St. John's University
Evermore Apparel’s innovation, in addition to creating handmade products, is focused on eco-friendly, sustainable packaging to ship their products to consumers. From tissue paper to poly mailers, Evermore Apparel engages in sustainable practices and is dedicated to an Eco-Packaging Alliance with noissue. Noissue is truly passionate about producing compostable, recycled, and reused products, and the Alliance is a great way to contribute to global reforestation. For every order processed, noissue plants trees in areas of need. Noissue works with many well-known brands, and customers can look out for their white or green badges to ensure they are shopping more sustainably.
Packaging: Evermore Apparel uses as many eco-friendly shipping supplies as they can source, which include recyclable, reusable, and compostable materials. They strive to provide customers with a satisfying packaging experience while maintaining their values. They also handcraft some packaging surprises for special events!
Merchandise: Some items, especially handmade merchandise, are sustainably sourced. It is usually written in the description of the item and they are very transparent about the contents of their merchandise. Look out for "Sustainably Sourced" in the description boxes.
In addition, many products sold on the website are sustainably made, as they are hand-knit and therefore do not produce any emissions or waste.
Kei was inspired to create her own business for a variety of reasons. First, she went to the Fashion Institute of Technology where sustainability and responsible consumption are embedded into the curriculums to encourage students to really consider the impact the fashion industry has on the environment. Classes such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability in Fashion Merchandising, and Sustainable Packaging are available, where FIT students learn that being both sustainable and profitable is possible. The professors really motivate everyone to be a part of this change, as it is such a relevant topic in today’s world, especially since so many companies are trying to be sustainable. Just by being enrolled in some fashion business management courses within her first two years at the school, Kei’s knowledge of this industry was greatly enhanced as she began to take initiatives to implement sustainability within her own life.
Aside from already having a growing interest in responsible production and studying product development, Kei found herself stuck, like many others, when the Coronavirus pandemic hit in March of 2020. Like a lot of other students, we found ourselves on our phones quite often looking at social media, and during this time Kei was clearly able to see how our world was becoming increasingly unethical. People were caring less for the environment and did not consider the implications of such actions. Starting her business got her back on track and thinking about what she wanted to do after the pandemic. Kei had learned how to crochet when she was younger and decided to revisit her previous hobby. She tapped into her childhood growing up and started buying yarn to make homemade items during her time at home. A fun hobby turned into a business for her, and she believes small businesses are the future of fashion.
Kei was inspired by her FIT friends and all the women who she was surrounded by. She would never make anything she would not wear herself, and by having such a strong support system, she could ask her friends what they wanted to see in her shop or what they like to buy for themselves. She wants people to feel happy and good about themselves based on what they are wearing and knowing that it was made in an eco-friendly way. There is a special meaning behind sustainably-made clothing, and Kei was inspired to relay this message to the world.
Evermore Apparel was founded by four friends with purpose, passion and responsibility. Through their business practices, products and packaging, Evermore Apparel aligns to responsible consumption and production, as well as create sustainable communities. The company’s value statement includes empowerment and eco-friendliness.
Evermore Apparel is a small start-up business that was started by four friends but is currently being run by one woman. Kei believes that, “Small business is the future of fashion.” Her hope is that Evermore will “not only help motivate other people to shop more sustainably, but at the same time leave them feeling happy.” Kei has joined a network of small businesses who work together to share ideas, challenges, vendors, and practices. While they may technically appear to be competitors, they find that working together has proven beneficial to all. Kei refers to it as “small business love.” They work as a small, tight-knit, strong community. She says that, “Even though you sell similar items, the support system you gain is just so strong. You share your consumers and it's not a fight. You’re sharing resources like a friendly neighborhood with a common mindset.”
Kei realized early on that in order to manage costs and ensure sustainability, she needed to cut the supply chain as much as possible so she could maintain more control over her sourcing options. By working with her network, they are able to identify and take advantage of sources that align with their principles. For example, the community will send tips to each other such as which website is having a discount for mailers and other supplies.
The initial project launch was during International Women's Month. Evermore Apparel issued a tote bag with two female images on it. Kei fully backs female entrepreneurs and is an advocate for women’s rights.
While the company cannot guarantee that all of their products are sustainably sourced, they do guarantee that their packaging is. Many items are also responsibly made since they are hand knit. This reduces the carbon emissions, pollution, and waste that could potentially accumulate from fashion industry production.
As Kei engages with customers on social media, she often finds herself educating clients on sustainability. She loves creating connections with her followers and customers as she can pass on her knowledge of responsible production and how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. In the future, Kei will be on the lookout for in-person experiences such as flea markets and pop-ups where she can really connect with her target audience.
Kei is a complete supporter of loving what you do and not living to work. She believes in fulfillment for yourself as well as growing at a rate you are content with. Kei wants to stay small, rather than have the mindset that all businesses just need to grow exponentially. “Do what you love and do what you are confident in.”
Gakei Chan, Founder and Owner
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Business Website: https://4evermoreapparel.com/
Year Founded: 2020
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
Evermore Apparel, a New York-based company, is a small business oriented around simplicity to encourage shoppers to shop more sustainably while maintaining a fashionable lifestyle. The company has hopes of delivering this message through their merchandise, while bringing awareness to the society and environment. The small business is passionate about its four core “e” values of elegance, empowerment, endlessness, and eco-friendliness. Through sustainability efforts, Evermore Apparel is taking steps to encourage responsible consumption and production, as well as to create sustainable cities and communities by making customers aware of the clothing they are buying.