Ethically-made products for ethically-minded women.
Product(s): men’s and women’s striped shirts
Price: $88 – $128
Eco / Ethical: made in Portugal
I have a bit of an obsessive streak when it comes to my wardrobe. Every once in a while, a specific peice will strike my fancy, and it will be ALL I want to wear. During one of those phases, nothing else seems to fit right, or be as comfortable, or as appropriate, making me want to Marie Kondo everything else in my closet.
My current obsession? Kule striped shirts. I bought my first one a few months back, wore it constantly, then I bought another, and wore that constantly, and now, writing this may be helping to justify number three! These t-shirts are legit.
A $98 t-shirt can be a tough pill to swallow, but honestly, this is one that warrants a cost per wear analysis. I’ve worn mine far more frequently than is acceptable – under jackets and sweaters and on their own – and they still look fantastic. There’s been no stretching, no pilling, and no snags. One of my shirts went through the dryer (on low, because that’s how we prepare for mistakes like this) and it didn’t shrink. Kule shirts are a thicker cotton – this probably isn’t something I’ll be reaching for in the dead of summer – and the cut is flattering, classic and just polished enough.
Designer Nikki Kule launched her stripes collection after a career designing luxury collections for women and children. Like so many of us, she had built a massive wardrobe in pursuit of the perfect stripe shirt but still found her options lacking. When she started to think about what she was looking for in the perfect shirt, she realized that, like denim, women needed a few different fit choices. So, she built the Kule Stripes collection, featuring Classic, Boyfriend, Modern, and Modern Long fits.
Kule shirts are made in an all female factory outside of Porto, Portugal. Stripe knits are complicated to produce – which is why most brands offer striped shirts where the seams don’t line up. To ensure your seams will match, Kule shirts are cut by machine and then laid by hand before sewing. And the result is an incredibly well made, high-quality shirt that stands up to daily wear.
Rita Mehta shops for a living and talks a lot. She launched her website, The American Edit, and podcast, Why Do We Have Things? so she’d have a place to talk about some of the things she’s most passionate about: American made design, responsible manufacturing, and conscious consumption. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter.