A Little Bit of Color is What Summer is All About!

The girl is wearing a dark pink colored to show what summer is all about.

There are a thousand good things to gush about when summer rolls around, from the warm sand under your feet to family barbecues and relaxing vacations–what’s not to love about summer?! And while we are also huge summertime advocates here at Stella Carakasi, one of our favorite things about the warmer months is the bright colors! There is nothing quite like switching out your winter wardrobe in place of some colorful, uplifting styles to get you through the heat. And if you’re looking for some staples to add to your collection and take you through summer (and beyond!) you’ve come to the right place. We’re breaking down some of our favorite bright-colored pieces to show off no matter what you have planned this summer!

Airy tunic

If there is one staple that you wear over and over again it should be a comfy tunic top. Tunics can be worn for a stroll around a new town, with trousers to the office, paired with denim for a lunch date, and so much more! Because of their airy nature, you’ll also be able to stay as cool as a cucumber in this effortless loose-fitting style. Our Prime Time Tunic is one of our bestsellers and is available in nine standout colors. Our favorites for the summertime? Kiwi, Hibiscus, Lagoon, Iris, and Chambray! Our preferred way to wear the Prime Time Tunic is with a slim pair of ankle pants or a flowy pair of denim cropped pants, depending on your plans for the day! Our Tencel® Criss Cross Leggings in Soft White look great paired with bright colors, and the Tencel® denim City Pants are perfect for a hot casual summer day.

The girl is wearing a tie dyed top to show what summer is all about.

Comfortable tee

An exciting yet comfortable tee is great for those summer days when you just need something easy to wear. The Tie Dyed Every Day Tee feels like silk against the skin and is available in three fresh, tie-dyed colorways.

We love to pair this top with our Just Right Cropped Pants or the Slimming Ankle Pants in Soft White to make the top pop. While this outfit may seem simple, it will help to keep you chic and stylish without having to put too much effort into it! 

Flattering jersey top

A super-soft top that is available in three striking dip-dyed colors?! Sign us up! Meet the Raise the Bar Top (AKA, one of our favorite picks for the warmer months.) It’s a super flattering Modal™ jersey top that feels fresh and insanely easy to style. To make things casual, pair it with some easy denim leggings like our Criss-Cross Denim Knit Leggings or a cropped version, the Denim Knit Second Nature Capris. They come in both a dark and vintage wash and are the perfect warm-weather jeans alternative. To dress things up a bit, try wearing it with the Slimming Ankle Pants in Soft White.

The girl is wearing a denim tunic to show what summer is all about.

Denim tunic

A flowy denim tunic is another must-have for any season. We just released our new Storyteller Tunic as part of our summer collection. It is the perfect combination of style and comfort. The A-line shape fits and flatters most body shapes, while the breathable Tencel® denim fabric keeps you feeling great.

The girl is wearing a printed top to show what summer is all about.

Versatile printed top

Who doesn’t want a beautiful, printed top in their closet that they can wear to work, running errands, date night, or weekend getaways? Our team is always focused on the wearability of our styles which is why we designed the Illusion Tunic. This top is primarily neutral but features pops of pale blue and soft yellow throughout the stunning painterly print. It can be worn across many seasons as it’s easy to layer. It looks great when worn with our Criss-Cross Ponte Leggings in Soft White to bring out the cool summer vibe. 

Walkable shoes

Adding new summer shoes to your collection can be a struggle if you’re looking for both comfort and style. So, let us help you with a few of our favorite picks! The Pier sandals from Naot are a great option if you want something stylish and versatile without running the risk of sore feet at the end of the day. They have a wedged heel and are made with a padded leather lining to keep you comfortable throughout the day. For the office or dressier events, try a simple pair of flats that will keep your feet cool and you looking chic. Our current pick is the Henri Flats by Coclico. And if you’re in search of a little bit of heel, head straight towards the Richie Clog from Coclico! All of these shoes work with a ton of outfits and are incredibly comfortable. What more could you ask for?! 

Summertime tote

A tote in the summer is essential, whether you’re planning a beach trip, a picnic in the park, or just running some errands! The Land’s End Open Top Canvas Bag is versatile and can be used for just about any activity you can think of. It’s sold in seven different colors and sizes to meet your personal needs. And the best part? You can even embroider it! Let Land’s End personalize it with your very own initials! 

Much-needed SPF

No matter where you live or what your skin tone is, don’t forget the sunscreen! The SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer by Juice Beauty is one of our favorites because it’s not sticky, won’t leave a weird residue or white cast on your skin, and is made with all-star ingredients like aloe vera and pomegranate. What’s not to love?!

The girl is wearing a hat to show what summer is all about.

