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Why I Started Sotela - Sotela

Why I Started Sotela

Originally posted May 4, 2016.

I quit the comfort of my stable full-time job in urban planning to start a fashion company. 

You may wonder if I have experience in either running a fashion brand or a business and the answer is no. However, I’m here anyway because I believe Sotela is necessary. 

Sotela is a clothing brand dedicated to solving a real problem in fashion. 

The sustainable fashion industry prioritizes eco-friendly fabrics and ethical working conditions, but it doesn’t consider sizing an important component. 

Buying garments in a new size each season isn’t sustainable for our closets or environment. Our bodies can fluctuate monthly, even daily, and it’s completely out of our control. 

How often have you felt upset with a closet full of clothes that don’t fit the way you remembered? 


I was bloated for the majority of 2015. It wasn’t your regular type of bloating that happens after a greasy meal or period. It was chronic bloating that hurt and made me look pregnant all the time. I couldn’t fit into my clothes because they were too tight or uncomfortable. Getting ready in the mornings was more difficult than ever and made me so insecure. 

At the time, I was on a plant-based diet and exercising regularly so I knew it wasn’t due to weight gain. I went to countless doctors and specialists to see what was wrong with me. It gradually escalated and led to acne, ovarian cysts, and irregular periods. An endoscopy and round of antibiotics proved nothing was ‘medically’ wrong with me.

My frustration with western doctors made me research other possible causes. After several weeks, I realized I had a hormonal imbalance that was caused by birth control pills, gluten, and dairy.  Once I changed my diet, I saw results immediately and finally felt normal again. 

Those 8 months were the catalyst for Sotela. I had to buy a new wardrobe of oversized dresses that hid my bloated belly because I was tired of trying to squeeze into my current closet. I knew I wasn’t the only one.. 

It made me wonder– how often are we buying new clothing to fit our changing bodies? Is it sustainable to buy clothing that will only fit if your body remains the same every day? 

Sotela is a sustainable clothing brand that designs garments with your life in mind. Our sizing spans multiple conventional sizes. Instead of growing 1″, each size grows by 3″ allowing the flexibility for your body to ebb and flow. 

Sotela is for changing humans.  

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