our philosophy

design principles:

The ishi design and production process is grounded in these principles:


  • Fair-trade wages
  • Chemical-free production
  • 10% of profits donated


  • Natural dyes
  • Organic fabric
  • Near-zero waste


  • Vibrant
  • Functional
  • Unique

anatomy of an ishi vest:

    Not only are ishi vests fair-trade, chemical-free, and 100% awesome, but 10% of all profits go to sustainability efforts in India and the U.S. that ishi supporters find inspiring. We simply select projects that we love and allow customers to vote for the ones they believe in.

    With an ishi vest, you get to stand out while you stand up for people & the planet.

    operating principles

    “Create, Connect, and Transform,” are the three operating principles that fuel the ishi vest team.


    The team creates vibrant designs, starting with a fresh take on a traditional Indian vest style that is easy for Western audiences to appreciate. “Vests with benefits” are vibrant, functional, and one-of-a-kind.

    Key innovations include our natural-dye production process and useful inner and outside pockets. The organic cotton vests feature splashes of herbal color and unexpected inside patterns that give them that one-of-a-kind artisan feel. In addition, ishi scarves now incorporate innovative touches like a tailored credit card pocket.


    Helping customers to connect the dots and feel good about how their clothes are made is what motivates ishi vest to practice radical supply chain transparency. A visit to our FAQ page shows interviews with the factory and a description of the eco-conscious and people-first process by which our products are made. Supply chain concerns have become increasingly widespread, captured by headlines like the horrific Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh or tragic cotton farmer suicides in India.

    As part of our mission, ishi vest participates in forums and public appearances to address standards in the fashion industry. By engaging in these venues, the team seeks to connect Chicago, San Francisco, and US-based consumers to the workers who weave their fabrics halfway across the globe.


    Ultimately, by leveraging an integrated social media, email, and event strategy, the ishi team invites customers and supporters to join both local and global movements working to transform fashion. As part of its mission, the team also engages in public education on behalf of Fair Trade adoption, including at the 2014 Green Fest Chicago, World Fair Trade Day, and most recently supporting the Sweat Free Ordinance for the City of Chicago. Finally, ishi vest is committed to donating a full 10% of profits back to sustainability-minded charities that customers choose.

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