Rachel Fernbach was a former massage therapist and expressive arts psychotherapist but after feeling like a change in direction, she took time to travel and unwind. It was then Rachel decided to return to her roots as an artist and envisioned a new path in life: to create, luxurious, easy to wear, comfortable – but also ethical – clothing.
Fernbach, who wanted to create the type of clothes she enjoys wearing, decided to launch PonyBabe: a line of versatile but simple pieces that can fit into any wardrobe.
“Developing a clothing line focused on comfy, versatile pieces for creative, movement-oriented women seemed to make sense.” – Rachel Fernbach
PonyBabe’s debut collection features four neutral coloured sustainable pieces (wrap, cardigan, tank top, pants) that she’s aptly labelled the ‘24 Hour Outfit’. The concept was to provide transitional pieces that can be worn to work or yoga but also be dressed up for dinner. Suitable for women at every stage in life including travellers, new moms, yogis and meditators, the PonyBabe range embraces one of the key core requirements of sustainable fashion: versatility.
The brand is New York based, with the pieces being designed and manufactured at a fair wage factory in Brooklyn. When it came time to develop her own clothing line, Rachel says that responsible production and sustainability were a definite, as it would never make sense for PonyBabe to use harmful materials or immoral labor methods given her set of personal ethics.
The line is created using a combination of organic cotton and bamboo, which are materials that (especially when compared to conventional mass-marketing materials) have a reduced environmental impact. To create less waste in every area possible, Fernbach also uses recycled, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly products for PonyBabe’s packaging. Creating everything from clothing labels to shipping stickers whilst also encouraging customers to repurpose the packaging materials.
PonyBabe is a brand that encourages people to shop small and support individual designers, not because it’s self-serving but because it believes in creating a world in which:
- each person has the opportunity to grow and prosper;
- where all workers are paid a fair and living wage;
- the development of raw materials does not negatively affect the earth; and
- relationships between individuals are nurtured and valued over profit.
Fernbach has also recognized that the price tags of sustainable clothing can leave people feeling like they have no other choice but to purchase cheaper options. “It’s challenging, as a tiny brand, to achieve the levels of sustainability that I aspire to… the prices for textiles and domestic manufacturing are high, and that is a stone-cold fact,” the ethical fashion designer told Awear World. “I’m so happy to be doing this project now, at a time when there is a growing demand for clothing that doesn’t cause suffering… my hope is that greater demand will lead to lower costs, which in turn will allow me to lower prices and make the clothes even more accessible.”
To make fairer alternatives available to more people, all PonyBabe community members can receive exclusive access to the highly discounted pre-sales when new styles are ready for the market.
To fund the first production run and get the brand off to a strong start, PonyBabe has launched a Kickstarter campaign. The funds will help cover costs of fair labor and sustainable fabric as ethical production expenses are much higher than the usual mass-market costs.
In exchange for pledges, PonyBabe is offering styles at below-retail value. Which is an opportunity for lovers of ethical fashion to begin or grow their sustainable wardrobe. A pledge contributes to the growth of a more sustainable fashion industry and this 24 hour outfit is a great sustainable wardrobe solution.
The Kickstarter campaign will end on the 18th of November. To pledge your support, click here.