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While sustainability and clean practices have certainly become buzzy across many industries (farming, packaging, and beauty, to name a few), I’ll admit that I’ve fallen a bit behind in the clothing department. For too long, I’ve let trends or prices guide my shopping. But, I recently discovered MATE The Label, a brand that prioritizes the planet – and its people – in addition to quality, stylish, and comfortable clothes.
On a mission to “provide people everywhere with the essentials that are clean from seed to skin,” MATE uses only non-toxic, natural, and organic materials. In an industry known for implementing unsustainable practices and creating tremendous waste, MATE is committed to clean, essential, and ethical creation. Read more about the brand that’s cleaning up the fashion industry one garment at a time below.
The MATE Eight
MATE is committed to eight pillars of sustainability, which include using clean materials (carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and other toxins have been eliminated from the brand’s supply chain), creating only essential goods (that are season-less and well made to integrate into any wardrobe – for a while), and sourcing organic yarns and dyes to reduce exposure to harmful pesticides (in every stage of production). The brand also focuses on ethical treatment for each and every worker, creating quality clothes specifically for women, eliminating plastic, recycling materials, and knitting, cutting, sewing, and dying locally in LA.
The brand’s commitment to “dressing clean” is certainly a thought starter – while we pay so much attention to what we put in our bodies – and on them when it comes to skincare and beauty products – we typically haven’t considered the materials used in our clothing (which touch our skin all day long). Once you think about it, it’s hard not to care, so I was eager to get my hands on a few pieces from MATE’s collection.
A Wardrobe Refresh Awaits
MATE offers a variety of timeless styles and natural colorways designed to last a lifetime. Whatever your day-to-day looks like, the brand is sure to have something that caters to you. From ribbed tanks (from $48) to linen jumpsuits (from $98), sports bras ($48), leggings ($68), pajamas (from $48) and more, these pieces all fall into “essentials” territory. You know the sort of pieces I’m talking about – the shirt you wear all weekend while brunching, running errands, and heading to dinner…and then pull out of your dirty clothes hamper for one more wear to work on Monday. The good news is that MATE’s clothes are super soft, long-lasting, and don’t pill when washed, so you can wear them over and over – and they still look fresh.
Materials range from lightweight breathable organic cotton and flax linen that keep you cool in the summer to insulating honeycomb-woven thermals and fleece that keep you cozy in the winter. Organic dyes offer classic colors like charcoal and cherry, warm tones like cocoa and turmeric, and soft shades like sage and lavender. Once you find your favorite pieces (more on mine shortly), you’ll likely be inclined to buy them in a range of colors – they’re that good.
If at some point you tire of your picks, the brand’s reMATE circularity program recycles them into something new. The program was born from the brand’s ‘circularity’ pillar: approximately 85% of textiles end up in landfills or incinerators, a statistic MATE is hoping to decrease by transforming your old clothes into new pieces. On top of that, by mechanically recycling cotton, the brand is also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 81% compared to traditionally grown cotton and reducing water scarcity by 99%.
My current obsession is this matching set in bone. It hugs and supports my body in all the right areas, but gives breathing room where I need it, and I appreciate how its seamwork gives me the illusion of a nice curvy shape. I wear it to walk my dog, meet up with friends for an afternoon coffee, and even to low impact workouts (and it’s earned me a lot of compliments).
I love knowing that this set releases fewer carbon emissions than conventional activewear and is composed of only 8% spandex to reduce the shedding of microplastics in the washing machine. Sexy and sustainable? I’m here for it.
MATE has taught me that one well-fitting, go-to outfit is worth more than a wardrobe full of trendy, fast-fashion pieces. While picking out an outfit used to be a tedious process, it’s pretty effortless lately thanks to MATE’s essentials. I also appreciate that the brand makes honoring the environment (and myself!) so effortless. There’s really no tradeoff here – I’m choosing pieces that are better for the world around me, sure, but I’m also wearing clothes that fit and feel better. Their affordable price point is applaudable, too.
I hope more brands follow MATE’s lead. Making sustainability easy, beautiful, and accessible feels rare in the fashion industry, but I’m hopeful. Try a few of the brand’s pieces and I have a feeling you will be, too.
5 more things to know and love about MATE:
1. MATE never uses synthetic materials. That means each piece is “clean” and free of carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and other toxins.
2. The brand recognizes that there is always room to improve– MATE continually works on achieving more traceability through higher tiers of the supply chain. MATE never settles, and neither should you.
3. Nice on our pockets– thank you DTC business! In 2021, MATE became fully DTC in order to reduce retail pricing for many essentials.
4. You choose your favorite way for MATE to give back to the planet and the community, with options to support organic farmers, clean oceans, community gardening in LA, or women's health.
5. Read MATE’s journal to guide you to live sustainably, mindfully, and in style. It also serves as a platform to share stories of other female-founders.