By: Karli Quinn
A conscious designer with great appreciation for a woman’s silhouette, Jaclyn Hodes, has naturally made her impact on the fashion industry (in March 2017, Jaclyn appeared in Vogue) and has brought attention to an important conversation regarding fashion and ethics. We met over matcha lattes at her favorite café near her home in Topanga, California and she shared her journey that is AWAVEAWAKE.
A central tenant to AWAVEAWAKE’s philosophy is their commitment to using natural dyes in the garment production process. Though challenging, expensive and time-consuming, Jaclyn stresses that this process is well worth the extra effort and time. The consequences of using chemical dyes on our waterways are massive, and it’s safe to say those chemicals are traveling through our waterways and into our homes. In using natural dyes, this issue can be eliminated entirely — if there should be any run-off or if the skin absorbs the dyes, one can take comfort knowing that what’s used to bind the color to the material is non-toxic, plant-based and harm-free. This brings up the question we are all asking ourselves: Why aren’t all designers producing clothes this way? Well, as is in many other cases, shortcuts do exist. They work for business efficiency and against sustainability. The cost: our environment and our health.
While the conscious fashion movement lives, it is certainly not the norm. Unless intentionally attune to a consideration for long-range impact on the environment and personal benefit, many consumers don’t contemplate how what they’re buying is made or how that process potentially affects the world. Jaclyn admits that many of her own costumers don’t understand that her garments are naturally dyed and what this means. AWAVEAWAKE is devoted to continue voicing the brand’s intention as it grows so that understanding and awareness can influence the industry at large.
In spite of its extra hurdles, AWAVEAWAKE’s approach to be progressive in their production process is encouraging. Jaclyn’s personal experience with mindfulness inspired her to focus on what she felt was missing in the industry by thoughtfully sourcing and treating her garment’s material. Jaclyn notes that her vision for AWAVEAWAKE matured through personal consciousness work she was doing and teachers that influenced her. She credits the ultimate push for beginning her work to the support of the community surrounding her. She vowed that her ethics had to align with her work, and AWAVEAWAKE naturally evolved.
Jaclyn notes that social context became important for her to consider when visualizing aesthetics for the brand, and so when she conceived of AWAVEAWAKE she asked herself what now looks like. For her, now was getting back to natural materials and dyes—the indigenous way. She describes her current style as ‘flowy’ with inspiration gathered from different decades, particularly the 60s and 70s. She felt inspired wearing slip dresses and vintage pieces, and wanted to reincarnate them with her own flair. Many vintage pieces she was finding were falling apart and not made from natural materials, and it became her goal to revitalize vintage while stressing sustainability. Jaclyn drew inspiration from bias cut, (cutting on the diagonal so that the garment flows according to an individual’s body) where the structure of the garment is the body of the wearer. Her pieces empower women to embrace their bodies, feel comfortable in their uniquely beautiful shapes, and show them off!
The AWAVEAWAKE Woman
The AWAVEAWAKE woman has probably planted herself in California somewhere, says Jaclyn. Ever since she started coming to California, the lifestyle and its feels left an impression and inspired her creations. She honors her time in New York and year in Paris; the cultural influence, concentrated energy, and exposure provided much to her growth. Still, the ocean and atmosphere this West Coast state offered always drew her back. She appreciates the disconnection she had from the setting and thinks that it played a part in driving her vision forward. She began to further value her authentic roots - connecting to nature. Close to nature and generally more interested in ecological and sustainable living, Californians seemed to be inherent to her vision and style.
Fashion is a world where influence, trend, and a paved path often constrain the fledgling designer, though Jaclyn proves it’s possible to get past these things when you can see a bigger picture. AWAVEAWAKE’s birth is allowing us as consumers to think tougher about what we consume and wear, and how these choices can potentially make our environment less susceptible to harm. The more cognizant we become in selecting what we support works for the betterment of the planet and ourselves. In understanding the profits of conscious fashion, we can make a shift as a whole in the industry and the economy. Everything comes back in style, and, if it’s made real there is a good chance it will last, and in turn, help us last too.
AWAVEAWAKE designer Jaclyn Hodes work has been featured in a variety of progressive fashion magazines, including Dazed & Confused, Dossier, Hobo, i-D, Lula, and Nylon. In addition, she worked as fashion editor for TheBlowUp andVice.
On September 5th, 2012, she launched AWAVEAWAKE in an effort to start a conversation about ethical fashion and conscious sourcing. As a practicing Kundalini yogi, she strives to bring change to the fashion world, and increase awareness of the industry’s impact on the environment and economy. Each AWAVEAWAKE garment is made with ethically sourced fabric and colored with all-natural plant-based dyes. AWAVEAWAKE strives to be a marriage of functionality and beauty: easy to wear but entirely elegant; modest, but embracing the feminine and the sensual; luxurious, but conscious of its footprint and considerate of its place in the world.
Karli Quinn is part of our HOC team. Motivated to connect with the increasingly prevalent health community that exists, she hopes to educate others through her own perspective on conscious consumerism and normalize the conversation about what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. Karli earned her bachelors degree from the University of Southern California and is currently studying to be a Holistic Nutritionist. Read more about Karli.