This article was originally published on CultureMap Dallas by Cecilia Lenzen. Check out the full piece here.
Dallas-born designer Monica Millington is launching a new loungewear brand that, she hopes, will provide an ethical alternative to fast fashion while playing on millennial nostalgia. Called Sette, it's a line of sustainable, unisex loungewear officially launching online Saturday, August 27.
The brand consists of two collections: the Sweat Sette Collection (a bamboo-cotton blend crewneck pullover, sweatpant, tee, shorts, and socks) and The Towel Boy capsule collection (cabana shirt, tee, bralette, two styles of shorts, and a jogger made of Turkish toweling fabric).
Millington, 31, a Highland Park High School and Baylor University graduate, says she wanted to create a brand for current audiences that was also timeless.
“[Sette] is for someone who is looking to do great things with their life and wanna look fabulous doing it,” Millington says.
She was inspired by the wildly popular Juicy Couture sweatpants and track suits of the early 2000s, she says, which have been making a comeback. She fondly kept her own Juicy tracksuit for 15 years before it frayed apart, and now she wants to appeal to that millennial nostalgia — something wearers could “throw on and live in” and feel proud to keep in their wardrobe for a long time, she says.
Sette's pieces are casual, sporty, and comfortable, and designed to mix and match and dress up or down.
They're high quality, but also affordable, ranging from just $30 to $150.
Millington dreamed up the loungewear line during the pandemic when she, like most people, lived in loungewear daily. But she was disheartened and frustrated by the number of big brands making “crappy” clothes without sustainability in mind. She could spend more than $100 on a pair of sweatpants at a store like Zara, she says, but those sweats wouldn’t last more than a few washes without pilling or falling apart.
Splurging to spend hundreds on a pair of designer sweatpants wasn’t a good alternative because she would be afraid to spill something like spaghetti sauce on them.
“I was looking at this huge gap, thinking, ‘It’s not that hard to create something like this that’s at a reasonable price point, that’s made ethically, that’s made well, that’s made with eco-friendly materials. Why is no one else really doing this well?’” Millington says.
Sette will create garments in limited quantities with a mission to create fewer, better clothes. Each Sette garment is made from 70 percent bamboo and 30 percent cotton. Millington says she uses primarily bamboo because it’s a low-impact resource that is easy to grow and harvest ethically. When bamboo is used to make clothing, it gets softer with age without weakening — meaning it’s perfect for clothing meant to last a long time.
For each garment bought, a tree will be planted in Indonesia through the brand’s partnership with One Tree Planted, an environmental nonprofit that plants trees around the world.
As for the name, "Sette" is Italian for seven, which is Millington's lucky number, and Italy is her favorite place to vacation. Plus, the idea of the brand is that everything is part of a mix-and-matching set. The word also evokes the brand's tennis motif.
Sette loungewear is not the designer’s first foray into the fashion industry. In 2020, she launched Tropick, a men’s performance wear that got her noticed in the fashion world. Shortly after debuting Tropick, she was cast on The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition on Netflix. She was a finalist on the show, which gave her the traction to launch Sette, a brand more personal to her.
Millington now lives in Singapore with her husband, but she has returned to Dallas to launch Sette at a private event on August 24. On August 27, the line will become available online only, but Millington hopes to do some Dallas-area pop-up events and to get the brand into local stores soon; watch for updates on Instagram.
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