why is it important to you to produce sustainable basics?

We want to create a wardrobe and pieces for people who want to look good but also feel good about what they're wearing.

What upcoming drop/item are you most passionate/excited about?

Tbh excited and passionate about all of them, but currently working on a heavyweight tee that was one of our first releases and made with 17 plastic water bottles. We are making a few changes to it but it will still be really good.

What kind of impact would you like your brand to have; whether environmentally or socially?

By focusing on ethical practices throughout the brand, our production chain, manufacturing, and design, we intend to have a positive impact on the planet. Incorporating better ways to operate daily and considering both people and the environment in every decision we take within the business.

Why is brand transparency important?

Your purchase has power, so investing and supporting people that are honest while trying to create change helps create awareness in the industry.

What sustainability challenges does your brand face?

Cost of raw materials since we source in the US is a little pricey, providing more affordable prices to our customers, and finding manufacturers that work with us in producing in small batches to control over production. Overall I think there is lack of circular technology solutions in the industry.

Is there a brand you try to emulate in terms of sustainability/give back practices?

I like Ganni and their efforts in making clothing with the planet in mind by being transparent in their design process. I also really love how Better Us is redefining fashion and playing by their own rules. They're taking discarded clothing and designing full uniforms that you can purchase, which come with 2 or 3 pieces each.

 

What other sustainable practices do you try to implement in your life?

When shopping and looking to add to my wardrobe, I look for vintage pieces at flea markets, or secondhand shops. I also like to buy from resale companies and try to sell with them as much as I can. I try to avoid single use plastics and I'm always on the hunt for nice, clean day to day products that will help me be as green as possible. I like to do my research when going anywhere special and like to support businesses that are being creative and innovating in their space. I'm considering getting a bike too! I've been putting that off!

What are 3 words that best describe your personal shopping style?

Elevated, classic, but can also be instinctive.

You mention inclusivity in your brand ethos, what does that mean to you?

It means a lot of different things to me. It's important that everyone is represented and seen so using models and people that are racially diverse is the goal. I'm also Latina, so I think naturally inclusivity is part of who I am and it's not something I have to think twice about. We also work with so many amazing people within our business that at some point I would love to highlight and share their stories. Also, all our collections so far have been unisex, so trying to continue that is our focus.

Salty or Sweet?

Definitely salty.

Current song on repeat?

Harry Styles - Cinema
Bad Bunny - Enséñame a Bailar

Currents brands you are crushing on?

Really into the Comme Si boxers I think they're cute and comfortable. Love The Row always! And I really really like Bode and how they source and give garments a second life. I think that's cool.

Why join essio?

Being a part of a platform offering people a better choice in brands they resonate with aesthetically, but also building a community of consumers that care is important. Giving people a space to discover brands like ours and make connections all while creating awareness is the perfect package.

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