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THE WAIGHT FOUNDER: COURTNEY LEVI HUNTER

THE WAIGHT FOUNDER: COURTNEY LEVI HUNTER

Tell us about yourself.

I live in Seattle, in a neighborhood called Ballard. I moved here from NYC in January of 2022. I also have a 5-month-old son, Luca. I recently resigned from my day job to pursue The Waight full time, so lots of exciting changes in my life right now. I love wine and cheese and skiing, if all of those can be combined, then I’m very very happy. 

What inspired you to start the brand and where did the name THE WAIGHT originate from?

I was inspired to start The Waight because there was a very particular fit of a high-waisted sweatpant that I was wishing I had. Simultaneously, I was educating myself on slow fashion and sustainability, so it was a natural fit to combine the two for my first product.

The name is a nod to slow fashion, slow living, and the dyed-to-order model that I operate with. It is a play on the idea that good things are worth waiting for.

What challenges did you face when starting the brand?

When I first started The Waight, I was going to work with cashmere. I had my first samples but encountered some alarming issues with supply chain transparency. I wanted more information about exactly where my yarn was coming from and also pictures of the factory. Mostly I just wanted some fun behind the scenes content but when I couldn’t get that information from my overseas partners I was really concerned. It caused me to reexamine my entire concept, slow down, and start again. I joined a sustainable fashion incubator called Factory 45 and decided to make my supply chain local, traceable, and lean.

Tell us about your ‘field to fabric’ model and how you found the right manufacturing partners to work with.

‘Field to Fabric’ is the same idea as ‘Farm to Table’. You know the farm where your food came from and you are enjoying the end product. In our case, I know the fields where our organic cotton is grown in Texas, I know the mill where the yarn is knit into the soft and luxe fabric that is our end product. It’s all about knowing what you are getting and who is making it along the way.

I made your clothes photo

Walk us through your dying process.

The dye process is completely done by me. Each dye has a unique process, but for example I can explain the avocado dye (the one that started it all). I partner with restaurants to get enough avocado pits when I have large batches of orders. In NYC, I partnered with Butcher’s Daughter in Nolita, which is just a fun fact because its a delicious spot. Their line cooks would just save the pits for me and I’d do a big pick up every week or two. I always got some strange looks when the pick up would happen. It was really a win win, because it keeps the pits out of the trash and I could not have collected enough no matter how much avocado toast I eat (and it is a lot).

The pits are then split and heated to coax the pinkish hue out of the pit. I can take up to 12 hours to get to the right shade. The pieces are mordanted to make sure the dye will take to the fabric and then they are dyed for up to 12 hours with lots of stirring and watching to make sure it’s even and a perfect shade is attained. I like it to have a slightly pinkish tone and not too beige.

The Avocado Dyed Uniform

Share your proudest moment as a founder.

It was awesome to see Lauren Singer from @trashisfortossers wearing the set. She lives up to the gold standard for sustainability but is also so chic, she pulls it off so well.

What is your favorite piece from your brand?

The Un-Dyed High Rise Sweatpant. I’m obsessed with them for travel. I feel cute and put together and they are so flattering. But my favorite part is the pockets are so huge, I can fit my cell phone and whatever other random things I need to carry. Most recently it was a baby rattle at the airport, and I was so happy it fit.

Is there a sustainable brand that inspires you?

Mara Hoffman, I love her aesthetic and she has been doing it slow and steady for a long time.

What can we expect to see from the brand in the next couple of seasons?

I have been doing ceramics as a hobby for several years, but I am honing my craft and slowly introducing ceramics for the home. Also, in apparel more pieces with a versatile or travel angle. I’m interested in sustainable fabrics that are wrinkle-resistant. 

Share with us something we should know about THE WAIGHT.

I love making custom pieces for people and collaborating with clients. I’m happy to do it on a special dye, I have a dye lab page on my website where clients can check out the range of colors that are possible.

 

Shop THE WAIGHT's loungewear on MenoMieux and keep up with the brand's projects and new drops by following @thewaight on IG!

 

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