In 2013, Gold Polka Dots started as a creative outlet to document my outfits and home DIY projects. I had read blogs for over a year and thought I’d take the plunge and start my own. However, several months later, I started questioning its purpose. I didn’t like promoting fast fashion brands, but I wasn’t sure why until I randomly Googled sustainable fashion. The first article I read about sustainable fashion was “6 Things You Should Know About Your Clothes” by Shannon Whitehead. 

Shocked and disgusted, I immediately texted my husband and sister telling them we could never shop again. It was a tad extreme, but I didn’t know there was a thriving ethical fashion industry out there. Gold Polka Dots continued to be a fashion blog, but it also evolved into a hub for eco-conscious living. I researched ethical fashion companies, started thrift shopping and looked into what else I could change to be more eco-friendly.

While discovering ethical brands, I noticed a lack of options for women. Yes, there are many ethically made women’s clothes, but not a lot for women who are pregnant. Seeing that obvious gap made me wonder how often women go through changes in life and need more forgiving clothing. I didn’t want to create a maternity line, but a collection of clothing for women who’ll always have something to wear.

“How often do we go through changes in life and need more forgiving clothing? I didn’t want to create a maternity line, but a collection for women who’ll always have something to wear.”

With the amount of clothing Americans throw away (about 70 pounds a year), I wanted to create products that women can wear for far longer than a year, even if they are pregnant or gaining or losing weight. That’s why every item in my new brand, Sotela, will span several traditional sizes.

Sotela’s looks draw inspiration from flowy and loose-fitting styles like this one. Photo by Cali Vintage via the Sotela blog.

Sotela’s first collection, launching next spring, will have three dresses made in Los Angeles from eco-friendly jersey fabrics. Each dress will have a variation on an A-line shape–which, in my opinion, is one of the most flattering and forgiving designs. Think swing dresses, shifts and tunics that hit right above or below the knee. Every item in Sotela’s collection is made to be timeless and effortless so that women don’t have to face the “nothing fits” dilemma.

Sotela is my dream company. It combines my love for clothing, humans and the environment.

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