Protective hat

Although SPF is made to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, there’s nothing wrong with accessorizing with a cute yet functional hat! Hats not only add an extra layer of sun protection for your skin, but they also help shield your eyes and hair from getting damaged by the sun, all while keeping you stylish! Our current favorite hat comes from Wallaroo Hat Company, and it’s their Victoria Fedora Sun Hat. It’s incredibly lightweight and has UPF 50+ sun protection! It comes in many different colors to match all of your summertime outfits, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for sun protection.

And don’t forget the sunglasses!

Finding flattering sunglasses can be challenging for many people as the shape of everyone’s face differs so much. One of the most versatile sunglass shapes is the subtle cat-eye because the pointed edges lift the face and aren’t too overpowering on a smaller head. Check out the Cat Eye Sunglasses from a brand called & Other Stories if you’re in search of a simple, yet elegant pair of shades for the summer months.

If cat-eyes aren’t your thing, aviators are another flattering sunglass shape for many people. The Warby Parker Raider Sunglasses are available in six different colors and can even be made with your prescription lenses! Talk about a win-win.

Head on over to our Looks We Love page for more summertime outfit inspiration to keep you bright and stylish all season long!

Sustainable Fashion Must-Haves

Sustainable fashion brands to love

Gone are the days when eco-friendly clothing meant boring basics and unflattering silhouettes! In 2021, we’re all about keeping our planet healthy while still looking stylish and fashion-forward! Today, we’re breaking down what sustainability means to us and sharing a few designs from our favorite sustainable fashion brands.

What does sustainability mean to us?

At Stella Carakasi, we know how important the health of our planet is which is why we’re committed to offering our community styles that are high quality, stylish, and sustainable

We were early eco-fashion disruptors since the launch of our first company in 1993 when being sustainable was unheard of but we knew then as we know now how critical it is for our future. Sustainability looks different for every brand, so what does it mean to us?

  • Sustainability has been in our DNA since 1993. It’s always about quality over quantity and collaborating with mills and factories to push the environmental agenda forward while inspiring others to join the movement because collectively we can achieve the change we seek a lot faster but it starts with every single one of us.
    Many fashion brands nowadays produce micro seasons which are new batches of clothing that are typically delivered to stores weekly or biweekly. This amount of clothing production can wreak havoc on our environment causing water and air pollution as well as mass amounts of water and energy usage. Low-quality clothing from fast fashion brands can usually only be worn over a short period of time and will typically end up in landfills as we all know by now. Instead of mass-producing clothing, we make our garments in small batches with the best available eco-friendly fabrics, which allow us to create high-quality styles without sacrificing the health of our environment.
  • All of our supply and manufacturing partners are WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production), BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative), and BVNA (Bureau Veritas) compliant and our materials are usually certified.
  • We use fabrics that are high quality, comfortable and have a low impact on the environment such as organic cotton, recycled fibers, Modal, and Tencel®.

Our favorite sustainable fashion brands

It can feel intimidating at first to start shopping more sustainably—we totally understand but more importantly we don’t believe that customers should be guilt-tripped into needing to purchase sustainable clothing which has become such a trend.  It is fashion after all, and fashion should be fun. We prefer to lead with quality and style and have our customers discover that their purchase also happens to be sustainable.  This is far more effective in changing purchasing habits than preaching about sustainability.  Below you will find some of our style suggestions and a shortlist of some of our favorite sustainable fashion brands and their must-have pieces to add to your wardrobe.

Stella Carakasi

We may be biased, but we love our styles for any woman’s eco-friendly collection because the quality is top-notch, and our designs are timeless and can be worn season over season.

Twice As Nice Shirt

Our Twice As Nice Shirt features a unique double-layer design that makes it easy to be worn from day to night! It can be paired with leggings, dress pants, or denim, and the best part? It’s made from a high-quality organic cotton blend and it has pockets.

Wear Anywhere Shirt

Another classic that every woman needs in her closet is a good white button-up shirt and our Wear Anywhere Shirt is a great option! The Wear Anywhere Shirt is made from a crisp poplin fabric and boasts a slight over-sized silhouette. We love pairing the Wear Anywhere Shirt with our Criss Cross Denim Knit Leggings for the perfect lunch date look with your girlfriends! The Criss Cross Denim Knit Leggings feel great on, are super flattering, and are made from organic cotton and recycled polyester! They are available in dark denim or a classic vintage wash.

Talk about a win-win.

Heatwave Tunic

Looking for an easy top that you can wear year-round for both work and play? Meet the Heatwave Tunic. This tunic features an easy fitting drop shoulder design and can be layered underneath long cardigans and jackets or worn on its own! The Heatwave Tunic is made from 100% Tencel® denim which is a super soft sustainable fabric unlike traditional denim. We recommend wearing the Heatwave Tunic with our Second Nature Capris which are crafted with stretchy, organic cotton. The cute button hem detail on these leggings really takes it up a notch from your traditional leggings! This look is perfect for a picnic in the park or for a day of running errands.

