This is Our Story
We have always been, and will always continue to be, unapologetic about carving out a kind, lower-imprint, and inclusive space in a field that is often quite the opposite. Our ethos comes down to the fundamental belief that clothes should help us live fully and express ourselves, not cause us stress or shame due to artificial norms created by the media and the runway.
"I started Sotela in 2016 after dreaming of an ethical, inclusive, and sustainable clothing line that would adapt to my ever changing body. The majority of my clothing was too tight and made me feel uncomfortable and I woke up every day dreading my morning routine of staring at my closet with nothing to wear.
In speaking with friends, I realized I wasn’t alone–so many experience the same frustrating routine of trying to find something that fits. Our bodies change all the time— we get bloated, pregnant, lose weight, gain weight— but the fit of our clothes doesn't often reflect that physical reality.
So I created Sotela. I believe you should reach into your closets and have multiple pieces that will always fit, and better yet, make you feel confident. While the company has evolved since our early days, our dedication to inclusivity, sustainability, and ethical production has only deepened."
- Hanna, Founder
Sotela expanded our size range in 2019 up to a size 10, which means our line spans sizes 0-30 in “conventional” sizes. We simultaneously moved to a made-to-order model for a couple of reasons: it allows us to reduce waste (no more guessing what colors and sizes customers will want!) while also allowing us to customize orders because each body is unique. In 2020, we started offering custom sizing.
We created Sotela because we saw the need for a fashion line that was designed for humans, all humans. As we’ve grown, we’ve listened carefully to the humans who buy our clothes or wants to buy our clothes, ensuring that with each new collection we are deepening our commitment to inclusivity for all body types and genders. We design each collection with real bodies in mind, not models or mannequins.
From day one, Hanna always dreamed of Sotela having it’s own in-house production. In 2019, we made that happen by moving into our first LA studio where we were able to expand our team and produce our garments in-house. At our LA studio we design our collections, cut and sew each garment, and ship them out to you. You can learn more about the process of making a garment here. Managing production in house allows us to customize each garment, while ensuring we are paying a fair and living wage to all of our employees.
We love working with comfortable, bold, and playful colors and fabrics here at Sotela. No matter if you’re wearing a neutral or a pattern, rest assured that our commitment to a sustainable supply system includes sourcing only materials made of natural fibers. We work with a local dye house in LA using nontoxic dyes to minimize our footprint while customizing our colors to the seasons and what’s inspiring us.
Further, our packaging is made of 100% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable, and always has been.
Latina Owned and Inspired
As a team of majority Latin women including our founder, Sotela is rooted in our heritage. To us, we show up unapologetically bold and strong, and design with that in mind. Our Latin roots have informed our designs and culture–from the naming of each garment to the Spanish we speak in our studio with our vendors, and our desire to show up fully and proudly as who we are. “Sotela” comes from the Spanish word “tela” which means “fabric”. The “so” comes from “sew” and combined “sew fabric” speaks to our ethical, handmade design process and Latin roots.
Head over to our blog to get to know us even more!
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...
Why Inclusive Sizing is a Worthy Investment
Originally posted May 7, 2020. It feels as if size inclusivity is the new hot button topic in the fashion space. Brands are touting their efforts when they release a...