When I first connected with Becky and Leah a few months ago, they were heading off to Amsterdam and Germany for a European adventure. I am always so intrigued with family members in business together and find Becky and Leah of Plante clothing really lovely, both on the inside and out. Their line of clothing is so refreshingly feminine yet simple. Taking the environment into consideration and producing locally is core to Becky and Leah’s values….just another reason to love this brand!
ML Dreams with Becky and Leah Plante, Co-Founders of Plante Clothing
MADE LOKAL: You are sisters, when did you first imagine to design clothes together?
PLANTE CLOTHING: Leah has always been interested in garment construction. In high-school, she sewed an entire collection of garments herself as part of her senior thesis! Meanwhile, Becky was obsessed with vintage clothing and was constantly search thrift stores for beautiful garments. She ran a vintage shop on etsy for a few years selling her best finds. After both sisters graduated from college, we had both amassed enough experience and expertise that we were finally able to launch our line together. It made sense, considering our shared love of clothes and our close friendship.
MADE LOKAL: How did you decide on the name Plante Clothing?
PLANTE CLOTHING: We first considered it because it’s our last name. But the more we thought about it, the more fitting it seemed. We’re both deeply inspired by nature and the abundance of beautiful plant life we grew up around in Charleston. The name speaks to our love of plants!
MADE LOKAL: For whom is Plante Clothing made?
PLANTE CLOTHING: Our customer is someone who finds joy in the little things. She appreciates beautiful objects, and loves dressing up, eating good food, and exploring new places. Developing her personal style is one of her many hobbies.
MADE LOKAL: How did each of you prepare and train prior to starting Plante Clothing
PLANTE CLOTHING: Leah earned her degree in fiber science and apparel design from Cornell, and interned with designers she admired, like Vena Cava. Becky studied fine arts and ran an e-commerce business during those same years. Plus, we both spent countless hours following our favorite fashion blogs!
MADE LOKAL: Why is making your collection locally important to you?
PLANTE CLOTHING: There are so many benefits to local production. If we outsourced overseas, it would be impossible for us to know what conditions were like in our factories. Plus, the carbon footprint of traveling back and forth and shipping our garments would be considerable. We’ve worked with the same small team in NYC’s garment district since we first started our brand. Because they’re so close to Leah, who lived in Manhattan and now lives in Brooklyn, we’ve gotten to know them well, and we work with them in person to make sure all the details turn out perfectly. It's allows a more hands-on approach to development.
MADE LOKAL: How is your collection eco-friendly and sustainable?
PLANTE CLOTHING: In addition to producing locally, We reduce waste by abstaining from over cuts (extra garments that often linger in storage indefinitely), and donating our extra material to educational nonprofits. We also use organic, natural fibers when available. All fibers have pros and cons in terms of eco-friendliness (for example, cotton is renewable and biodegradable, but not necessarily water efficient), so we’re always looking out for the best options. In our upcoming SS18 line, we found a stash of discontinued rayon voile that we bought up, so we can make pieces from a beautiful fabric that might otherwise be thrown away. We also design with longevity in mind, avoiding ultra-trendy pieces that will be irrelevant in a year.
MADE LOKAL: What is the most challenging part of being an eco-friendly apparel line?
PLANTE CLOTHING: Keeping our price point accessible. Consumers have the option of buying an $8 shirt at a fast fashion retailer, but with our production methods, it's just not possible for us to match anything close to that price. Every choice we make to keep our line ethical comes with a real price tag for us, and ultimately, our customers as well.
MADE LOKAL: Have you been surprised by how much nature there is in NYC?
PLANTE CLOTHING: In certain ways. Of course, there are beautiful parks and gardens throughout the city. But I also think the potted-plant game in NYC is stronger than anywhere else I’ve ever been!
MADE LOKAL: Where have been some of your favorite places to enjoy nature in NYC?
PLANTE CLOTHING: Definitely the Brooklyn Botanical Garden!
MADE LOKAL: Where can women shop your clothing line?
PLANTE CLOTHING: We sell on our website, planteclothing.com. Twice a year we offer pre-sale items at a discount so you can reserve upcoming pieces.
I’m really loving Plante Clothing’s Spring collection. Of course it is feminine, but also because it somehow evokes a flirtatious southern casual flair and a fresh modern elegance both at the same time. The butternut squash color is so warm and goes with everything. Have a look yourself and let me know what you think.
Currently, you can still see the Pre-Order link on Plante Clothing's homepage, and you can use code EARLY30 for 30% off. Stockists around the US; view a list here. Also, Plante Clothing is participating in an amazing week long Pop-Up starting 11/21 with other small designers at 251 Elizabeth Street.