Determined to make a difference, founders of Miakoda, Julia and Laura Ahrens are using their brand as a platform to educate as many people as possible about ethical and sustainable fashion.
Miakoda offers a range of beautifully created sustainable and ethical clothing made of the comfiest, natural materials. They are true leaders in making sustainabilty and consumer consciousness cool and sexy.
Continue below to learn more about Miakoda and the amazing things the brand is doing to make a difference and raise awareness.
The Start of Miakoda
Co-owner and designer of Miakoda, Julia Ahrens, didn’t always dream of launching a sustainable fashion brand. Even though she studied fashion design in college, it wasn’t until 2011 when she changed to a vegan diet and started her yoga practice that she began to think about the fashion industry, and her consumption, differently.
“The concept behind Miakoda came out of a personal need for clothing that I felt aligned with morally. After going vegan and starting my yoga practice, I began to question my consumption and impact on the planet,” Julia explained. “I no longer felt connected to the traditional fashion industry that can be so detrimental to our planet, our animals, and our humans. I didn’t want to support it as a consumer or as a designer.”
An Opportunity to Make a Positive Impact
After much thought, she decided that she had an opportunity to make a positive impact.
“I decided if I wanted to work for a brand that I wanted to support and that I felt good about working for, I would have to create this brand and create a new option in the market for consumers that feel the same way I do about sustainability and ethics!” Julia said.
Julia told her sister Laura Ahrens about her idea and she was on board. Together the two sisters created Miakoda and officially launched the brand in February 2013. The company is based in Long Island, NY, close enough to do all of their production in NYC, but far enough away to avoid the chaos of the city.
Julia Ahrens, Laura Ahrens
The name of their company, Miakoda (pronounced Me-Ah-Coe-Dah), was something the sisters stumbled upon after endless months of contemplating what the name should be.
“Miakoda means ‘Power of the Moon’,” Julia explained. “ When we stumbled upon this word, we felt immediately connected to it. The moon is so powerful and beautiful—all of us: all humans, plants, and animals live under this one powerful moon—it unites us!”
This name lends itself well to their mission: to lessen our impact on the planet. People are stronger united than we are divided and the Ahrens Sisters hope to educate and transform the way people shop.
“There are so many harmful chemicals and toxins polluting our land, our water, and our health! Our planet, animals, and humans are suffering because of popular business practices,” Julia said. “Our mission is to reshape the fashion industry to be more compassionate, ethical, and sustainable and to create more options for people who want to support business practices that feel good to support.”
And if you’re looking for a great brand to support that will make you feel good while wearing clothes that feel good, Miakoda is the way to go. Their products are completely sustainable and ethically made clothing that they say will make you “feel good physically and mentally.”
“Physically, we strive to create super comfy clothing--- no tight waistbands, no stiff material, etc.,” Julia explained. “And mentally, you know that you aren’t contributing to any unfair or detrimental practices when you purchase a Miakoda garment.”
Sustainable Plant Fibers
Miakoda prides itself on its unique fabrics made of sustainable plant fibers. Organic cotton, bamboo and soy are a few of the materials they work with, but they are constantly looking for new sustainable materials to use and recently found a great new addition.
“We actually just sourced a really awesome modal fabric that we will be using in some future pieces. Modal is a super sustainable and awesome fiber made from wood pulp (similar to how bamboo fabric is made!). And it’s so soft!” Julia said. “I love seeing what new fabrics come out on the market and seeing what new offering the fabric supplier we work with comes up with!”
Miakoda believes you shouldn’t have to sacrifice fashion and excellence in design for sustainability. Their products are made thoughtfully. Besides being sustainable, they need to be great products that people will not only buy, but love. And with that purchase, one person made a lesser impact on the planet. Julia understands that making the shift to conscious consumerism doesn’t happen overnight, but it doesn’t have to.
“I would love for people to know that every conscious decision makes a big difference. You don’t have to revamp your entire life, your entire closet, and the entire way you shop. Even if you don’t give up shopping at fast fashion retailers, making the mindful effort to shop consciously—even if only for one piece in your wardrobe-- you are making a difference,” Julia said. “It’s not about what we aren’t doing, it’s about what we have done, what we can do, and how we can have any impact. No change happens overnight, but every little step adds up and together we can make a big difference for our planet, for other humans, and for the animals.”
Determined to Make a Difference
Julia and Laura Ahrens are determined to make a difference in fashion. In the next five years, their number one goal is to educate as many people about ethical and sustainable fashion as they can.
“So many people think about how they eat and the garbage created and toxins consumed in the food industry. Going straw free, or using a reusable water bottle, or choosing organic foods has become much more mainstream than wearing organic clothing and shopping ethically,” Julia explained. “We have found that so many people don’t even know about the ‘bad’ stuff that goes on in the fashion industry. Most people don’t know about how dyes are polluting our water sources, synthetic materials are ending up in the bellies of fish, humans living by non organic cotton farms are being diagnosed with cancer, garment workers in sweatshops are exploited and treated terribly. In the next 5 years our goal is to educate people about what is going on and how they can make a difference. I have no doubt that as more people learn about the problems in the fashion industry, they will want to shop more sustainably and ethically, and Miakoda will grow and be able to offer more options that people can feel good about supporting and wearing!”