Designers and co-founders Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin met while studying Fashion at the University of Technology in Sidney back in 1998, and launched their mutual brand in 2011. TOME is what they themselves call an #EVERYWOMAN brand, which is partly manifested through the broad spectrum of women portrayed in their shows and lookbooks.
So when talking about the New York-based label, words like ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ are likely to come up. Few others seem to make something authentic out of this concept, but with TOME it look easy, effortless, not-at-all-impossible. And why would it be? The world is filled with beautiful women of all shapes, sizes and ages—you only have to make the small effort of finding them. (With Instagram, this is a breeze).
And talking about sizing. It’s crazy for sure that the display of conventional fashion represents so few and have so little to do with the actual consumer. What is the sustainability of only catering to about 30% of the female population? It really does make fashion excluding in ways that go far beyond pricing. This is a conversation TOME has been engaging in lately, but as of today, the majority of their sizes still seem to range from XS to XL (not exactly plus size…). Nevertheless, they strike us as a brand with a genuine interest and care for the world and the women in it, and conscious conversations is a good place to start.
What about sustainability? It was supposedly the White Shirt Project, launching in 2014, that marked the beginning of TOME’s path towards sustainability. The ‘WSP shirt’, which have been released annually since, is ethically and ecologically manufactured in eco cotton poplin by female first factories, and 30% of the profits go to Katie Ford’s ‘FREEDOM FOR ALL’ organization.
From 2015-2017, TOME was also involved in the CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative (a sustainable business development program), working for change within American fashion. So, though they might not be a fully sustainable brand, yet, they’ve developed a more holistic, responsible and ethical design process over the last couple of years. We’d say their journey has just begun.
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