Tribe Alive began as one woman’s way of doing her part to end family separation due to the economic insecurity facing women all across the world. Founder, Carly Burson, put her years of fashion-industry experience to work, designing goods that would help makers in artisan communities access the global marketplace and create sustainability where there had been vulnerability and insecurity. What began as a group of eight women in 2014 has grown to a worldwide community of over 280 artisans. Though we have grown, we have always prioritized the quality, health & sustainability of our partnerships over the quantity of them.
Carly’s vision for minimalist designs in high quality, eco-friendly materials that can be worn for years has remained central to Tribe Alive’s design philosophy from the beginning. Each year, new efforts in environmental consciousness and new strides in holistic employment of women across the world bring us closer toward our vision of honoring the earth & maker equally to the consumer.
Built By Women
Our future is female.
We are proud to support women artisans in five countries — Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, India, and Peru. Today, 85 percent of the world’s garment workers are women. Yet they are drastically underpaid, overworked and trapped in a cycle of poverty. Tribe Alive offers a hopeful alternative, employing and empowering women around the world.
This is why we exist, and it drives everything we do.
And while we genuinely love to support other women, we also know from research and experience that women are the key to eradicating global poverty. Women comprise more than three-quarters of our workforce, and the effect is exponential. When women are empowered to earn an income, they reinvest that income back into healthcare, education, and better nutrition for their families and communities.
We invest in the people behind our products. Our artisans are paid fair-trade wages, and we always pay them on time, knowing that families depend on this income in order to meet basic needs. In countries where we operate, a fair-trade wage is 2 to 3 times more than the minimum wage. Being paid fairly & promptly means our employees can pay for housing and food, childcare and healthcare. It means our artisans can support themselves and their families. A fair-trade wage means dignity and opportunity.
Safe & Meaningful Work Environments
No one should fear going to work.
Tribe Alive believes artisans everywhere should have access to safe, healthy working environments. We partner with groups that are committed to providing inspiring, community-focused studios where our artisans can meaningfully create your pieces. Much of the fashion industry employs grueling 15 to 16 hour workdays. At Tribe Alive, our artisans work 6 to 8 hours a day, with many who live in remote, rural areas working from home. Every year, we spend time on the ground in the studios and countries where our products are made to ensure the highest standards of safety and fair, empowering treatment for all makers are being upheld.
Designed to Last
The disposable mentality of fast fashion comes with a high price. An astounding 92 million tons of clothes are dumped in landfills around the world each year. On average, people keep fast-fashion apparel pieces for only 35 days before tossing them. To us, this is unacceptable, and evidence proves this is doing significant damage to our planet and economies everywhere. This is why Tribe Alive believes in slow fashion and meaningful consumption. From apparel to accessories, we design timeless pieces in classic silhouettes and high quality materials. Years from now, our clothes should live in your closet, not a landfill.
Beautiful, sustainable apparel should be accessible to everyone.
Tribe Alive works closely with our artisans to offer our products directly to consumers, cutting out middlemen and excessive mark-ups. In fact, Tribe Alive takes only half of the mark-up of its competitors, ensuring our customers receive the best possible value. Instead of constantly promoting our products, we carefully set a more accessible, lower price from the beginning. We also exclude certain items from our wholesale linelist to offer them at a better price to our direct customers. Finally, we are always working toward cost efficiencies in our production practices (buying textiles in bulk, investing in new machinery, etc.) and we promise to pass those savings along to you.
For too long, the fashion industry has been one of the world’s leading polluters and consumers of water. At Tribe Alive, sustainability is at the core of our mission.
Our manufacturing process is free of toxic chemicals and dyes. We never use synthetic fibers, which are made from plastic and do not biodegrade even in landfills. Nearly all of our products are made with upcycled or organic materials, such as cotton and linen, and all of our paper collection and in-store packaging is created using upcycled materials that otherwise would have ended up in landfills. We design pieces specifically to use remnants from our own productions. And as of 2019, we ship each online order in fully biodegradable mailers.
Our practices have helped us reduce our carbon emissions, lessen water and energy use and vastly minimize the consumption of new raw materials. This year, we are excited to introduce a new carbon offset program that carefully analyzes our remaining carbon emissions and plants trees to responsibly offset them.
Progress > Perfection
We are excited to present new initiatives in transparency and sustainability in 2020. The ideal of sustainability is constantly evolving, so our processes and model must too. Over the last few months, we have laid out our goals + actions for the next 5 years to present to you. Please take time to review our Five Year Impact Plan and stay tuned for Quarterly Impact Reports to come.
We aim to progress everyday toward the goals we have set and shared with you. We understand progress takes time and is an ever-moving target, but we commit to transparency in the areas we are succeeding in alongside the areas we have room to grow in.
We are committed to earning your trust through transparency & third-party certifications.
As of 2019, we are proud to be a Certified B Corporation®. We have been thoroughly evaluated, tested, and verified to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. You can have confidence knowing that Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on every worker, customer, community, supplier, and the environment. This makes us part of a community of businesses creating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.