Our Mission is to creates quality, responsibly made garments that exemplify the possibilities of sustainable design. All collections are designed and produced in an ethical manner by designing garments that are not trend focused; by using natural, organic, and recycled textiles; and paying our workers a fair wage. We create clothing that's gentle on the environment, designed with intention and made to be lived in.
After studying fashion design in Cincinnati, Mandy moved to New York in 2009 to work in the studios of J.Crew and Doo.Ri before venturing out on her own to focus on ethical and sustainable knitwear. She launched her namesake line in 2012 which has since expanded into a full womenswear collection. On a typical day you can find her brainstorming new concepts with the design team, overseeing daily operations, working on the newsletter, or scheming new designs!
Jia Yee joined the team just this year as our very first hire. She comes from a background of designing for independent womenswear (and women-led!) brands by the likes of Shaina Mote and Nomia, and is now Kordal Studio’s in-house patternmaker as well as managing woven development and production, e-commerce, and customer service. On an average day you can find her drafting patterns, fulfilling online orders, or geeking out over spreadsheets.
At Kordal, all our materials are chosen with care. We utilize natural fibers, meaning they are plant or animal-based instead of synthetic, and stay away from harsh chemicals and toxins. We also seek out textiles that are certified under leading standards with social and environmental criteria, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). By emphasizing natural and ethical, we are standing behind renewable resources, which do not contribute to environmental degradation or human harm.
A naturally soft and durable fiber sourced from the mammal of the same name, alpaca is a cozy favorite. We work with ethical alpaca yarn suppliers and factories in Peru to create top quality knitwear pieces. You can learn more about why we ❤ alpaca in our journal.
INCA TOPS is our alpaca supplier. Since its founding in Peru 1965, INCA TOPS has developed, with great success, the production of top quality alpaca tops and yarns. This has been achieved through fusing innovative concepts with the ancient and noble tradition of knitting in Peru.
INCA TOPS take great pride in supporting their local community. They provide local jobs, directly benefiting more than one thousand families. They further help the region through their Social Responsibility Programs, which assist small knitting companies, entrepreneurs, and rural families who make a living from alpaca farming. INCA TOPS is one of the founding companies of Patrulla Ecológica (Eco Patrol) a nonprofit organization dedicated to protect the environment in Arequipa city. In addition, they are certified by Pacomarca, the sustainable alpaca network.
Linen comes from the flax plant. We love this natural fiber because it's strong, absorbent and dries faster than most other textiles. It will quickly bio-degrade back into the earth quickly (approx. 2 weeks) if composted properly. We work with family run factories right here in NYC to make our linen pieces.
Wool is a textile fiber that comes from the sheep. A multifunctional fiber, wool is known for its insulation and durability. A primary source of our wool comes from the Peruvian Highlands, the wool fiber is processed without the use of harsh chemicals, leaving it soft and pure. All the yarns are OEKO-TEX certified.
Cotton fiber originates from the cotton plant. Its breathability and softness has made it the world’s most popular natural fiber. In 2017, we began a partnership with The New Denim Project, a family run factory based in Guatemala that manufactures cotton yarn and fabric made from upcycled denim and cotton fiber. You can learn more about The New Denim Project and their 100% closed loop manufacturing process on the journal.
Another partner, Panoco Trading, is a supplier based in Tokyo producing all organic cotton. It is bioRe certified, which is a complementary standard to Global Organic Textile Standard. In addition to the use of GOTS-certified fibers, this certification includes social and environmental standards to ensure the well-being of the people producing them.
Instead of plastic, we store and sell our garments in reusable mesh bags. These bags serve as an excellent way to store your beloved piece or can be repurposed (i.e. produce bags at the grocery store, laundering delicates or shell collecting.)
Our yarns and fabrics are sourced from top quality mills in Guatemala, Peru, and Japan. Our mission is to keep the materials and corresponding production as local as possible. By removing unnecessary shipping in the manufacturing process, we are reducing our carbon footprint, working to provide jobs in the local communities, and building long term relationships with suppliers and artisans.
Our knitwear is created using both handloom flatbed machines and Shima Seiki whole-garment knitting machines. Both processes create a fully fashioned product, meaning each piece is knit to the exact shape and there is no left over material waste. By creating a high quality garment with impeccable craftsmanship, our hope is that you will keep your Kordal pieces for many years and when it reaches its end of life it can be recycled back into the earth. To increase the lifespan of our knitwear, we offer mending services for all of your Kordal knitwear purchases.
Innovative Knitwear, founded in 2009 by Eunice Moran, is a fair trade knitwear development and production company based in Lima, Peru. They combine the traditional creativity and technique of Peruvian artisanship with innovative designs. The result is the finest knitted garments in natural fibers like Baby Alpaca, Alpaca, Cotton, and wool.
Revolution Knitwear, founded in 2018 by Carolina Grau, is a fair trade knitwear development and production company based in Lima, Peru. Their main focus is working with local mills to source dead-stock yarn and low impact natural fibers. They produce garments and accessories using zero-waste methods, working with local artisans and weavers to create consciously made textiles.
Our first sweater samples wouldn’t have come to life if not for Ellen Ygwo of Lucci Yarn. She introduced us to a cottage industry of knitters working on handloom knitting machines in her Queens, NY neighborhood. All of our sweaters made using locally sourced or deadstock yarn are produced on the handloom machines under Ellen’s careful eye.
NY Urban Fashion
A family owned factory based in New York City’s garment district. They have been operating for over a decade, providing jobs for NYC’s historic garment industry.
Our newest partner, LA Workshop was established in 2017, they are a Fair Trade Certified manufacturer based in Guatemala City. In addition to working towards a zero emissions goal, they’re mission is to “build a bridge between the ideas of designers and production. Create a socially conscious place, where you can feel the construction of your designs are aligned with your ideals.” - Factory Owner Sergio Kozina
Located in Cincinnati OH, Sew Valley is a place very close to our hearts, established in 2017 by a fellow designer and friend Rosie Kovacs, it provides the growing fashion community with resources and technology to build scalable, sustainable and responsible brands. Sew Valley has officially moved into their permanent home in Cincinnati's West End neighborhood. Find us on the first floor of the National Flag Company's building, where they have been sewing and manufacturing flags for almost 150 years!
Keeping your Kordal pieces looking great requires the proper care. Mindful washing, storage and mending not only makes the garments last, it also protects the environment by conserving resources like water, energy and textile material.
Clean selectively. Only wash your garments when necessary. If you notice a small stain, often times you can spot clean with a bit of warm water and soap. This will conserve water and energy + avoid fiber degradation
Use cold water. Opting for cooler temperatures preserves energy and is gentler on the fibers
Air dry. Staying away from the dryer saves electricity and protects your garment from the harsh heat.
Repair. Often times you can repair minor damages like a loose button or snag at home
Get it tailored. Sometimes the fit just doesn’t quite work and it’s too much to do on your own -- no worries! Find a local tailor to adjust your garment as desired
Renew. Make the old into something fresh! Shorten, re-sew, over-dye -- the options are endless :)
Swap with a friend.
Resell on an online shop or consignment store.
Donate or recycle. Kordal partners with Fabscrap, a NYC based company that’s tackling the textile waste problem by repurposing discarded textiles.
Return it back to Kordal and we can help find a new home :)