Just My Style Top

Our Just My Style Top is the closet staple you never knew you needed! This timeless top can be worn alone or layered under sweaters, jackets, vests, and more. It’s available in three gorgeous colors and is made from ultra-comfortable Modal®. One of our favorite ways to wear the Just My Style Top is with our Slimming Ankle Pants for maximum comfort and style! The Slimming Ankle Pants are one of our best sellers and for good reason—they’re flattering on most body types, they feel great on, and they’re made from an eco-friendly Tencel® blend!

Dansko Shoes

One of our favorite sustainable shoe brands is Dansko because they craft high-quality items in timeless styles that can be worn for so many different occasions! They pride themselves on going the extra mile to make you feel confident all while keeping you comfortable.

The Dankso Tamia is an open-toe sling-back sandal with a slight heel. It boasts a unique design while also offering comfort with a memory foam footbed! The Tamia can be worn with any of our pants or leggings for a chic and timeless look.

AllBirds

Speaking of shoes, another great sustainable fashion brand for shoes is AllBirds. The company has a major commitment to not only produce eco-friendly shoes but also to help to reverse climate change through their business practices.

Who doesn’t love a good pair of versatile flats? One of our favorite AllBirds designs is their Tree Breezers because they can be worn for all occasions and are eco-friendly. The Tree Breezers are made from eucalyptus tree fiber (which is how they got their name!) that is ethically sourced. They’ve also made their Tree Breezers carbon neutral through their commitment to sustainable practices such as buying carbon offsets. We love wearing the Tree Breezers to work, out to dinner, and to run errands!

Warby Parker

If you’re in the market for a new pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses, Warby Parker is the best sustainable option.

Many glasses are made from harmful plastics that leech chemicals into the ground and fill up our landfills. The Tilley Sunglasses from Warby Parker are crafted from cellulose acetate which has the durability of regular plastic but is made from the natural cellulose of cotton and wood pulp. Plus, how adorable is this cat-eye design?!

The Sak

With the arrival of summer, now is the best time to upgrade your accessory collection with an eco-friendly summertime bag! The Sak offers a variety of gorgeous bags to suit every woman’s personal style—and they’re sustainable!

The Sak Gaia Oversized Hobo Bag is made from 100% recycled Repreve fibers which are constructed from plastic bottles. It’s available in several different colors so you can take it from the beach to lunch to date night with ease!

Shopping eco-friendly doesn’t have to feel or look boring with these gorgeous pieces and amazing sustainable fashion brands!

For more inspiration we invite you to check out our favorite summer styles and how we pair them on our Looks We Love page.

Looks We Love

New Normal

Many social and environmental issues have surfaced with our current “New Normal” and it is a challenging time navigating everything that is happening. Finding the good in all of this might seem impossible but our current situation is also a chance to re-evaluate and renew. The old way of being and doing no longer seems applicable and in many ways no longer works.

Comfort and Style

Our team has been in business 25+ years and we certainly are no strangers to change, both personally and professionally. We understand that the idea of change can be scary especially when it is forced upon us, but it is also a time of introspection and great innovation. Re-framing this “New Normal” as a promising phase with fresh energy and new perspective can make all the difference in how we adapt, evolve and thrive. While change is an ongoing process, eventually there’s a tipping point and that’s when things start to get exciting. The momentum is gaining, inspiration strikes, and new ideas are surfacing. Change is at full throttle and nothing can stop you. Stepping out of your comfort zone is the first step to finding your way in this New Normal.

A lot has happened over the past few months but our commitment to providing comfort and style fully remains, especially during this time where we all need social and emotional support to continue feeling good. Self-care comes in many forms and our contribution comes in the form of great quality clothing that fits many body shapes and sizes. We have all experienced the uplifting feeling wearing a style that makes us look and feel great. This is the power of great design.

Style and comfort are not exclusive of each other but rather a great combination especially during this unprecedented time where a lot of us have resorted to wearing sweats because we all sought some kind of comfort. Keeping your comfort and elevating your spirits with great style is something I think we are all  ready for.

Less is more when less is better

Since the re-launch of Stella Carakasi as a direct-to-consumer brand in late 2018, I fully embraced the concept of “Less is more when less is better”. Creating sustainable, timeless designs that are inclusive has never been more important. Sustainability goes beyond working with eco-friendly materials and *ISO certified partners. It means producing and consuming less while expecting more from each style. As a designer I make it my responsibility to offer styles in a tight multi-task capsule that creates a wide variety of looks. Considering most of us only wear 10% of what we own it is very important that we own the right pieces that are comfortable and make us look great- styles we love to wear season after season. Our key styles are ultra-mixable, interchangeable and intended to work seamlessly with your closet favorites.

How does it all work? Get inspired by checking out our Looks We Love page.

Looks we love

Dressing made easy. Our assortment thrives on getting several looks out of just a few key styles. We focus on eco-friendly materials, interesting fabric combinations and unexpected architectural design details that raise the bar for style and comfort. We create timeless and modern designs in silhouettes that flatter and fit a wide spectrum of body types. Our designs truly transform the way women feel.

We are committed to delivering the perfect core wardrobe that you will enjoy for years to come. Simplifying your life with something as easy as simplifying your closet may just open a whole new appreciation for change. If you have not worn something for a long time it might be time to let it go. Pass it along to somebody that might love it or donate your clothing to a charitable cause. Declutter your closet, your home, your mind… focus on styles that have longevity. Styles that are good for the planet and that make you feel great.

Slow down

Fast fashion has not only devalued clothing, it has contributed to the mad consumerism that has caused unfathomable waste and environmental destruction, ranking the textile industry as the second largest polluter in the world. We stand behind slow fashion because we believe in quality over quantity and we honor the artistry involved in creating clothing while celebrating the skill of the craftspeople involved, respecting their health and the welfare of the environment. These last few months have only strengthened my belief of less being more when less is better. Slowing down has opened the door to new inspiration, exciting ideas and most of all reassessing what is important.

Wearing your values

If 2020 has taught us anything so far, it is the deep realization that we are a global family and we are truly in this together. How does this apply to fashion? Conscious decisions about how you shop, what you wear and even how often you wear it matters. The slow fashion movement started in the United States and has spread globally. We are very proud of the fact that Two Star Dog, our first clothing company, was a major contributor at the forefront of this movement in the early nineties when sustainability in fashion barely existed. Today, thanks to many movements, organizations and conscious fashion companies, people are beginning to realize how harmful our consumerist society has been, and they are forcing the industry to clean up its act.

Over the years we have produced our clothing here in the U.S and across the globe. We have worked with factories and mills to develop some of these standards and have invested time, money and our hearts into this concept. We’ve developed relationships all over the world with like-minded people who wanted to not only see this change happen but wanted to be a part of it. Many of these people have inspired others in their corner of the world to do the same and as the market grew for this new way of manufacturing, the movement gained momentum. We all have a part in making a difference and this is truly inspiring. Our grandchildren across the globe will benefit greatly from the changes we make today, and it starts with something as simple as a conscious shopping decision.

*ISO certification, a seal of approval from an independent, non-governmental international organization, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO),  has become an essential component in the slow fashion movement. By bringing together experts to share knowledge and develop international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges. ISO certification has become a standard way of doing business. 

Tiburon Tunic Icon

Stella Carakasi The Power of Design 

Style is not about being someone you’re not. It’s personal. It’s about manifesting confidence and feeling right with who you are without even knowing why. It’s about summoning the power of the senses to communicate security and ease. Think about that favorite garment, that go-to piece in your wardrobe that just works. Not the most expensive mind you, but that one piece that always makes it into your suitcase. Most likely when that piece comes to mind, it’s a sensory experience that triggers a memory; perhaps it felt wonderful to the touch or was that perfect color. Or maybe it just seemed to work with everything else in your closet. A unique cut or some charming detail, whatever the impetus, at that moment you felt the energy of your surroundings. You felt like your true self and you felt comfortable in your own skin. That’s the power of design.

What makes an Icon

The term ‘Icon’ is thrown around a lot these days; a versatile style that stands the test of time, a piece that fits and flatters many different sizes and shapes, like our Tiburon Tunic, one style to which this title can truly be applied. The Tiburon Tunic’s versatility has a great deal to do with its ability to outlast trends; it’s the rare piece of clothing that can be worn for just about any occasion and in a variety of ways, from a workweek staple to lunch with friends, dressed up or down, belted as a shirt dress with leggings, or unbuttoned as a lightweight jacket. A true Icon is something you will wear all the time. It’s a commodity, the one piece that you can wear pretty much anywhere and feel comfortable and confident and know that you are neither over- nor underdressed, but always on-point.

Classic Colors

Black, Soft White and Navy; these timeless shades are classic and set the foundation of any successful look.  Current limited edition colors Aqua and Coral add a bright alternative to our classic shades.

Soft White: The quintessential dress shirt color. For cotton poplin, there’s no better choice, and it’s the best color to combine with classic indigo jeans, your favorite pants, or leggings like our Second Nature Capris or Ready To Wear Leggings.

