RTR Career Files: Female Founders for Mother Earth

At Rent the Runway, we’re pioneering a sharing economy that proves that great style doesn’t have to come at an environmental cost. This Earth Month, we’re spotlighting like-minded women who are making strides in sustainability. We sat down with seven female founders to talk careers, style, and what it means to be building a greener future for us all.

 

STEPHANIE SUBERVILLE

Design Director, AMUR

 

Stephanie-Amur

 

AMUR is a clothing collection created in New York City that was born from the concept that great style does not have to come at the expense of our environment—and that design can strike a balance between beauty and good intentions. It’s an approach that’s woven into our very name: A Mindful Use of Resources.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB. WHAT DO YOU DO?

I design the collection for AMUR and collaborate on all creative aspects of the company along with the whole AMUR team. I manage the design process from initial concept/inspiration to final product.

 
AMR67 AMR52 AMR61

AMUR: Floral Dress, Denim Dress, Top

 

What does sustainable design mean to you?

It’s the practice of creating a product while keeping in mind the environment.

What’s an easy way for us all to live more sustainably?

Don’t buy things you’re not planning on wearing more than once. Look for things that are meant to last.

What led you to sustainable design?

I watched the documentary True Cost a few years ago and that was really a big eye-opener. Then I was really introduced to what it meant to be sustainable by our CEO, during my first interview. There was a lot to learn at first, but once you figure it out it’s hard to go back.

Favorite Sustainable Brands or Products:

Stella Mccartney is definitely a leader in sustainable and responsible fashion. She keeps pushing the envelope for what can be done without compromising her design aesthetic

My Self-Care Ritual:

I’ve started buying clean beauty products. Gucci Westman’s makeup line has brushes made out of sustainable materials.

 
 

 

 
 
 
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Sarah Kauss

Founder & CEO, S’well

Sarah-Kauss-S'Well
 

S’Well was founded in 2010 with the mission to rid the world of plastic water bottles. Now, it’s one of the fastest woman-owned companies in the country. S’well’s goal is to create products that are both beautiful and eco-friendly, that infuse innovation with inspiration, and that continue to give back to communities in need.

 

Tell us about your job. What do you do?

As CEO, I wear many hats. Every day brings something different—which is what I love the most. My days are filled with a ton of meetings from seasonal line reviews and partnership planning, to business growth and operations.

Career Highlight:

Participating in conferences where the guests come up to me and share how S’well has impacted their daily lives.

Power Outfit:

I feel most comfortable in a beautiful printed dress. I always keep a tailored blazer on hand for the polished finishing touch.

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Dress: Kate Spade New York, Blazer: 3.1 Phillip Lim, Dress: Rebecca Taylor

 

Best Career Advice:

Trust your gut and pursue what you want wholeheartedly. Whether it’s asking for a new project at work or starting your own entrepreneurship journey, don’t be afraid to take risks.

Self-Care Ritual:

I love to cook and bake. Following a favorite family recipe or trying a new one for an intimate dinner with family and friends is my way of de-stressing from a long day in the office.

 
 

 

 
 
 
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Jessica Schreiber & Camille Tagle

Executive Director & Director of Reuse, FABSCRAP

FABSCRAP
 

FABSCRAP provides convenient pickup of fabric scraps from commercial businesses in NYC. By working with an engaged network of students, professors, artists, crafters, emerging designers, industrial processors, and utilizing new technologies, FABSCRAP aims to reuse or recycle fabric scraps to maximize diversion from landfill and compile data on the commercial textile waste stream.

Tell us about your job. What do you do?

Camille: I develop any areas of the business that involve encouraging the reuse of fabric. I build partnerships with designers and organizations who are looking to source fabric, manage our online and in-store operations, plan pop up fabric events within local communities, and work with aspiring designers to consider more sustainable approaches to design.

 

Jessica: I wear a lot of hats everyday! I manage the staff, budget and fundraising, strategic planning, press, program development and general administration. I love that every day is a little bit different and always includes a lot of problem solving.

Best Career Advice:

Camille: It’s never too late to reinvent yourself or to follow your passions. Just allow yourself to dream!

 

Jessica: Never stop learning! Even though there are a million daily tasks to complete, we have to make and invest time in our personal and professional development.

Power Outfit:

Camille: I feel the most “me” when wearing my leather jacket, black V-neck tank, torn jeans, and combat boots—it gives me the ultimate confidence to tackle the day!

 

Jessica: Our work still requires a lot of physical activity – moving boxes and bags of fabric around the warehouse, so I’m usually in jeans and sneakers.

SAS15 TXO8 ALSHNB54
 

Jacket: Samantha Sipos, Jeans: 3X1, Bag: AllSaints

Career Highlight:

Camille: Prior to FABSCRAP, I worked as an evening wear designer and my brightest career highlights were when my designs graced the red carpet at the Emmy’s, Golden Globes, and the Oscars—and eventually the Rent the Runway site!

