Symbology is out to make fair trade sexy. We merge artisanal fabric techniques with fashion forward designs that give our customers a one-of-a-kind item that connects women in a global community. We use fashion as a platform to train and sustainably employ women artisans in India.
Preserving cultural heritage through design \ Fair Trade Made Sexy
Our U.S.-based team custom designs fabrics and garment styles to create a truly unique piece - one that celebrates cultural art forms that tell a story of empowerment for both its maker and wearer. We choose silhouettes that flatter all body shapes and offer inclusive sizing, bringing confidence (and often lots of compliments) to our customers.
Our collections showcase a series of motifs and symbols created through block printing that are imbued with meaning, reflecting the deep heritage behind the piece. Many cultures in disparate parts of the world, throughout different eras, have used strikingly similar motifs in their art forms - a reflection of our shared humanity, which founder Marissa Heyl used as inspiration to name the company Symbology.
Environmentally Sustainable Materials
Each collection is hand woven, hand embroidered, and made from vegan, and all-natural materials such as modal and cotton. We also practice sustainability by using 100% compostable mailers for shipping, reducing plastics for supplier shipments, as well as using low-impact, non-toxic dyeing methods. In order to reduce waste, bags are made from upcycled garment scraps (because we dig recycling!) and because we think that fabrics deserve more than one life cycle.
Built on Fair Trade Principles
We believe that the well-being of our artisans is central to who we are as a company, which is why we pay each of our artisans a livable wage, allowing them to provide for their families. Through sustained work opportunities and involvement in the design process, our artisan partners can affect change not just in their own lives, but in our world. Our garments are made through small batch production, making about 25 units per style in clean, safe, and well-ventilated work environments. Our artisans use handwork styles like block printing and embroidery at their workshops which are often located at their family farms or the artisans’ home
+ Flexible hours for artisans
+ Fabrication and cut & sew conducted at small independent studio
+ Small batch production with limited wastage
Empowering Women Artisans
Symbology uses fashion as a platform to empower women, preserve handmade crafts and provide sustained employment and fair wages to marginalized artisans. Each piece is handcrafted by women artisans in developing countries using traditional fabric techniques like block printing, tie-dye, and embroidery. However, we believe that there is an importance to investing in women artisans. These women lack access to financial independence due to generational, and familial issues that are hard to overcome. Our small batch supplier offers educational scholarships to their employees to send their children to school.
Inclusive Design: Connecting Women in a Global Community
At Symbology, we are focused on connecting women in a global community. We use our platform and our designs to empower women, helping them embrace their true selves. We do this by using a diverse range of models because our goal is to embrace the beauty of different ethnicities, women, transwomen, and nonbinary through our photoshoots. Not only do we want to show the diversity of different people, but body types as well; by offering inclusive sizing consisting of XS-3X people of all body types can wear out garments.
Symbology founder Marissa Heyl was inspired to start Symbology while on a research trip to India to understand how fair trade empowers craftswomen. Watching Gita, a young mother of three, block print beautiful designs onto a tablecloth, Marissa envisioned it as a dress. As a result, Symbology was born with the goal to redefine the fashion industry so that ethical fashion would no longer be the exception, but the norm. Symbology celebrates textile arts worldwide by fusing them with modern designs to create inspired, unique pieces--each that tells a story of empowerment.
BEHIND THE SEAMS