The average american woman is a size 14/16. I’m a size 14, so I’m pretty average, but I will say that ever since having kids, I have noticed how much the fashion industry does not cater to average women like me, and women who are above a size 14. One of my biggest challenges as an ethical fashion advocate has been to find clothing that is ethically made and size inclusive. And I get it, ethical fashion businesses a lot of the times are small and they have to make smart business decisions and it’s hard to cater to everyone. But, let’s be honest, there are a lot of women who are being cut out of the ethical fashion industry because ethical fashion brands don’t make clothing that fits them, and fits them well. Last year, after so many of you and so much of my community on social media asked me over and over again, ‘Molly where can I find ethically made plus-sized clothing?’ I went on a hunt, and one of the amazing plus size ethical fashion brands that I found, happens to be my guest today. My guest today is Mary Alice Duff, the founder of Alice Alexander Co.
FROM SOCIAL WORKER TO FASHION ENTREPRENEUR
Mary Alice spent the bulk of her adult career as a social worker in Philadelphia. It wasn’t until after she became a mother and began to progress in her career, that she realized she couldn’t find the clothing that she wanted, in her size. So, she started to sew her own clothing. After recognizing the real need in the fashion industry for ethically made clothing that fit all sizes, she decided to take a leap in growing sewing her own clothing into sewing clothing for others, which is how Alice Alexander was born.
CREATING A BRAND FOR ALL WOMEN
Mary Alice discusses her deep intentionality behind everything she creates at Alice Alexander. From the clothing itself to the content created using inclusive models, her brand truly stands for making everyone feel loved and included and it is evident through everything she does. Her goal is to create clothing that can seamlessly fit into any woman’s wardrobe.
FINDING BODY POSITIVITY
Molly and Mary Alice discuss finding body positivity, learning to love themselves, and what it looks like to create and raise a generation of women who value their bodies. Mary Alice found support in many online groups of women who were loving their bodies just the way they are, and Molly expresses her joy to show her own daughter how strong and loved she is.
About Mary Alice Duff, Founder of Alice Alexander;
Mary Alice Duff is owner of Alice Alexander, a size-inclusive, ethically-made women’s apparel startup based in Philadelphia with both an online and brick and mortar presence. Started in September 2017, Alice Alexander offers bold, yet accessible pieces to the modern-day woman in sustainable fabrics and inclusive sizes, ranging from 0-28.
Prior to launching her own business, Mary Alice was a nonprofit executive and social worker with dual degrees in social work and law and social policy. Frustrated with the lack of high quality clothing in her size and growing increasingly aware of the negative environmental and human impacts the fashion industry was creating, Mary Alice started sewing her own clothes, consciously building a self-made wardrobe piece by piece.
Realizing there was a business in her new sewing hobby, Duff enrolled in fashion design school at Philadelphia’s MADE Institute, where she balanced taking classes and working full-time. In May of 2017, Duff left a successful career in the nonprofit sector to launch Alice Alexander.
In June 2018, with the crowdfunded launch of their second collection, Alice Alexander opened a brick and mortar location and combined production studio in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia.
To learn more visit us on the web, follow us on Instagram, check out our online store or stop by our location at 4056 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia PA.
CONNECT WITH MARY ALICE