Black:  A black shirt offers a rebellious alternative to the classic white option, the go-to color that goes everywhere and works with all your outfits. Black adds drama and mystery, it can be dressed up or down or worn head to toe. Go tonal with greys or neutrals. Pop pretty much any color against black and it instantly has cache’, something special comes out- she is empowered.

Navy: Navy the color of midnight is a refined choice that does almost the same job as black and remains day friendly. It’s ideal for creating classic looks when combined with denim, white and cool neutrals.

Aqua: The color Aqua is peaceful and calm. It’s a happy cool bright that works back to denim and white and enhances your mood with joyful positivity.

Coral: Coral is energizing and invigorating and inspires action, it’s bright and exciting. This lively color works back to your favorite denim and white. Want to make a statement? Pair it with other brights like yellow or vibrant greens.

Styled just so…

Comfort falls hand in hand with confidence, and confidence starts with feeling good about what you’re wearing and how it fits and feels. A perfect fit emphasizes parts of the body you’re most proud of, without drawing attention to the areas you’re perhaps more self-conscious about. We’ve designed this piece with you in mind. Taking some of the attributes of our bestsellers along with feedback from our loyal customers we have incorporated them into one fantastic style. The smart poplin front reveals a modern architectural shape and the pleated stretch-jersey back work together to create The Tiburon Tunic Icon. The half sleeves are finished with a stretchy band of jersey for ease of movement and precise fit. The welted front pockets are deep, inconspicuous and keep this piece on the casual side while the pleated jersey back exudes total comfort and ease. Pop the collar for a little attitude. The Tiburon Tunic can be worn open as an easy-going jacket, buttoned-up as a tunic or belted and paired with leggings to make a stunning shirtdress. This style has as many moods as you.

In the words of our happy customers

“It’s a great moment when you make a purchase and it exceeds expectations. You want to tell everyone. You feel great every time you wear it.”   –Ann B.

“Love this shirt! So comfy and flattering.”   –M P.

“I just got mine! It fits perfectly and I want to wear it every day!  –Liz B.

“I LOVE MINE… WORTH EVERY PENNY!”  –Julie W.

“I must say… I have both black and white… best shirt EVER…wear with tights or skinny leg pants…so slimming and classy.”   –Joey W.

For more inspiration, check out our Looks We Love Dressing Made Easy  page at Stella Carakasi

Defining your personal style

Personal style is self-expression without saying a word. Being who you are no matter what event or situation you might find yourself in. We all have those “no one can stop me” days when things just click; you’re feeling beautiful and confident­­– like the best version of yourself. Take note of what you’re wearing, these are the outfits that embody your true personal style and serve as a great foundation for developing a better understanding of your personal style and also serve as inspiration for style updates.

 

Personal style-looks-1

How do I know what my personal style is?

Start with the things that you know really work for you, that signature item or two that has become part of your ongoing style persona. You might be drawn to statement handbags, or scarves might be your obsession. These are things that you gravitate towards; they make you feel comfortable and confident and are the foundation from which you can build on. This is how your personal style evolves. This is your style identity.

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Reassess your closet

Do a style audit. Get rid of things that you never wear. Holding onto them may just be holding you back from evolving your personal style. Categorize what you have left. Casual, dressy, special occasion– look at each piece. Ask yourself what pieces work together? Where would I wear this? You may even want to take pictures of these outfits for reference later and build a library of go-to looks for certain occasions. This process will help you find “holes” in your wardrobe. You might discover that you need a statement jacket, or an easy layering sweater this process will help keep you on track.

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Versatility is key

Choose versatile styles such as our best selling Tiburon Tunic that can be worn in several ways. Dress it up or down, style it as a dress over leggings, or even open as a lightweight jacket. This type of silhouette goes a long way and accessories can help fine-tune each variation to keep your look fresh and on-point

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Get inspired

Collect pictures of looks you love, find a fashion mentor, someone whose style you admire and try to replicate their look. This will help you focus on what you really need to add to your wardrobe and keep you from being distracted and making a wrong purchase on a whim. Your own personal style will evolve from there. Define your style in words. Is it bohemian, classic, or modern? Sassy or conservative, you’ll more than likely pick several words that don’t necessarily blend, but these can simply be described as your style moods.

