Filosofia Exists at the Intersection of Sustainability, Functionality and Beauty
Sofia Kang, Founder of Filosofia
Los Angeles, CA
I live here in Los Angeles with my husband and two children. When it comes to artistic inspiration, I have many muses. My designs are partially inspired by the natural beauty found on the West Coast, along with its relaxed and charming personality. For me, sunshine and cool linen are inseparable. I’m lucky to call this part of the world home and have access to some of the best art, design and architecture.
I’m also deeply connected and inspired by my Korean heritage. I grew up in a suburb outside of Seoul. Korea’s history includes many incredibly talented artisans. The country has earned a reputation for delivering some of the highest quality goods in the world. South Korea is also known for its dedication to sustainability.
My faith influences my designs, too. As a Christian, I believe in treating all humans and the earth with respect and kindness. I personally find that this complements the slow fashion philosophy, which encourages ethical production practices and responsible stewardship of resources.
Filosofia exists at the intersection of sustainability, functionality and beauty. We never lower our standards and each piece is made with excellent craftsmanship. We utilize materials that look good on, are pleasant to wear and require simple care. Filosofia garments are meant to improve with time, becoming beloved staples for any wardrobe.
When designing, I often merge tried-and-true silhouettes with a contemporary twist. I always ask myself, “Is this something I would want to wear?” I’ll often add intentional and practical details like pleats, pockets and leg slits. I want the person wearing Filosofia to feel their best. My designs are meant to elevate everyday moments.
I attended fashion school at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Downtown Los Angeles. After graduating, I found employment within the fast fashion industry. Though I’m grateful for the experience it gave me, I realized that this business model did not align with many of my personal values. I left fast fashion to pursue my own sustainable clothing line, starting Filosofia in 2015. We relaunched in February 2019 with renewed vigor, a fresh website and a spring/summer collection.
The idea for Filosofia truly emerged from my personal experience. It has always been my dream to have my own label, but it has taken some time to discover exactly what I wanted it to look like.
When I was involved in the fast-fashion industry, it was disheartening to see resources used irresponsibly. It’s wasteful and treats individuals — all along the production line — unfairly. I realized that I wanted to be part of the movement toward a more sustainable fashion future. Leaving my job was a risk, but I knew it was the right move for me, my family and my community.
The idea also came from being a busy mom. I needed clothing that was easy to wear, easy to care for and easy to incorporate into my daily life. I keep those qualities in mind when I’m designing, and I hope this is apparent to people who also lead busy lives. I could only hope that wearing a Filosofia garment encourages us (including me!) to slow down once in a while, take a deep breath and notice the smaller details.
Our garments are timeless. They’re meant to be loved and worn through the years, outside of any particular trend. That’s why many of my designs utilize classic and high-quality fabrics, such as linen, organic cotton or Tencel. Each piece is designed to only improve with more wear, getting softer and, of course, accumulating memories.
I also design with a variety of body types and lifestyles in mind. I want anyone to enjoy Filosofia — whether you’re a mom, a frequent traveler, a school teacher or even if you just want a cute jumpsuit to wear around town.
How could we even choose? There are so many beautiful pieces included in our current collection. To narrow it down, we’d love to highlight two.
The first favorite is the Leah Dress. This dress is nothing short of magical — it has a flowing, romantic shape, made from 100% pre washed linen and looks even better on. We highly recommend the Koi color — it’s a dazzling red-orange reminiscent of the best southwest sunsets.
Another garment we’d like to mention is our Trinity Pants. Think of these as an “elevated sweat pant.” They’re part of our loungewear line — and let’s just say, we never want to take them off! The Trinity Pants are made from a silky (and super sustainable) Tencel and organic cotton Blend.
There are several actions we take to ethically and sustainably produce our garments. Firstly, all of our pieces are made here in the USA or in South Korea. I have personally visited the factories to ensure cleanliness and safety. I also partner with manufacturers who pay their workers a livable wage. Eventually, we would love to offer an educational scholarship program. Secondly, we constantly strive to use low-impact materials, such as organic cotton and Tencel. Tencel is incredible — there’s no waste in the production process and it’s biodegradable. I am also interested in a capsule collection made entirely from deadstock fabric, giving new life to usable material that would otherwise end up in a landfill. 11 million tons of textiles are wasted every year — in my eyes, this is simply unacceptable.
We are also in the process of reducing our plastic waste. Currently, we ship Filosofia garments wrapped in a reusable cotton tote rather than the traditional plastic bag. We are investigating biodegradable or compostable plastics to use during the manufacturing process as well. I am the first to acknowledge aspects of Filosofia that are lacking — we are certainly not perfect. But I can guarantee that we are continually looking for new ways to reduce our impact and help ensure a cleaner, healthier future for everyone.