The name of apparel company YIREH, meaning "will provide" in Hebrew, serves as a reminder for the clothing brand's founder. A founder who defies the toxicity of the fashion industry, from the way her Oahu-based company manufactures its pieces to the positive body images it supports through its designs.
"It's something that has been a mantra for my young adult life," says founder Emily Jaime referring to YIREH's meaning. "Always wanting to be that source for helping people. Believing if I give... I'll always be provided for too."
Through her apparel company, Jaime does just that. YIREH, founded in 2014, manufactures its products ethically as well as encourages comfort and confidence to customers through blog posts and designs.
"I want to be a light in the fashion industry," Jaime says. "Do things differently than what has been done before though sustainable versus fast fashion, encouraging (women) instead of feeding on their insecurities."
Jaime says she approaches her designs intending to make women feel comfortable while wearing them. She markets her pieces through the lens that her clientele is already beautiful and unique.
"You don't need a dress to be beautiful. You are already beautiful." Jaime says, noting she wants women to wear outfits for themselves, what feels best for them.
Ethereal comfort-forward designs fill her online store galleries. The jumpers, rompers, and dresses boasting delicate floral, striped, or geometric designs all have a loose-fitting and classy aesthetic.
YIREH’s product descriptions of the maxi dresses encourage the versatility of the piece. They explain how each can be worn to create a casual ensemble with flats or sport shoes and to achieve a formal look with heels. Either way, YIREH promises the wearer will be comfortable in the nonrestrictive, and flowy garment.
Every year, YIREH releases four collections; each of those collections has one to three new prints.
"All of our prints are unique," Jaime says. "I feel like that is what first attracts people to us: the prints and different silhouettes."
Her manufacturing process underscores her ethics.
"We have very strict guidelines for how I manufacture and make sure everything is ethical," Jaime says. "It's been the guiding point for the company."
YIREH's fabric designs are all digitally printed and use no water in the process. Jaime says her company also uses non-toxic eco-certified dyes.
In addition, YIREH donates excess fabrics to micro businesses in Indonesia, where Jaime currently manufactures her products.
"We try to eliminate waste as much as we can," Jaime says. "It's still a journey, but we make efforts where we can."
Jaime's overall goal is to move the first run of the manufacturing process to the islands.
"We're making efforts toward sustainability," Jaime says, noting her garments are still wrapped in plastic when shipped—something she hopes to change. "We're very transparent about our faults and what we still have to work on... Letting our customers know that we're taking small steps where we can as we grow."
Right now, Jaime has a small team working to accomplish these goals, but she hopes to expand to create more full-time jobs for the community.
"I definitely want to have an in-house team of employees and see myself moving into the space of having a headquarters here," Jaime says.
YIREH's items are primarily marketed through an online store and sold by wholesale accounts on Oahu, in California, Arizona, Texas, Maine, Colorado, and Alaska.
Jaime's goal for YIREH is to increase its devout customer base by building awareness for her brand and mission.
"I have a really loyal base of customers," Jaime says, noting she believes it is the ethos of the brand that attracts the returning customers. “I think it’s a combination of being ethically made and being unique and different.”
Local value-added products can contribute to a promising future for diversified agriculture. Mana Up brands have foundations rooted in quality Hawaiʻi-grown ingredients and each founder has a strong commitment to the islands that fosters their success.