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Ask a trusted friend

We all wear many hats and need to “dress for the occasion” but your personal style is the common thread that makes all these looks personal. Ask a good friend what they consider to be your personal style, ask them what looks stand out and which ones fall short. It’s nice to get an idea of how you are perceived in the world and see if it matches what you are trying to put out there. Is there something people compliment you on? Whether it’s your taste for amazing jackets or your ability to accessorize like no one’s business, wearing clothes that play up your style strengths will always look stylish, no matter what is currently trending.

personal style -luminosity dress

Step out of your comfort zone

True style consists of overall health and beauty, too. A change in hairstyle or fresh makeover can super-charge your personal style and boost your confidence– that’s the root of personal style. It radiates from within and that’s what people really see. Switch things up. A new routine of meditation or exercise, even if it’s just a walk around the block will retrain your mind for change. Take small steps, once your body and mind are activated it will become your new habit. Step a little bit out of your comfort zone. Is there a certain style that draws you in but you haven’t had the nerve to take the plunge, a printed caftan or statement dress? These are your style outliers. Incorporating these into your wardrobe will push your personal style and keep your look fresh and updated.

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It starts with you

Trust your instincts, and wear what makes you feel the most comfortable in your own skin. Take inventory of your favorite pieces. The ones that always make it into your suitcase. Replicate these pieces in a different color or texture. Figure out what about this piece works and look for similar shapes. Once you’re confident in a few key looks, finding updates will just come naturally.

Chances are you’ve likely already got a basic sense of style, so don’t fight it, build on it, refine it– and embrace it!

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Continue reading “Defining your personal style”

Fashion and Sustainability

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Why offer pre-orders?

In order to further the sustainability conversation and the role we play, we are always thinking of ways in which to support this ideal. So we ask ourselves– how can we offer new products without over-producing designs that may or may not resonate with the end consumer, while at the same time let them take part in the design process? What are people really looking for? Why do they like this texture, or that color, or this sleeve length? Zipper or buttons? Pockets or no pockets? These are questions we ask ourselves with every new design.

Over-producing garments season after season is extremely wasteful and clearly unsustainable. The fashion industry, as a whole doesn’t traditionally embrace sustainability, it is about profit at all cost and has become a race to the bottom, devaluing clothing and disregarding the enormous destructive environmental impact.

The current industry paradigm, in fact, goes against the whole concept of sustainability and sadly has become one of the most wasteful industries on the planet. It’s a dirty secret that’s finally getting exposed. Now what? Dwelling on the problem or simply overlooking it has never sat well with us. We’ve successfully been able to incorporate sustainable initiatives into our sourcing and manufacturing processes since the very beginning but we also wanted to address the problem of excess inventory and the waste that happens after the products are produced. Small batch production has been a successful endeavor for us and many garment manufacturers are seeing the value-producing smaller runs but getting consistent orders spread out over time. Not only does this stabilize workflow for all involved but more importantly improves the quality of life for the workers themselves.

The concept of pre-ordering allows us to test the market’s interest in a certain fabric, color, or silhouette before it goes into a larger production. This saves time, money and resources at every stage of a garment’s journey from the fabric to the end consumer. Being the solution-oriented people that we are, we began offering a handful of our products for pre-order earlier this year and frankly we’ve learned a lot.

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What is a pre-order?

A pre-order is an order placed for an item that has not yet been produced. Pre-orders allow manufacturers to gauge how much demand there will be and thus the size of the initial production run. For us, testing the popularity of a garment is key and gives us crucial information that helps in this decision. We live in a consumerist society where people devote a great deal of time, energy, resources and thought to “consuming”. The general view of life in a consumerist society is that consumption is good, and more consumption is even better. Everybody seeks instant gratification and instant delivery. This hyper-consumerism has fueled fast fashion’s dominance and along with it environmental destruction. We chose to take a slower approach and deliver quality over quantity. We produce garments that are meant to last, offering value versus the excessive waste associated with “disposable” goods. Much like how the slow food movement versus fast food has become so popular in recent years. It’s time to bring the same awareness and value back into clothing. Fast fashion has completely devalued clothing at a high environmental cost and it is time to move forward and support the needed change.

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Sustainability

We produce many of our garments in small batches right here in the Bay Area in order to maintain the highest quality standards with the lowest possible environmental impact. Overproduction and the mass disposal of unsold clothes are clearly an under-addressed issue in the fashion industry. Honestly, it is widely unknown how much “dead stock” accumulates every year. It is estimated that 20% -30% (80 million tons) of garments produced by fast fashion brands remain unsold, leading to enormous amounts of excess clothing that is either burned or thrown into landfill. Needless to say, this results in wasted human resources, fabric, dyes, not to mention the environmental impact, etc.…

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Gauge demand

Through our pre-order system, we can more accurately estimate how many pieces we are going to sell of a certain product. This not only leads to higher resource efficiency but also prevents senseless raw material waste. Creating less waste results in lower cost, a saving that trickles down to the end consumer so that everyone benefits. The environment, the manufacturer, and you!

