Mary Alice DuffAlice Alexander is a clothing line that was founded by Mary Alice Duff, who designs the label and runs the company. Duff started sewing her own clothes after being enormously frustrated with retail’s lack of a high-quality, ethically-made, and size-inclusive clothing assortment. Her hobby and passion grew into a business. Her mission is to “radically change the fashion industry to one that is inclusive of ALL BODIES and is respectful of people and planet.”

Duff is committed to sustainable and ethical garment manufacture through her vertically integrated company that operates out of Philadelphia with a small team of three other people. Items are designed, patterns are made, and clothing is cut and sewn under one roof instead of outsourcing the services elsewhere. They make their items here in the US on a made-to-order basis to keep production slow and their carbon footprint low. With no inventory on hand, there is no overproduction, and no costly and environmentally damaging garment waste. You can read in more detail how the label achieves sustainability.

Working in this manner allows the label to create sustainable and ethical high-quality clothing for women of every size and shape. As a result, sizes run from US0 to 30, or XS to 4XL, and are available in petite, regular and tall. YES, garments can be made to exact size and measurement requests too. Each made-to-order piece must allow 4-6 weeks for delivery in order to keep things sustainable.

It’s very comforting to know that these types of garment manufacturers are emerging. The assortment is small and exclusive because that’s the point. Designs look timeless, versatile, flattering, a good fit, and the quality jumps off my computer screen. The descriptions and photos of the items are very detailed, and include the hidden features of the garments that you might miss at first glance. Like the immaculately constructed hidden phone pocket inside the lining of the Patti Moto (the last photo below.)

Alice Alexander The Bessie Adventure Jacket in Ivory

Alice Alexander Gloria Culotte in Hands Print

Alice Alexander Ina Shirtdress in Hands Print

Alice Alexander The Rosie Jumpsuit

Alice Alexander The Patti Moto

The price of this approach is that you are not spoiled with item choice, fast delivery, or budget price points. Although items are tailor-made to fit, the seasonal assortment has to tickle your fancy in the first place. Items are fairly pricey compared to what you can get from less sustainable retailers, making them unaffordable to some. I’m also not sure whether you can return and exchange things, which we are extremely used to doing with other retailers. Such are the trade-offs and compromises of creating a sustainable and ethical wardrobe that suits our needs and budget.

If you like the goods, can afford them, and are patient with delivery Alice Alexander can help you make a more sustainable and ethical wardrobe choice that will fit your body type. If you end up purchasing fewer and better items over time that you keep for longer and wear more frequently, then the label has also helped you become a more sustainable and ethical shopper.