Consumer behavior has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, driven by a profound shift in attitudes toward consumption. Growing consumer awareness of the environmental and social consequences of purchasing decisions has paved the way for a more conscious and sustainable approach to spending across the board. This newfound awareness has led to a demand for transparency and ethical sourcing, forcing businesses to reevaluate their supply chains and adopt sustainable practices.
As a result, people are increasingly seeking out brands that align with their values and support responsible and sustainable manufacturing.
This is particularly effecting the fashion industry where popular fast fashion brands churn out cheap goods utilizing toxic dyes and finishes, synthetic fabrics shed microplastics, negatively contributing to the environment overall as well as the dire ocean pollution crisis. This culture has led to mountains of textile waste while chemicals like azo dyes, formaldehyde, and “forever chemicals” such as PFAS lurking within clothing, posing risks to both nature and human health.
Enter esby, a pioneering brand reshaping fashion and lifestyle paradigms with a strong commitment to sustainability, quality, and natural materials. Founded in 2014 by Stephanie Beard in Austin, Texas, esby fuses her decade-long experience working in menswear design at Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, and Converse with a passion for ethical practices and timeless women’s and unisex styles.
Beard explains, “During my time in corporate design, I was frustrated by the lack of transparency in the supply chain. I desired a product with an understanding about where it was made and wanted to work directly with the factories. For me, this became evident that my own collection needed to be made in America.”
Fueled by a desire for transparency and environmental responsibility, Beard established esby as an antithesis to fast fashion, embodying enduring elegance and ethics. The brand’s essence, once a play on the vocalized sound of Beard’s initials (S.B.), now represents an acronym that captures esby’s values: “Ethical and Sustainable Brand for You.”
As the CEO, Founder, and Creative Director of esby, Beard is intentional with her business and stylistic decisions. Designed in Austin and produced in Dallas, San Antonio, LA, and NY, esby’s designs employ pre-washed, pre-shrunk natural fabrics, ensuring a comfortable and authentic fit that lasts. Vintage aesthetics blend seamlessly with modern silhouettes, evoking the landscapes of Austin, Santa Fe, and the desert. Esby’s clothing lines feature dresses, tops, bottoms, denim, sweaters, jackets, and highly curated vintage pieces, along with accessories like bandanas and beanies. Consistent with its overall holistic and ethical lifestyle approach, esby celebrates body positivity, spanning sizes from XXS to 4XL made from 100% natural, premium fabrics from Japan, France, Italy, and the US. Limited-batch production minimizes waste and emissions, while repurposed materials and low-impact dye processes underscore the brand’s commitment to its core values.
Simply put, esby is designed by women for women, redefining fashion longevity and durability with its commitment to classic styles and quality source materials.
Now, esby is expanding its reach through lifestyle initiatives, supported by the IGNITE! Family of Companies. The brand’s journal, printed on recycled paper with plant-based ink, aims to be a curated hub of culture for esby consumers, ultimately becoming a collector’s item and coffee table decor.
Further establishing itself as a lifestyle brand and prominent member of Austin’s community, esby plans to bring #esbyfest back during South by Southwest for this year’s festival. The event will follow the same immersive and disruptive format it did pre-covid with an interactive fashion show experience where consumers can purchase clothing after seeing the models walk it right in front of them as they converse, enjoy drinks, and listen to music.
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