Quality

Fast fashion, as its name suggests– is not produced to last. This disqualifies any attempt to produce a product more “sustainably”. We believe, that garments must have a long and useful life. Our garments are made with love and built to last.

Customer engagement

The pre-order concept goes hand in hand with our direct-to-consumer model. It allows our customers to literally get involved in the design process through direct feedback and gives us crucial information in developing new designs that address the customers’ wishes and concerns.

 What is apparel’s future?

The World Resources Institute states that apparel spending is projected to grow tremendously. This is particularly true in Asia, as hundreds of millions of people in China and India enter the global middle class. By 2030, there will be 5.4 billion people in the global middle class, from 3 billion in 2015. We can expect increased demand for clothing and other consumer goods that define middle-income lifestyles.

If consumption continues at its current rate, we’ll need three times as many natural resources by 2050 compared to what we used in 2000. Fast-changing trends and low prices have allowed people to consume even more. The average consumer is now purchasing 60 percent more items of clothing compared to 2000, but each garment is kept half as long. To keep the apparel industry viable in tomorrow’s markets, the issue of consumption must be brought to the forefront– and it must begin now.

Apparel is just one sector competing for natural resources, but it’s important that clothing makers start transforming their business models now given the industry’s strong growth trajectory. A handful of companies like ours are aware of the environmental risks and are taking action.

The next step is for consumers to get properly educated so they can change their habits as well and use their purchasing power to help the slow fashion movement gain traction. Our direct-to-consumer model, combined with the pre-order concept are just two more approaches that we’ve embraced to help move the needle forward to a more sustainable future.

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The Beauty of Silk

 

Silk has an extensive and illustrious history. Due to its rare nature it was once only reserved for royalty, but thankfully today it is accessible to all. Silk is a natural fiber that is produced by the silkworm; fine silk has properties of being incredibly soft and luxurious, as well as versatile and durable. It is easily dyed and printed, bringing a noticeable vibrancy to each and every color. From its natural sheen to the uniform surface, it is possibly one of the most beautiful fibers to have ever been created. Silk is celebrated as the strongest natural fiber known to man, and possibly the most prestigious too!

beauty of silk3

Because Silk is a natural fiber it is also highly breathable, helping to regulate your body’s temperature whatever the climate. It won’t cling to your body or become static, but will simply drape over your figure to create the ultimate elegant silhouette. The luster of Silk is simply stunning. Due to its smooth fibers, Silk adds a luxe element to every piece made of it. The ‘silky’ smooth nature of the fibers also means that it is a pleasure to sew, knit and weave. Garments made from this timeless fiber stay relatively crease-free, making it a comfortable and luxurious travel companion. Adding an element or two of silk to your outfit will leave you looking effortlessly elegant.

 

EXPLORE

Founders Journey: Stella Carakasi

In 1993, eco-fashion disrupter, Two Star Dog was launched by brothers Steven and Allan Boutrous. Shortly thereafter, I joined the team and together we created the first hemp clothing collection in the United States, which was very controversial at the time. We designed and trademarked “The Original Hemp Jeans” which quickly became a national bestseller and the company rose to the top of this niche market proving that sustainability in fashion was possible. In the mid-nineties, major growth opportunity came knocking with mainstream fashion paying attention to Two Star Dog. As the business grew, I found myself being pulled in many directions not only designing for our brand but for a myriad of other opportunities including department stores, catalogs…even wardrobe design for a few Hollywood movies.  It was easy to get wrapped up in all the excitement of the moment but I wanted to experience everything I could about the industry and all it had to offer. I think I must have traveled around the world ten times as the nineties came to a close. I learned about balance in those days, I learned about focus, I learned about priorities but most of all, I learned that time doesn’t stand still and the fashion industry somehow makes it move even faster. stellax4jpg Then, just as I thought nothing could stop us, the economic crisis of 2008 hit, taking a toll on the entire industry sparing virtually no one. During that same time, my daughter was born prematurely, sending me on a tumultuous roller coaster I was hardly prepared for. While facing the unknown, both personally and professionally I found my strength in knowing that we all have the power to change our lives with our thoughts and I chose to remain positive. Setting an example for my daughter to be a strong independent spirit became my priority, and sparked a desire to find deeper meaning in my work as well. I am spontaneous, strong and fearless. Growing up as a child of Greek immigrant parents in Germany made me tough– good traits for the competitive fashion industry that must adapt to the ever-changing social trends and economics. After much reflection and contemplation, I resolved to take a stand by creating a lifestyle brand that reflected my core values, one rooted in social and environmental responsibility– a brand that would re-energize the market by inspiring women to express their individuality through design. With the help of my amazing team I began to lay the foundation for our new direction, and by Fall 2012 the Stella Carakasi brand was born.  Not long after that, we launched our e-commerce site, followed by the opening of our flagship store in Berkeley, California – both of which created a direct line of communication with our customers. This conversation and sense of community inspired me to change the direction of our business in new and exciting ways. stellax3-2We recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine, the nation’s leading crowdfunding platform and invite you to take a look by clicking here. It’s a new approach to investing in a company you believe in. There are several levels to opt-in, each one offering some great perks and at the end of the day, you own a piece of a company you love. This is your opportunity to own a piece of the brand and make a difference in the fashion industry. Join us as we grow!