 

Jessica: At the end of last year, there was an article about FABSCRAP in Forbes. That was pretty mind-blowing.

A Woman Who Inspires Me

Camille & Jessica: The women we work with at FABSCRAP are so intelligent, talented and passionate. We are honored to “attempt the impossible” with them each day.

 

 

 
 
 
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Ellie Dinh

Co-Founder & Creative Director, Girlfriend Collective

Ellie-GF-Collective
 

Girlfriend Collective produces ethically manufactured leggings, sports bras, and tops for women of all body shapes.The Seattle-based startup strives to be completely transparent about each step of their process, from where they source the post-consumer water bottles that go into their eco-friendly leggings (each legging is made from 25 recycled water bottles!), to the health insurance policies provided to their factory workers.

 

Tell us about your job. What do you do?

We’re a really small team so everyone does a lot of jobs! Most of my time is spent on content creation – planning photoshoots, designing emails, and curating really anything visual that our customers see – but I’m also involved in the design and color selection for our new releases.

Do you have a side hustle?

My forever side hustle is raising my 1-year-old son and also currently growing his sibling.

Power Outfit:

These days it’s all about comfort, so I love my Girlfriend Maternity leggings, with a black trench and white sneakers.

RM57 PBO10 PHLHNB24

Overalls: Rebecca Minkoff, Sweater: PatBO, Bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim

 

Career Highlight:

Anytime I see a woman wearing our leggings in the wild!

Best Career Advice:

Two things I’ve learned – Don’t get hung up on mistakes, failure is sometimes part of the process. And also, be kind! I can’t stress this enough. Treat everyone, at every level, with kindness and respect.

Last Read or Playlist:

Currently reading Nature by Erica Chidi Chohen.

 

 

 
 
 
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Meg He & Nina Faulhaber

Co-Founders & Co-CEOs, ADAY

Nina-+-Meg-ADAY
 

ADAY is a fast growing direct-to-consumer brand creating a capsule wardrobe of consciously designed, versatile essentials. We are setting a new standard for clothing by fusing minimal, seasonless shapes with technical fabrics, all made with a huge focus on sustainability and conscious consumption.

Tell us about your job, what do you do?

Nina: My role is a bit of everything: from leading the long term vision – to executing the everyday together with our team of super passionate creators and numbers wizards. I care a ton about Product, Brand and all things sustainability to name a few areas – with equally very creative and a lot of numbers and business growth aspects.

 

Meg: I lead our teams which do a lot of the growth, digital and experience. So, a lot of insights from customers and translating that into real ideas that better improve our product and brand.

Career Highlight:

Nina: Working with a team of super talented women at ADAY. I’m so passionate about co-creating the future the way we imagine it to be—beautiful and sustainable. So for me there’s nothing more rewarding than working with the team every single day.

 

Meg: It was clear to us that we wanted to create required specialist technology, only available in a few factories worldwide. So we started by making numerous phone calls to the appropriate factories—and they were unwilling to even begin a conversation with us. We talked to hundreds of people, eventually reaching the ex-CPO of Lululemon. She introduced us to a factory – they too, hung up on us. Again. Eventually, we bought two plane tickets, flew to Portugal and asked them for 30 minutes of their time. They ended up spending the whole day with us. The result? We became the first pre-launch brand to work with them (they also made Michael Phelps’ Olympic swimsuits). We’ve since built up a supply chain from LA to Portugal.

Power Outfit:

Nina: My wardrobe (and my philosophy) is fairly minimalist and I love capsule dressing I’ve loved to complement my outfits it with cute Rent the Runway statement pieces to add the spice.

 

Meg: ADAY’s Everywhere Uniform!

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Top: Rosetta Getty, Pants: J.Crew, Bag: AllSaints

 

Best Career Advice:

Nina: For anything in life: If you’re thinking about it twice, just go for it.

 

Meg: It’s a LOT of work, so make sure you know why you’re in it.

How I Practice Self-Care:

Nina: Being fully in my body and in my mind. I try to achieve this through working out, traveling, meditating, eating healthy and getting my thoughts down on real pieces of paper.

 

Meg: Sleep, long runs and epsom salt baths.

Do you have a side hustle?

Nina: ADAY is my full time hustle, my side hustle and everything in between!

 

Meg: I sell all of my unused clothing on Poshmark. I’ve met some close friends on the platform and it’s an amazing community, as well as a great place to give your wardrobe a second life.

 

 

 
 
 
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Join the Real Sustainable Fashion Movement.

Getting dressed is a dirty business. The average person throws out 83 pounds of clothing per year and fast fashion has a lot to do with that. In fact, it’s one of our biggest motivators: why buy something you’ll only wear once, right?! Join Unlimited and get endless fashion without the waste.