Shop Sustainable, Locally-Made Fashion With Nathalia JMag’s Collection

One of Boston’s rising fashion stars proves that sustainability and style don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

A self-proclaimed one-woman show, Nathalia JMag designs and produces her collection entirely from her home studio. / Photo by Mona Miri

Clothing these days comes with a heavy footprint, from the wastewater involved in dying garments to the shipping of materials back and forth across the globe to the unimaginably vast landfills of fast-fashion garments we wear a handful of times and then throw to the wayside. Bellingham-based designer Nathalia Jeronymo Magalhães wants to change that by cutting back—way back—on fashion’s environmental impact. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that she goes by the shortened Nathalia JMag professionally.

“I have always wanted my brand to be sustainable,” says JMag, citing the natural beauty of her native Colombia as one of the driving forces of her passion for the environment. But just because her clothing line is good for the earth doesn’t mean it’s “earthy crunchy.” An alumna of Project Runway Season 15 (the same season that Boston natives Erin Robertson and Cornelius Ortiz appeared on the show), JMag combines a carefree, almost whimsical design sensibility with intention, intelligence, and a deep understanding of fashion’s true cost.

Organic cotton comes to life with grommet detailing and a lace-up front in JMag’s popular “Dress Shirt” design ($155) / Photo by Bruce Peterson / Styling by Laura Nero/Anchor Artists

Her latest collection, for example, features flouncy blouses dyed yellow with turmeric instead of chemical dyes; flattering jeans (a bestseller) cut and sewn from destined-for-landfill salvage denim; and perfect-for-fall coats crafted from low-impact organic cotton and hemp canvas. JMag uses a zero-waste design approach, saving all scraps for use in unique one-off garments or art pieces. She currently runs her direct-to-consumer e-commerce business from her home studio, where each piece is made to order, eliminating the burden (and waste) of unsold stock. Her space also doubles as a laboratory of sorts where she constantly experiments with new natural dyes such as tea, madder root, avocado pits and peels, and cochineal beetles.

So why is this forward-thinking designer still here, and not working in a fashion capital like New York or Paris? Put simply, “People have great style in Boston,” JMag says—not to mention an appreciation for well-made garments that have more to them that meets the eye. “When I put on a fashion show, people show up. Even though some say it’s not a fashion hub, I feel like people really crave fashion here.”

Things We Love

Photo by Bruce Peterson / Styling by Laura Nero/Anchor Artists

1 “Belle” tie-dye top, $135.

Photo by Bruce Peterson / Styling by Laura Nero/Anchor Artists

2 Two-tone jeans, $125.