Brand You Need to Know: Backbeat Rags
The gist: Everlane quit its tech job in San Francisco and moved to Venice Beach.
Creator and brand founder Isadora Alvarez emigrated from the Philippines to San Francisco before making her way to Los Angeles to launch her business. What started as a vintage tee shop became Backbeat Rags in 2016 — a California cool collection of eco-conscious clothing, with several pieces made from (you guessed it) hemp.
While the collection isn’t entirely hemp, you can find hemp-specific pieces like long robe-style sweaters, cargo culottes (yes, that’s a thing), and tie-dye tees (so LA). The resulting vibe — thanks to both the materials and the aesthetic design — is a mix of playful, cool, and edgy. A look that’s decidedly Dogtown with a touch of Farrah Fawcett on a skateboard.
Backbeat focuses on having a low environmental impact, and that goes beyond hemp. Through the use of GOTS-certified organic cotton, recycled cotton, and tencel in their line, plus “100-percent post-consumer recycled mailers and clothing bags” for packaging and shipping, the brand is just as sustainable as they are fashion forward.
They also have a local approach. Each piece is made from locally-sourced and knitted materials from family-owned businesses. The goal? “Support local makers and create jobs at every rung of the supply ladder, while also minimizing our environmental imprint.”
The price point of each piece in the collection reflects the ethics that went into making it — but without the markup. From $38 for a t-shirt to $160 for a jumpsuit, Backbeats range is at the intersection of affordable and ethical.
The brandless, logo-free, classic styles ensure that this is anything but fast fashion.
While there’s no physical space for Backbeat Rags just yet, all of their range is available online, and they have pop ups in Los Angeles throughout the year. There are also a variety of boutiques along the pacific coast that keep Backbeat in stock — so keep your eyes peeled for those if you want to shop IRL.
Our favorites? Obviously, those cargo culottes! Come on! It’s not often you can find such a fun fashion piece and know it’s made from sustainable hemp, so yes — they’re in our shopping cart.
Written By: Dominique Astorino