A Week Of Outfits With Rachel Temko, Founder Of Whimsy + Row
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 Rachel Temko, the founder of the sustainable fashion brand Whimsy + Row!
I like to live a curious life full of creativity, passion, laughter and cheese. I was raised in a creative entrepreneurial family. This energy was always circulating in our household, so at a young age it manifested a strong appreciation for music, art, design, food and style. I always thought of fashion as an expression of yourself–your identity. How I dress or present myself means something–it’s a reflection of who I am and my ethos. Traveling over the years brought me close to nature and the importance of preserving it, so when it was my time to be on my own, sustainable fashion was in my eyes my only choice.
After graduating with a Fashion Merchandising Degree with a focus in sustainable fashion, I worked at Stitch Fix because sustainability in the fashion industry was extremely new and I needed a job. I started from the bottom (actually packaging boxes), then months after became an operations lead and in-house stylist where I managed a team of 70 people. I knew LA is where I needed to be—there just weren’t enough brands I was interested in in SF. When I moved to LA and worked with different small brands, I started working directly with designers and manufacturers. I really learned the entire process, the materials, production line, some things I loved and others made me sick. Like the waste and the impact the industry had on our environment and the people in it, I knew there had to be a better way.
After leaving my last job in 2014, I really wasn't inspired to work for another brand so I launched Whimsy + Row with the intent to educate the consumer about where their goods come from. Started with vintage (the most sustainable option), then carried like-minded brands, but still brands were afraid to be transparent about their process, which lead me to think, again, there had to be a better way! It just made sense to make our own eco-conscious collection and when it only took a few months to completely sell out, all of the stars aligned and my dream to make an impact on the fashion industry had begun. We just launched our 4th season that was crafted by extremely skilled workers that are paid above minimum wage, work in good, clean conditions and each piece is entirely made from reclaimed deadstock fabric with comfort and cuteness in mind.
My approach to sustainable fashion is buying fewer better things that are classic and minimal so they will last forever. I love to mix it up with new, thrift, artisanal pieces from my travels and vintage. Now that my life is consumed with work, I need my wardrobe to be effortless, comfortable and stylish to give me confidence everyday. Every time I purchase I think about every person who touched that garment and if has harmed our planet. I also take great care of my goods after purchase so they will live longer. You have to be resourceful when choosing a lifestyle that doesn’t harm our planet, but who doesn’t love a good challenge and the chance to be creative? It tends to require more of our attention, but the outcome is the most rewarding!
For lazy Sundays, I live in this Whimsy + Row combo and Nisolo slides. The breathable fabrics and loose fit make it the perfect lounge outfit that I can also wear out to brunch in Venice!
This is my go-to outfit during the week! A comfy tee with cute details and the Whimsy + Row Flora pant. I really love supporting other female-founded brands such as LOQ who make these cute woven sandals that are the perfect staple to tie together an outfit.
This is all I want to wear in the summer—a great pair of vintage jean shorts, a bodysuit and slides. Whimsy + Row’s roots are in selling vintage and it’s still a big part of my design inspiration and wardrobe. I’m also a huge supporter of Nisolo and sell their shoes on my website. They are ethically made and beautifully crafted!
Here I am hanging out at our retail space in West Los Angeles. Come visit us! I’m wearing some of our newest Whimsy + Row pieces from our Spring/Summer collection. I’m really into hoops lately and love these Machete Jewelry earrings that are handmade.
Mastering the perfect fit for our clothes is a really important to us! We focus on design details to create flattering pieces that sit well on every body shape. I’ve had these Chucks for many years and I think they only look better with time. The shoe that keeps giving!
Here I am sourcing new fabric for our designs wearing one of my favorite Jane Birkin-esque vintage tops. Whimsy + Row incorporates eco-friendly practices in all aspects of our business including using deadstock fabrics. These are fabrics that get lost in a huge warehouse and eventually end up in landfills. It’s like a treasure hunt to find the best fabrics!
This is one of my favorite evening looks and reflects my everyday style which is a mixture of Whimsy + Row, vintage (how amazing is this vintage Burberry jacket!?) and other ethical brands like Rag & Bone.