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Loyale: More Than Just Pretty Clothes

Loyale: More Than Just Pretty Clothes

Loyale is a fashion-forward, sustainable clothing company for men, women, and the wee eco nuggets. We think it’s simple, comfortable, and utterly easy (kinda like us – minus the comfy part) on Prom night.   While designing at fashion companies, such as Calypso, Catherine Malandrino and Kate Spade, 30 year old compassionate cutie pie Jenny Hwa began to notice a lack of stylish clothing made with regard for the environment. It’s extremely rare to see a clothing company that was concerned with the social and environmental issues involved with producing a collection, so Jenny sprung into action! These observations lead to the founding of Loyale… loyal to style *and* loyal to the environment.   Thank GODDESS!

Loyale launched in Spring 2005 with the goal of transforming the uninspiring organic market with a fashion-forward, organic cotton collection.   Loyale’s clothing is inspired by understated sophistication, alluring fit and organic textiles for the fashionably conscious set. Taking an ecological stance, while creating frocks with beckoning silhouettes and charming details are Loyale’s signature criterion.

We took a hot second to ask this conscious diva a few Q’s;

Who are your favorite designers? My favorite non-Eco designers are Dries van Noten, Marni, APC,   Paul Smith, Theory, J.Crew.   My favorite Eco-designers are Mr. Larkin, Del Forte, Ciel, and American Apparel.

How did how you grew up influence your design aesthetic? Being raised in Nor Cal inspired me to consider my existence on the planet and what role I play in either adding to its demise or improving the odds for humanity. I have always firmly believed one person can make a difference, so that is path I took with loyale. Design aesthetic wise, I have a British mother, yet grew up in a very laid back, Cali atmosphere; as a result loyale collections regularly consist of a tasteful mix of wearable, timeless separates.

Describe your personal style: Classic – if you imagine Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina”, that is how I like to dress and design my collections.

photo provided by Loyale with permission to reprint

What are three things you couldn’t live without? 1. My husband, he is so generous and supportive. 2. Optimism 3. Delicious organic food & wine.

What is your favorite upping the ante green tip? A lot of people eat meat everyday and that is why our planet is so abused.

Have you felt that the recent outpouring of positive mainstream response to eco-fashion gave your business a big boost in the last few years? Thankfully, yes! So many consumers and buyers are becoming more conscious and aware of what steps need to be taken to improve the health of the planet…

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Do any celebrities wear your line, if so who? Emily Deschanel, she is a loyal loyale fan and a total vegan hottie! Also Rachel McAdams, Jessica Alba, Courtney Cox, Alice Waters, and Kristin Gore wear Loyale.

There are so many advancements in fabrics every day (see our recent eco-fabrics blog) like Seaweed and Corn derivative fabrics; what are some of the new fabrics you have been experimenting with? What do you see as the future for green fabrics? To be honest, a lot of these fabrics freak me out and I am down right obsessed with using 100% organic cotton, the fabric nature intended. Bamboo, Soy, Seaweed and Corn fabrics disturb me for a few reasons; One, I don’t believe that food products should be used for creating fabrics and two, the number of chemicals needed to make these various products into a wearable fabric is not environmentally sound. My mission is to reduce the amount of chemicals being used and then worn, so I am on a mission to spread the word about conventional, non-organic cotton. Growing conventional cotton uses 25% of the world’s insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides. To make a cotton product, more than 8,000 chemicals are involved and it takes about 1 pound of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to produce the cotton for one pair of conventional jeans and t-shirt -that is 2 cups of synthetic chemicals for just one outfit! Milling and dyeing cotton are also chemically intensive processes that include toxic bleach, formaldehyde and heavy metals. My message is: Wear organic cotton, it’s really important to your health and the planet’s health!

100% Organic Cotton Twill & factory reclaimed overstock fabric - made in NYC
photo provided by Loyale with permission to reprint

What sort of routine do you have when you design? Do you just get ideas and sketch on the go or do you have some sort of routine (i.e. listening to loud salsa music and eating jelly beans)? I design collections year round. I am inspired by reading a ton of different publications and books at one time and music is a huge influence. For instance I am designing fall 2009, but spring 2010 is already percolating while I read “Atlas Shrugged,” Vanity Fair magazine, Ode magazine, Travel & Leisure magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, Earth magazine and scope out The Sartorialist Blog. while listening to bands like, Arthur & Yu, Devendra Banhart and the Weepies. This is my wacky world!


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