POC-owned clothing brands for Zoom University

Girlfriend Collective is a sustainable brand with clothing made from 100 percent recycled water bottles in Vietnam and Taiwan. 
Photo by The Daily TargumGirlfriend Collective is a sustainable brand with clothing made from 100 percent recycled water bottles in Vietnam and Taiwan. 

If you’re anything like me, then your favorite part of going to class is all the cute outfits you get to show off. Now with classes being almost entirely online and a global pandemic urging us to stay home, our loungewear has become our go-to. 

While it’s tempting to stay all day in our pajamas, our mind has an easier time focusing when we change out of them. Changing into a new outfit boosts our confidence and makes us feel excited for the day! Cute loungewear is pretty much the only thing keeping me going this semester. 

I know I endlessly scroll through the section on Urban Outfitters way too much, but it’s important during these difficult times to support small people-of-color (POC) businesses which encourage slow fashion with ethical and sustainable manufacturing. 

These are some of my favorites: 

Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective is one of my all-time favorite brands. They do high-quality sustainable activewear. Absolutely everything is made from 100 percent recycled water bottles in facilities in Vietnam and Taiwan that guarantee fair wages and safe conditions for their workers. 

Girlfriend Collective has a range of sizes too from XXS to 6XL, so you never have to worry about not finding something just right for you. For co-owners Quang and Ellie Dinh, giving back to the Black Lives Matter movement is just as important as saving the planet. 

Girlfriend Collective will “donate 100 (percent) of net proceeds from the Everyday GF campaign to The Loveland Foundation, The Okra Project and the NAACP Legal & Defense Fund — at a minimum of $20k each,” according to its website. I highly recommend saving up for its high-waisted bike shorts with pockets and its high-rise pocket leggings. Oh, and throw in one of its scrunchies while you’re at it. 

Jen Zeano Designs

Jen Zeano Designs (JZD) is a South Texan lifestyle brand co-founded by Latinx wives Veronica and Jen Zeano. I’ve been following JZD on Instagram long before I bought anything by them, excited by its Spanish designs and beautiful aesthetic. 

There’s something about seeing happy LGBTQ+ Latinx (like me) creating beautiful things that is so incredibly inspiring. I want to literally recommend you the whole store, because everything it has is beautiful. But my favorites are the soñadora, florecita and feliz sweatshirts, and really, its whole cozy-at-home collection is a vibe. 

NaCIO APPAREL

NaClO APPAREL is a loungewear brand created by Jamie Williams and Charles Royals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease quarantine. This North Carolina-based brand’s goal is to “bring fun, colorful and playful loungewear to all people regardless of size or age,” according to its website. Their sizes range from small to 5XL, with the goal to expand up to 7XL in the future. 

I’m really loving all of its bleached designs and colors, especially this cloud sweatshirt and the camo sweatpants. The look totally screams comfy with style! 

Orchid Bohème

Orchid Bohème is an online store of specially curated boho women apparel. This Black woman-owned brand is “founded on the idea of recycling, reusing and re-purposing by giving vintage + found goods a new story to tell.” 

With its new modern pieces chosen by other small women-owned brands, it’s hard not to fall in love with everything about this store. The romantic soft look of all of the pieces is exactly the cottage-core style I developed this quarantine! This camo dress, this knit set and these two jumpsuits are exactly the cute and comfy look I want for class this semester. 

Rebel Soul Collective

Rebel Soul Collective is a Los Angeles based and Latinx-owned online store with a powerful message and is “made to empower with a bold approach.” It has donated to organizations such as Color of Change, Reclaim the Block, Planned Parenthood, RAICES, Together Rising, The Gentle Barn and the American Civil Liberties Union. Wearing any of these in public or in your Zoom classes will get you a guaranteed reaction. 

I love that this brand encourages the boldness that comes from fighting against oppression, racism and sexism. I especially love this “Start a Revolution” hoodie, the “F*** Racism” T-shirt and the “Strong Women Empower” pullover

Sencilla

Sencilla is a Puerto Rican brand created by artist Alejandra Rodríguez. The pieces are hand painted with lineal designs, making each one totally unique. Sencilla combines art, upcycling and sustainable fashion by “giving new life to pieces already forgotten, painting them, making them into a work of art.” 

Just like Orchid Bohème, Sencilla has the romantic picnic cottage-core look of my dreams. I absolutely love everything in her store but I’m especially in love with this green maxi dress, this lilac tank top and this black maxi dress

Eggie

Eggie is created by Korean American Jenn Im, famous for her YouTube channel which was previously known as clothesencounters. Eggie is “rich, striking and polished yet accessible,” and its mantra is “dress with confidence and be true to yourself.” 

As a subscriber and a general fan of Im, I was super excited when she first launched Eggie. The brand has so many unique pieces for both looking professional at work and relaxing at home. I especially love this "Emotions" T-shirt, the cardigan/crop top set and these tie-dye shorts

Wasi Clothing

Wasi Clothing is a Bolivian-American brand created and designed by Vanessa Acosta. The brand is slow fashion with all pieces being ethically and sustainably sourced. The brand goal is to “empower women of color and allies in feel good clothing that is made with love by a woman of color.” Its mission is to create a safe space for people of color and their allies to shop, and I definitely think it created that. Just being on the website or scrolling in its Instagram and seeing the representation brings so much comfort. 

I absolutely adore all of its designs, but my favorites are this "Resist" crewneck, the "Ally For All" mauve T-shirt, this "Hungry" T-shirt and the now sold out "Soy delicada, no me molestes" T-shirt which translates to "I’m delicate, don’t bother me." I’m definitely keeping an eye out to buy that last one when it comes back in stock!