Amour Vert Brings a Green Side to Local Manufacturing
Before domestically made, sustainable apparel manufacturing became a major trend, San Francisco–based Amour Vert provided women with well-made clothing that combines style with sustainability, and it has ever since it was founded in 2010.
Along with its womenswear, a men’s capsule collection will debut at a yet-to-be-determined date.
“We launched in San Francisco with the idea that a woman shouldn’t have to choose between sustainable, ethically made clothes and clothes that are flattering, durable, long-lasting and fit into her aesthetic,” said Amanda Salinas, Amour Vert’s head of marketing.
Since its launch nine years ago, the company has retained its commitment to sustainable, domestic manufacturing. Most of its 10 domestic manufacturing partners are companies owned by women and located in the Bay Area. With 97 percent of its goods made in the United States, the brand only makes its sweaters overseas but emphasizes that its foreign manufacturing partner must commit to the Amour Vert mission.
“We made sure it was a factory that has ethical working conditions and meets our sustainability standards,” Salinas said.
While interest in apparel made in the United States has grown, and many advancements in sustainable apparel production have been made since Amour Vert’s founding, the company was already ahead of these trends when it shifted its business model in 2016 under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Aaron Hoey.
The move from a wholesale business to a direct-to-consumer model has proven successful for the company, which added a catalog and has opened four bricks-and-mortar locations in Northern California, two stores in Southern California and, most recently, its first out-of-state location, in Atlanta.
“The idea is that we have this amazing story, and when you sell through other partners you don’t get to tell that story,” Salinas explained. “Now that we control the entire brand experience with our customers, we are able to teach them about sustainability and Amour Vert in a more thoughtful way.”
That story includes the details of its relationships with local manufacturers and the people behind the factories. For Salinas, her perception of today’s consumer is someone who is thinking about every step along the supply chain—how apparel is made, where it’s produced and who is making it. As consumers desire to know more about the origins of their clothing, Amour Vert is happy to share the details of the businesses that help make the brand’s apparel.
“They want to make sure that their goods are being made ethically and that they understand the supply chain, which is something that five or 10 years ago consumers weren’t really thinking about,” Salinas said.
Through a February 2018 partnership with denim brand Agolde, Amour Vert launched a domestically manufactured, sustainable line of jeans. The AGOLDE x Amour Vert collection came about through Amour Vert’s search for a Los Angeles–based denim brand.
“It is a premium product without the environmental impact,” Salinas said. “We were able to come in with our sources and bring in organic cotton and recycled cotton. We were able to partner with them to create a unique product that is sustainable and didn’t exist before.”
Working together, the two companies felt a camaraderie to create clothing with a positive impact. The resulting handcrafted product uses only one-tenth of the water required in traditional denim manufacturing.
“We’ve always been admirers of Amour Vert and their devoted efforts toward sustainability,” said Jessica Bowler, senior public-relations manager at Agolde.“With the introduction of our organic denim collection, we felt it was the perfect time to work with them on something bigger.”
At Amour Vert, the mission to support its community doesn’t end with apparel production. Through its collaboration with American Forest, a partnership that started five years ago, Amour Vert launched its “Buy a Tee, Plant a Tree” initiative. Every time an Amour Vert T-shirt is sold, the company plants a tree. To date, the partnership has planted more than 200,000 trees.
Available in stores and online at amourvert.com, retail prices run $30 to $300.