Andrea David had a vision for a brand that would be sustainable and ethical. She began Mesa in 2019 with a line of gender-neutral basics, including sweatpants, shirts, and hoodies. “I think a lot of people have become more aware of sustainability the past couple of years,” David says. “They are moving toward shopping small and supporting brands made with intentionality.”
How did you start Mesa?
In the beginning of 2019, I wrote down brands that I really wanted to work for, artists I was passionate about, and other interests. I realized I wanted to create the brand that I wanted to work for, which encompassed a passion for a holistic lifestyle that focused on exercise, health, wellness, and sustainability, as well as creativity and culture.
How is the line sustainable and ethical?
I looked for suppliers and people who shared the same values I had and a very clear transparency chain. I landed on doing sweatpants, crewnecks, hoodies, and cotton T-shirts that are all unisex sizing, and all the fabric is WRAP certified, which is a nonprofit that promotes ethical and safe manufacturing. The T-shirts are Supima cotton, which is sustainable and super soft.
Why the name Mesa?
A lot of people ask if it’s because it’s from Costa Mesa—that played a part, but it wasn’t the main focus. When I was in college, I studied biological sciences and Spanish, so culture and language is something that really interests me. I wanted it to be a word that was preferably not English but still familiar (enough that people knew what it meant). I wanted this to be an inclusive place; I wanted this to be a place that represents hard work, determination, conversation, and community. I think that the imagery of a table in general was always powerful to me in terms of peacemaking, justice, and conversation—(all these things) happen over a table. I thought of mesa and I was like, “I think this is it.” I’m hoping most people know it means table.
Tell us about expanding into athletic wear.
Basics is what I started out with, but I knew I wanted to do more athleticwear and I knew I wanted to design that myself. I wanted to create a bike short that wasn’t too long or too short. I found a pattern maker in Huntington Beach, and she helped me develop the bike short style that I really like. The material for the bike short is a regenerated nylon from Italy where they turn recycled plastic into nylon.
How did you choose the palette?
I didn’t want the colors to be too minimal because I think color represents approachability. I wanted to keep it simple with a touch of color, because I think that’s also a value with cutting down what we’re buying and making it so you can wear (the pieces) with the rest of your wardrobe for a long time. One day, it would be cool if someone got to pass down their faded heavyweight cotton Mesa crewneck.