SEATTLE — Comfortable and functional fashion can also be local thanks to these Northwest-based sportswear companies.
Rafael Soto, cofounder of PROTO 101 designs better basics made with sustainable materials – he calls the concept ‘yarn to you.’
“So we really focus on basics – We really want to start with replacing everything in your closet. Everything you wear, basics with sustainable fashion,” Soto said.
He and his business partner Liyin Kok have a combined 50 years in global fashion, working for Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Diesel. Now they work for themselves – and customers who love this elevated casual look.
“Yeah, we joke around, we’re like everything from designer/CEO to shop owner and janitor and IT person and shipping, everything,” Kok said.
Nothing at Proto101 is over $100 – and everything is designed to eliminate waste.
No plastic, no sewn on labels and no air shipping. You can find Proto 101’s ‘slow fashion’ in downtown Seattle and Bellevue Square.
“Really great premium quality sustainably sourced fashion and clothing should be something everybody can afford,” Kok said.
At this small Seattle business the boss is often heard suggesting her employees go out and run around Greenlake. And they do, in shorts, leggings and T’s made by their company Oiselle, which means female bird in French. Sally Bergeson founded the company in 2007, making activewear for all women. “We have long styles and short styles and wide styles and narrow styles,” Bergeson said.
Oiselle doesn’t just make running clothes – they sponsor female athletes. But the primary goal here is to help every woman fly, even when they’re just running around Greenlake.
Put something on from FIVE 12 Apparel and you might be wearing fish nets – plastic bottles – windshields – even coffee grounds.
“FIVE 12 is a planet friendly highly technical activewear brand,” co-founder Brooklyn Gould-Bradbury said.
Everything this Sumner clothing company makes is garbage – in a good way.
The recycled materials in these clothes aren’t just feel-good marketing, they give the fabrics special properties. Jackets made from plastic shrug off water and T-shirts made of 75% coffee thread are 100% non-stinky. “Coffee grounds are a natural odor blocker,” Gould-Bradbury said.
The company name – Five12 – is also a highway that runs between Tacoma and Puyallup, and right by this Sumner sportswear store that invites you to recycle reuse and rethink when it comes to buying clothes.
Now, slap on some shades from Ombraz – a Bellevue company that makes armless sunglasses designed to take a beating. And slip into a pair of Brooks running shoes – they’re based in Seattle. And you can get out and enjoy the Pacific Northwest – dressed like a true local.
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