Merch tends to fall on the far ends of the fashion spectrum. An oversized tee that reps your favorite New York restaurant can remain a closet staple for years (a hyper-specific phenom dubbed Zizmorcore). Whereas a corporate hoodie seems obsolete almost immediately upon receipt. Not to mention the environmental impact of barely-used-and-then-discarded clothing: fashion contributes approximately 8% to global emissions, a number that's only growing.
That said, we all still have to get dressed, and conscious consumerism is a tricky knot to untangle. Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, and as many activists have pointed out, holding corporations accountable is a far more fair and equitable way to combat climate change than making people feel guilty over every errant purchase. Right now, the industry seems to have more questions than answers, but a few innovators are looking for solutions.
One of the few companies centering sustainability on the beauty front—both in its packaging and ingredient practices—is Saie. The brand's "progress, not perfection" model is a powerful one, so it's no surprise Saie took a thoughtful, pragmatic approach to the issue. Rather than mass-producing a few unimaginative logo-heavy pieces, the cult beauty line partnered with a few favorite vintage curators to select one-of-a-kind clothes for fans. In short, the new Saie Vintage program reinvents the merch paradigm.
Read on to learn more about the new drop straight from the Saie Founder, Laney Crowell, and Emilia Musacchia of Eveliina Vintage.
Creating a first-of-its-kind program is never easy, but thinking outside the box is part of Saie's DNA. "When thinking about merch, we knew we wanted to do something sustainable, which is an important brand pillar for us," says Founder and CEO of Saie, Laney Crowell. The team eventually landed on vintage as a potential solution "because it taps into the 'Reuse' and 'Reduce' part of the sustainable triangle." Crowell describes the collection as "Anti-Merch Merch" because it's chic and sustainable.
Fashion may seem like a stretch for a clean beauty brand, but Saie has been aesthetically minded from the start. "Saie has always been about style, which is why we put so much time and effort into the look and feel of the brand and our packaging," says Crowell. Much like its weighty glass bottles and striking logo, the brand's merch needed to check all the boxes: ethical, unique, and stylish. And secondhand feels like a natural fit. "We love that vintage is one-of-a-kind—the opposite of cookie-cutter fast fashion. It's very cool, just like the Saie community."
After settling on vintage, the team turned to personal networks, Instagram, and their own closets to find the right partners. "Eveliina Vintage is actually one of our team member's mom's businesses that she started in the '70s. Large Lemonade is a curator that's friends with our Head of Community, another vintage lover. And Kiko's Kloset is someone I discovered and have been following on Instagram for a while." The first drop (Saie plans to rotate curators monthly) features women-owned businesses with distinct points of view on pre-loved clothing.
Eveliina Vintage is a family brand. Emilia Musacchia, the Operations Manager, is the daughter of Eveliina's original founder, Eeva Musacchia. Along with her twin sister Amanda (who is also a Saie employee), the Musacchia women scout the country collecting and selling their vintage collection best described as "romantic and fun." Think easy-to-style slip dresses in a range of Instagrammable pastels and breezy lace tops.
"We’ve mixed our signature hand-dyed slips and Saie’s signature lilac color," says Emilia Musacchia of the Saie partnership. Like any good vintage find, Eveliina's Saie Vintage curation is versatile and timeless (and pairs well with a glowy highlight and a barely-there lip).
Born of Founder Brooke Jaramillo's love of chainstitch embroidery, Large Lemonade offers an array of preloved items adorned with unique, handmade details. What started as an embroidery service, the brand has evolved to a full-service event space and design house in LA. Its curated vintage collection includes a sweatshirt, denim jacket, and vintage scarf—adorned with a stitched Saie logo, of course.
Inspired by the stories that come with shopping secondhand, Kiko's Closet pays homage to the past lives of vintage pieces. Founder Kayla Dickie's selections spark joy—you're meant to dance in her clothes—through unexpected patterns and cheery colors. Among other styles, the Saie Vintage collab features a yellow pantsuit (love), a patterned blazer, and a pleasantly patterned, retro-cut dress.
You can shop Saie Vintage now. Check back in each month, as three new vendors curate their very own exclusive collection of preloved pieces.
Bick R, Halsey E, Ekenga CC. The global environmental injustice of fast fashion. Environ Health. 2018;17(1):92.