Stella Carakasi Creative Director and Co-Founder break barriers

Founders Journey: Stella Carakasi

In 1993, eco-fashion disrupter, Two Star Dog was launched by brothers Steven and Allan Boutrous. Shortly thereafter, I joined the team and together we created the first hemp clothing collection in the United States, which was very controversial at the time. We designed and trademarked “The Original Hemp Jeans” which quickly became a national bestseller and the company rose to the top of this niche market proving that sustainability in fashion was possible. In the mid-nineties, major growth opportunity came knocking with mainstream fashion paying attention to Two Star Dog. As the business grew, I found myself being pulled in many directions not only designing for our brand but for a myriad of other opportunities including department stores, catalogs…even wardrobe design for a few Hollywood movies.  It was easy to get wrapped up in all the excitement of the moment but I wanted to experience everything I could about the industry and all it had to offer. I think I must have traveled around the world ten times as the nineties came to a close. I learned about balance in those days, I learned about focus, I learned about priorities but most of all, I learned that time doesn’t stand still and the fashion industry somehow makes it move even faster. stellax4jpg Then, just as I thought nothing could stop us, the economic crisis of 2008 hit, taking a toll on the entire industry sparing virtually no one. During that same time, my daughter was born prematurely, sending me on a tumultuous roller coaster I was hardly prepared for. While facing the unknown, both personally and professionally I found my strength in knowing that we all have the power to change our lives with our thoughts and I chose to remain positive. Setting an example for my daughter to be a strong independent spirit became my priority, and sparked a desire to find deeper meaning in my work as well. I am spontaneous, strong and fearless. Growing up as a child of Greek immigrant parents in Germany made me tough– good traits for the competitive fashion industry that must adapt to the ever-changing social trends and economics. After much reflection and contemplation, I resolved to take a stand by creating a lifestyle brand that reflected my core values, one rooted in social and environmental responsibility– a brand that would re-energize the market by inspiring women to express their individuality through design. With the help of my amazing team I began to lay the foundation for our new direction, and by Fall 2012 the Stella Carakasi brand was born.  Not long after that, we launched our e-commerce site, followed by the opening of our flagship store in Berkeley, California – both of which created a direct line of communication with our customers. This conversation and sense of community inspired me to change the direction of our business in new and exciting ways. stellax3-2We recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine, the nation’s leading crowdfunding platform and invite you to take a look by clicking here. It’s a new approach to investing in a company you believe in. There are several levels to opt-in, each one offering some great perks and at the end of the day, you own a piece of a company you love. This is your opportunity to own a piece of the brand and make a difference in the fashion industry. Join us as we grow!

Stella Carakasi Creative Director and Co-Founder break barriers

Investing in a Sustainable Future

We’re taking Stella Carakasi to the next level and invite you to join us. If you’ve ever wanted to invest in a size-inclusive, luxury-clothing brand with roots in sustainability and social responsibility now is your chance!  

By shopping the Stella Carakasi collection you’re already supporting a brand that takes these virtues to heart. But now, thanks to new crowdfunding legislation, YOU can own a piece of the brand! Your investment will give us the ability to deepen our commitment to the environment and infuse sustainability in everything we do.

We just launched our first crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine, one of the nation’s leading equity crowdfunding platforms. Check out our campaign page here where you’ll find a more detailed rundown on our mission and business plans going forward.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

It’s in Our DNA

Our roots are in sustainability and environmental consciousness– values we honor. As an early adapter in sustainable fashion, our story started in 1992 when we launched the first full clothing collection made from hemp. Over the past 2 decades, our business has evolved but our values remain the same.

A Healthier Environment

Synthetic materials like polyester, are manufactured using toxic chemicals and take up to 1,000 years to decompose—which means that all of the polyester that has ever been produced stillexists. Whenever possible we use naturally derived fibers like silk, organic cotton, wool, hemp, cashmere, alpaca and Tencel,  because they have a lower impact on the environment and feel better against your skin. 

Less is More

We believe less is more when less is better. We’ve eliminated excess inventory by manufacturing in small batch productions which means we’re able to increase sustainability and ensure extremely high production standards.