WOMXN FOUNDED. WOMXN RUN.
Self Sovereignty is run by two queer womxn of colour, myself and my wife, Laura.
We started Self Sovereignty as we found it difficult to find clothing which represented our values, our identities and paid tribute to our cultural lineages. I am the daughter of a refugee and have experienced first hand micro and macro aggressions due to my appearance and ethnicity.
Laura (Ngāti Kahu Ki Whangaroa) identifies as takātapui - Māori and queer - and works in education familarising young people with Tikanga Māori and te reo Māori. The kaupapa or main idea behind our brand can be summarised as follows:
We hope to create quality apparel which helps continue important and needed conversations. We hope these conversations form the basis of action which works to dismantle systems of oppression with the end goal of bringing our ancestors dreams to fruition. We work to realise the dreams of our ancestors through our interactions, where we put our time and money and how we use words and images.
You can also read about us on Forbes here.
Why Choose Us?
Every one of our styles that are produced overseas are fair trade (we’re also always in contact with these factories to ensure they’re following our ethical policies), and we produce over 10 million garments each year in the United States. We are WRAP Certified (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production), which means we treat every one of our employees with dignity and respect, and are constantly aware of our environmental impact. A tough accreditation to receive, WRAP certifies its suppliers based on twelve principles which range from health and safety to environment to the prohibition of forced labor. We’ve received a platinum certification, the highest level possible!
In addition to ensuring our employees are treated ethically, we aim to do the same for the environment. While many companies produce enough waste to fill several swimming pools daily (we couldn’t live with ourselves if we knew our warehouse created trash hauls like that!), our sewing floor creates almost no landfill, so everything we can’t turn into a tee is either recycled or repurposed. We also power our sewing floor and headquarters with solar energy generated from solar panels on our roof and provide electric car charging stations to encourage our employees to live as green as possible!
There will always be unethical clothing manufactures and consumers who choose to turn a blind eye to this issue, but we like to think that there are people who care about the process behind their purchase. Are you a person who cares? We thought so. Learn more about our textile production, printing facilities, and more by clicking here. We are more than happy to show you how we’ve ensured that we will never fall back upon sweatshop labor or goods.
Why we used water-based ink?
Screen printing is typically done with either plastisol or water-based ink. Water-based ink is superior for a number of reasons, including:
It’s environmentally friendly and safer for humans
As is implied by their name, plastisol inks are plastic-based. This means they contain a number of dangerous chemicals like PVCs and phthalates, which cause health issues and are harmful to the environment. Water-based inks do not contain such chemicals.
They also differ in how they’re cleaned up - water-based inks simply require water, while plastisol inks require the use of harmful solvents.
The end product is just plain better
Unlike plastisols, water-based inks soak into fabrics, which means they move and stretch with garments and won’t crack or fade with wear. This gives each print a soft, comfortable touch.