A Week Of Outfits With Isadora Alvarez From Back Beat Rags
The Good Trade's Week of Outfits Series highlights women that have personally inspired us to shop and live with intention! Each woman takes her own unique approach to slow fashion and demonstrates how beautifully sustainable fashion can come to life. Today we're excited to share a week of outfits from Isadora Alvarez, the founder of the low-impact clothing brand Back Beat Rags!
// ABOUT ISADORA //
Age | 32
Location | Los Angeles, CA
Occupation | Founder of low-impact clothing line Back Beat Rags
Where To Find Her | Brand Instagram and personal instagram
Favorite Brands | Ever since I started Back Beat Rags I’ve barely shopped for new stuff, but there's always room for vintage! I always buy the best tees, jeans, and overalls from my friend Born To Roam Vintage and at the Rose Bowl Flea Market or Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles. Vintage is the most low impact way of buying new things so I try to look there first if I need anything.
My sustainable fashion journey actually started after working for an off-price retailer and waking up to the horrors of cheap throwaway things made in dubious factories. When I quit that job, I vowed to do the complete opposite of that industry in terms of consuming, living my life, and the company that I was about to start.
With that in mind, I wanted to focus on three things when I started Back Beat Rags. Low-impact fabrics were a must! I'm not going to lie—being 100% sustainable is pretty impossible, but we can have a lower impact by using fabrics with a lower environmental foot print such as Hemp, organic cotton, recycled cotton, etc. They are not only gentler to the earth than conventionally farmed fabrics but also gentler on the farmers as they do not have to handle harmful chemicals while growing them.
My second focus was ethical manufacturing. After reading about factories collapsing and putting people's lives in danger, sweatshops, and workers (even in America) being paid way below minimum wage, I made sure that I vetted every factory, dye house, and knitting mill that I work with. I wanted to have a company that helps people have better lives—not make them suffer just for any profit. I don't believe in living a life where someone else suffers from my gain.
The third thing I wanted to focus on was style and accessibility. I wanted the stigma of eco-friendly and sustainable clothing being granola and boring to go away by making sure that the pieces we put out speak to our generation in terms of styling and imagery. I think a lot more people now want to wear low-impact clothing, but they also don't want to sacrifice personal style (like I did), so solving that problem was just going to be a win win for everyone. I think that low impact and ethical clothing should be the norm moving forward—there's really no reason why we cant choose better materials and practices.
As for my own personal sustainable and ethical fashion journey, my whole attitude to dressing and buying also shifted. I’ve become more mindful when I shop, and always have these criteria in my head: am I going to be wearing this a lot? Is it an item that is an essential to my current wardrobe and is it an added building block to it? Where is it made? Does the company have the same values that I do? Are they transparent about their manufacturing practices? As consumers, I think we are also responsible for asking these questions so that the brands are also pushed to do better. We're all on this planet together, so we should all be helping push each other to make our lives here better.
Mondays are usually spent in the office answering emails and having start-of-the-week meetings with everyone that we work with, so I just keep it casual and low key.
Back Beat Rags Hemp Raw Edge Sweatshirt
Simon Miller jeans from a sample sale
I’m super into vintage and oftentimes I wear head-to-toe vintage outfits. I think for someone on a budget who wants to shop in a more sustainable way, vintage or thrifting is the way to go. Plus, you know that your outfit is going to be super unique. I also love statement earrings since they immediately dress up a simple tee and pant outfit, and I especially love Rachel Comey's earrings. Her company is so good at bringing diversity (see the models she uses in her imagery) on to the conversation too.
I do a lot of factory visits because it keeps me connected to the people that I work with, and also to check on my production. So 4 out of 5 working days I’m usually in something that I can run around in. Again, a huge fan of one piece outfits like this boiler suit!
Also, tattoos are my forever accessories. These tattoos are all done by various women artists!
Back Beat Rags Hemp Boiler Suit
Again, comfort is key, but this day I decided to dress it up a little with accessories. Sometimes I get bored with just the jeans and tee combo, so I try to spice it up—but again have to be able to run around in it. This tee is one of the first Back Beat Rags tees we ever made!
It's a Friday so I decided to "dress" up a little to meet with friends after work. Still super low key—but this robe makes it a bit more fun. Also wearing LOQ shoes—I love their stuff and they are a woman-owned business that produces on a small scale. I like supporting brands like them because I know the work that goes into running an independent label.
I’m a big fan of jumpsuit dressing during the weekend. It's basically a no-brainer outfit, which comes in handy on a Saturday and you just want to get out the house without thinking of your clothes too much!
Vintage denim jacket
Back Beat Rags Organic Cotton Romper
Converse high tops I've had for years
I love a good overall, especially vintage ones! I paired them here with Back Beat Rags' Organic Cotton Mock Neck. I’m especially in love with this top because we actually used a special fabric that has a soft fuzzy hand to it. It's super soft! It's funny because this outfit also looks like something I would’ve worn when I was a kid, and now it’s perfect for running around and doing errands. I also like to add small details like fun socks because I think the small but fun details actually make the whole outfit.