After an unseasonably warm fall, the temperatures are finally starting to dip here in New England. One of the things I love most about this time of year is wrapping myself up in cozy winter accessories. Chunky scarves, thick mittens, and of course something to keep my head and ears warm.
I have a great winter hat that I got last winter at a local thrift shop, but when my hair is up in a ponytail my ears are left slightly exposed to the elements.
When I learned about MANTLE, cozy hoods made from sustainable materials (including the JANEY line, where each one-of-a-kind hood is made from thrifted sweaters), I knew this was the answer to my winter headgear needs.
Not only do they look super comfy and cute, but they have a great story behind the name. As MANTLE founder, Avi Loren Fox, shares on the website, “Noticing that people felt a unique balance of coziness and courage, Avi decided the piece needed a powerful name. She started calling it a MANTLE, which not only means a loose fitting hood or cloak, but also one’s role or responsibility in the world.”
(By the way, Avi’s story is really impressive. Be sure to check out her bio at the bottom of the post!)
Images courtesy of Wild Mantle
Tell us a little about your company.
A few years ago, I made a hooded-scarf from remnants of beloved old sweaters. It felt cozy and warm, and when I put it on, I felt a quiet sense of comfort and courage. When I wore it out into the world, people noticed, and they’d ask “What is that? I want one!” I heard the same thing from each person who tried it on: “It feels like a hug.” and “I feel like a warrior.”
We call it the mantle, and before I knew it, I was making them for lots of other people.
After demand exceeded my capacity to have the mantles made locally, I launched a Kickstarter Campaign and raised $39,827 in November of 2014 to have the first batch manufactured at Icebox, an artisan knitting mill frozen in time in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies.
Since then, Wild Mantle has garnered a TEDx Talk, a Tory Burch Foundation Loan, and an international community of customers who love to rave about their cozy hoods. I’m so excited to be on this journey, creating cozy knit hooded scarves that I love and sharing them with the world. Onwards & Upwards!
What makes your company sustainable/eco-friendly? What inspired you to create this type of business?
Wild Mantle’s ethos reflects Founder Avi Loren Fox’s own mantles of sustainability, empowerment and adventure.
SUSTAINABILITY: By choosing to manufacture paying living wages in the USA and sourcing as many sustainable materials as possible, Wild Mantle aims to use the power of the business to move the fashion industry in a more sustainable direction.
EMPOWERMENT: Wild Mantle’s signature hooded-scarf is called a MANTLE because it means a loose fitted hood or cloak, and one’s role or responsibility in the world. As such, each piece is designed to bring the wearer a feeling of safety, confidence and courage as they discover and take up the mantles of their own life.
ADVENTURE: Wild Mantle’s are designed to travel with the wearer through all adventures of life. Our image culture is a snapshot of our own adventures, as well as the adventures of our customers.
What tips or advice would you offer to someone who is trying to live a more eco-friendly/sustainable lifestyle?
In today’s world, especially if you are an idealist like me, it can be overwhelming when you start looking into how environmentally degrading our systems and processes are as a species. I think it’s really important to have perspective and understand that we are still learning! One degree shifts now can make a big difference in the future. Participate in the givens like recycling and having a water bottle, and vote with your dollar for companies who are pursuing more sustainable systems for our planet.
Favorite sustainable/eco-friendly company (other than yours!)
Avi Loren Fox is the Founder & CEO of Wild Mantle, the rugged luxury women’s accessories company launched via Kickstarter in December of 2014. As a Millennial woman entrepreneur, Avi brings her personal ethos of sustainability and empowerment to Wild Mantle’s design, branding and manufacturing. A Tory Burch Foundation Loan Recipient, Avi’s story has been featured by MSNBC, INC.com and LA Times. Graduating magna cum laude and phi beta kappa from Temple University in 2010, Avi is also a TEDx Speaker, a Udall Scholar, and a StartingBloc Fellow. She lives just outside Philadelphia, and you can view her personal website here: www.avilorenfox.com