In episode 163, Kestrel welcomes Mary Alice Duff, the founder of Alice Alexander, to the show. A size-inclusive, ethically and sustainably made womenswear brand, Alice Alexander is on a mission to radically change the fashion industry to one that is inclusive of ALL BODIES and is respectful of people and the planet.

“It’s still the vision and our mission — when someone is shopping on our website, that they feel seen. And to not get the feeling that I got when I went shopping before I had my own brand, and all I saw were thin white women whose bodies looked nothing like mine, and it was very clear that this isn’t the place for me.”
-Mary Alice Duff, Founder Alice Alexander


On this week’s show, Mary Alice shares more on what led her to quit her reliable job as a social worker, and instead start a fashion brand. She also takes us back and shares more on the early stages of Alice Alexander, which until last year, involved working out of her home — cutting and sewing with her tiny team on her family’s kitchen table.

Mary Alice explains more about why Made To Order was always the only option for her and her brand. Also, Kestrel + Mary Alice dive into more on how sizing and fit issues are interconnected to the sustainability conversation.

photos by    Adam Barnard

photos by Adam Barnard

The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:

  • The average American woman today is a size 16-18.

  • The plus size market is valued at $40 billion dollars, and has only reached half of its potential.

  • “If we can make leather out of pineapples, we can certainly dress someone who’s a size 18.”

  • 11 Honoré, a size-inclusive shopping site that does the patterning and product development for luxury designers.

  • “Inclusivity is trending hard. And on one hand, that’s great. On the other, some of the big issues I’m seeing is that brands are jumping into extended sizing and inclusivity without actually understanding the perspective of living in a bigger body.”

  • “I don’t know if there is a finite number, but I definitely think you can’t call yourself inclusive if you’re not going up to at least a 4X — you know a size 26 / 28.”

  • Mary Alice’s story on Instagram, that outlines more on the history of “sizing”

  • “How To Talk To Your Friends and Family About Sustainability” by Leah Thomas on The Good Trade (mentioned in introduction of show)


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