Metro Exclusive: Meet Fil-Am CEO Isadora Alvarez And The Sustainable Low-Impact Fashion Brand She Formed In L.A.
Here's a look into Isadora's world of sustainable fashion and why you should be part of this conversation too!
Filipino-owned brands from all over the world are not one to miss out on fashion conversations that matter. From supporting sustainable fashion movements, creating a low-impact brand, to forming a thriving community in L.A., another female CEO has done it all and this time around her ethical retail noise is reaching the streets of Manila. Isadora Alvarez of Back Beat Co. might just be the coolest girl in our roster of Filipina CEOs because she did not just put up a brand but she also formed a community that is all for slow fashion as well.
Born in Palawan, Isadora enjoyed being surrounded by the great outdoors. At a young age, she developed an appreciation for a laid-back and a live-easy type of lifestyle. Fueled by her passion to translate her experience through clothes, she decided to pursue a fashion career in the U.S. at the age of 23. In an interview with Gossamer, Isadora expressed the feeling she immediately felt when she was greeted by a creative community that celebrated style freedom and self-expression. Shortly after finishing her education in San Fransisco she moved to L.A. to put up a brand of her own. Fast forward to today, we are now greeted by Back Beat Co., the Cali-inspired brand that perfectly captures Isadora's experience in California's skate and surf culture.
Although it was quite easy to put out the experience she wants for her brand, Isadora felt that there wasn’t enough representation of people of color in the fashion industry. “Before, it was hard to get ahold of fabrics and connections in the industry especially because there were not a lot of people of color in the sustainable space. When you say organic or eco-friendly or sustainable, the look that comes to mind was a brown shapeless tunic made out of linen or hemp that was just not cute and just granola looking,” says Isadora. She found an opportunity in the industry and decided to cater to people like her with prices that were more accessible and pieces that are more sustainable to keep.
Back Beat Co. firmly wants to put the people and the planet first before making profit. "I believe that what sets us apart from other sustainable brands is our mission to uplift slow fashion through low-impact essentials in simple and wearable silhouettes,"she says. Some of her favorite fabrics to work with are organic cotton waffle, hemp fleece, tencel twill, and hardier hemp twill. Apart from the clothes, she wants to promote experiences that truly matter as well. Together with her small production team and a factory in L.A. that fairly supports craftsmen with fair wages and healthy working environments, Isadora is able to keep a close-knit community that surrounds Back Beat Co.
When it comes to design, Isadora makes clothing for everyone and in every size. She likes to listen to her customers and sees to it that they are getting the pieces they need. “Our customer is super chill, likes to do low key things, they invest in a couple of pieces that they will wear all year long- so we have to make sure the designs hit at least a couple of that criteria if not all," says Isadora.
With that being said, she finds it easier to take inspiration from people watching and how they style their clothes to fit their lifestyle. Isadora is extremely fascinated by how different a t-shirt looks like when different people put their own style with it. She also loves to take inspiration from books, films, typography, architecture, and vintage photographs of skating and surfing. Some of her personal favorite pieces from Back Beat Co. are their sweatshirts, wave sweaters, and organic cotton boiler suits from their latest and core collections.
Apart from promoting sustainability, Isadora also wants Back Beat Co. and its customers to become active and responsible members of the community. Since last year she has put up donation drives, clean-ups, and their most recent voting campaign for the last election.
To further spread the cause of Back Beat Co., Isadora recently spoke to Vogue about a take back program she has been planning for her brand. This program will encourage former customers to hand over the pieces they bought from older collections so that Back Beat Co. can recycle them into new ones. "We're a very small team so we have to take things slowly partly because of bandwidth and also budget. When we do the take back program the cost is actually on us since we have to pay the facility to sort and recycle the products but this is something that is very important to us as a company so we're excited to launch it super soon," says Isadora.
If you have space for some more good news, Isadora is also planning to expand in the Philippines with either a brick-and-mortar or an online set-up next year. In the mean time, go ahead and shop at their website or check them out on Instagram!
Photo Courtesy of Isadora Alvarez and Back Beat Co.