This Family-Run Apparel Brand Is Moving Towards Greater Fabrics Sustainability, Giving 1% of its Sales to Protect the Environment, and Donating to Programs that Support Native and other Marginalized Communities.
Founded by brothers Mike and Alex, and later joined by sister Kerry, Faherty is a family-owned and operated business that seeks to change the game of the casual-wear industry by producing versatile apparel with a new level of quality, comfort, style, and sustainability. While recognizing the detrimental impacts that the fashion industry continues to have on the environment, the company approaches their sustainable mission with optimism, taking thoughtful steps in design, packaging and sourcing that it hopes will create a better future. Led by authenticity, excellence, community, and leadership, Faherty understands that they can facilitate connections and build relationships to create positive change, not only for the environment, but for traditionally marginalized communities who deserve to be a part of the conversation.
Hands-On Design with a Laid-Back Vibe
Faherty is the fulfilment of a life-long dream of New Jersey brothers and surfers Mike and Alex Faherty to create elevated men and women’s swimwear and apparel inspired by and designed for life’s greatest moments hanging by the beach, with the surf and the sun.
From an early age, Mike, Faherty’s Chief Creative Officer, remembers that the clothes he vibed with at his local surf shop just didn’t feel comfortable or high quality. After spending 8 years designing for Ralph Lauren, the young creative noticed there still wasn’t a mainstream brand offering high-quality casual and sustainable-forward clothes with his laid-back beachy style. With a focus on craftsmanship – including material, feel, pattern, and color – Mike and his twin brother Alex launched their namesake brand in 2013.
A prime example of the brand’s marriage of quality with design is their best-selling shirt. The Faherty brothers say it’s the closest to perfect thing they’ve ever made, and will live in your closet for years, ready to wear all-day, every-day. The Legend Sweater Shirt combines the best of a cozy-soft sweater with a stretchy, breathable, and form-fitting button-down, and has rave reviews for its comfort, warmth, durability, and style. Their best-seller was so popular that it now comes in a range of classic flannel plaids and solid colors for both Men and Women.
Feel-Good Clothes that Feel Good
The brothers’ optimism, authenticity, and values shine through not only in the clothing they make, but in their brand philosophy. The company approaches every aspect of its manufacturing, packaging, and supply chain with thoughtfulness and intention, encouraging transparent conversation along the way.
An important part of the conversation quickly became how their high quality materials and fabrics were being sourced, as well as the company’s environmental and social impact.
So far, 64% of their Men’s and 37% of their Women’s collections are sustainable, with a goal of reaching 85% sustainability for both by 2021. This path includes working with more organic and BCI cotton, ethically sourced cashmere, alpaca, and merino wool, and bluesign® certified materials.
As Faherty continues to grow, so do its connections and collaborations with real people and communities to create positive change. Faherty began working with organizations such as A Second U, which has placed 197 formerly incarcerated men and women in jobs in the personal training industry, and officially sponsors The Surfrider Foundation that does conservation work for our waters and beaches. Faherty also donates 10% of sales from its Indigenous-inspired prints to organizations supporting Native communities. The company seeks to nurture community and facilitate conversations through its Sun Sessions, concerts, dinners, and workshops, all coordinated by their sister, Kerry Faherty.
Another way Faherty is changing up the conversation is with its blog – The Faherty Journal that features BIPOC writers, artists, and activists in their clothing, as well as controversial conversations about conservation and race. The company also features a diverse range of models – in age and race – on its website and online store. This educational and inclusive approach provides an authentic twist to the sometimes vapid and airbrushed influencer age of fashion.
A Candid Conversation about Sustainability
Most clothing brands won’t take it upon themselves to tell you that their apparel is simply not sustainable, or go on to point out the devastating impacts they have on the environment. For example, did you know that sherpa (also called fleece), is made from synthetic polyester (essentially plastic) and releases microfibers into our water sources every time it’s machine-washed?
Faherty, driven by six core values, among which include “stay authentic,” and “lead consciously, bravely, and inclusively,” indeed bravely shares some of the fashion industry’s dirtiest secrets (or well-kept omissions), like this one. It’s their hope that in doing so, consumers can make more informed choices when adding a new piece to their wardrobe, and act more mindfully when caring for their clothing, and, subsequently, the environment.
And while Faherty admits that their own sherpa material is not entirely sustainable, it is made with 100% recycled polyester, which on the bright side, means that more plastic bottles were saved from a landfill, and less energy was used in production. The brand brings this signature sunny outlook to its Sun and Wave Sherpa, a cheerful winter jacket available in styles for both Men and Women. The brightly colored pattern, which was hand-drawn in Mike’s design studio epitomizes yet another of Faherty’s core values – to spread good vibes.
As Featured In
The New York Times recently showcased Faherty, comparing the brand to some of the biggest names in clothing.
Where to Find
Faherty has 19 flagship stores across the US including 3 in NY and many others by the shore. Click here to find a store near you.