Author: Susan Price | Published: November 13, 2017
The navy and white stripes may be iconic, but the T-shirts Amour Vert began selling several years ago were something new. The shirts were spun from a fabric so soft it they quickly caught the attention of celebrity stylemakers and major retailers.
That soft fabric also happened to be sustainable and durable, and the T-shirts were made in America in factories paying fair wages. “No one really cared at first that we were an ethical brand,” says co-founder Linda Balti. “They bought our T-shirts because they were so soft and comfortable, though once they knew how they were made they loved our story.”
Amour Vert—the name means green love in French—now has a line of dresses, tops, denim and more it sells online and in an expanding number of its own stores. All Amour Vert’s clothing is made using sustainable fabrics and non-toxic dyes, and the brand is committed to zero-waste manufacturing and fair wages. Amour Vert also partners with American Forests to plant a tree for each T-shirt it sells.
Balti grew up in Paris and trained as an engineer. She worked for a defense company for a time, but found the lab was not for her. Someone suggested she do VIP presentations for the company and at one of those meetings, she met Chirstoph Frehsee. Frehsee had founded MineWolf Systems, a company that cleared landmines, and after he sold it, he and Balti spent a year traveling around the world. While on that trip, Balti read a Newsweek article about ethical fashion that stunned her. “It was the first time I realized the impact fashion has on the environment,” says Balti. “It is the second most polluting industry in the world.”