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Jensen Neff and Ellie Chen, Founders of Oddli

on sparking a style revolution with a fresh and conscious approach.

In the realm of sustainable fashion, Oddli clothing’s Gen Z co-founders, Ellie Chen and Jensen Neff, are sparking a style revolution with their fresh and conscious approach. Born and raised in an era marked by the fashion industry’s tumultuous relationship with the planet, Oddli stands out as a beacon of conscious consumerism with a flair for fun. Motivated by the glaring issue of fabric waste in the industry, Ellie and Jensen spent their senior year at Stanford University building Oddli as the ethical clothing brand of their dreams.

One of Oddli’s distinctive offerings is its signature custom pieces, transforming deadstock fabric — unused material that might otherwise go to waste — into personalized tees and skirts. With the possibility of customization ranging from wearing your name on a tank top to sporting the name of your favorite pasta shape on a T-shirt, Oddli takes wearing your heart on your sleeve to another level through personalized pieces that are truly one of a kind. Through Oddli, Ellie and Jensen invite us to come along as they playfully embrace the joy in self-expression and vibrant authenticity, proving that sustainability can also be a lot of fun.


Photo of a quilt made from deadstock fabric
The Oddli Blanket made from 100 percent deadstock cotton fabric; photography courtesy of Oddli.

Oddli stands at the intersection of sustainability and fashion. How do you define sustainability, and how has your view of sustainability changed since creating Oddli?

Over time with Oddli, we decided to stop using the word sustainability. The overuse and underregulation of sustainability in the fashion industry made the word lose meaning to us. Not using it made us define what it really is to us, which is transparency and trust in three different ways: production, people, and pricing. Production: Right now, we use only organic cottons and upcycled deadstock fabrics. We also try to create pieces that have quality and design that enable timelessness. People: We work locally in Los Angeles, California. Only 3 percent of clothing bought in the United States is made in the United States. Working here allows us to know the people creating our clothing. Pricing: Oddli believes that customers deserve to know how much it costs to create the products they are buying. We aren’t promising perfection, but we are promising an honesty and a trust between our brand and our community and that we do make every decision with an intention and thoughtfulness.

As Gen Z co-founders, you are very in touch with the way members of Gen Z shop in alignment with their values. In what ways does Oddli reflect Gen Z values?

We’ve noticed that a large portion of Gen Z is driven by self-expression and individuality — they’re a community of dreamers and doers. Gen Z also gets the challenges facing our world and demands more of the people and places they buy from. And we like to say that Oddli is kindness within an industry that isn’t always kind.

The Pocket Apron by Oddli and Nala
The Pocket Apron, a collaborative piece between Oddli and Her Name is Nala; photography courtesy of Oddli.
Oddli’s signature custom baby tee
Oddli’s signature custom baby tee made with deadstock letters; photography by Sara Lemieux.

How have you changed as leaders throughout your journey with Oddli?

We met on our second day at Stanford, and during our four years studying product design, we realized how much we loved building and working together. We were 22 and 23 years old when we started Oddli and are turning 26 and 27 this year — we feel like so much of the curiosity and sense of play that was part of our friendship since the beginning has remained and become part of the way we lead, and at the same time, we have both been pushed to fill bigger shoes than we were used to. We’re a duo that demonstrates that with kindness and hard work it’s possible to bring something powerful into the world, and we’re excited about continuing to grow into these roles as Oddli grows.

We’re in a moment where everyone wants to share their story, and the feeling of having a unique piece is the perfect invitation to connect and share.

Oddli is known for its signature custom pieces, which turn deadstock into personalized tees and skirts. How do you see personalized pieces as a tool for connection?

I remember the feeling of going to a souvenir store growing up and looking for my name, Jensen, and often not being able to find it or feeling so happy when I did. Personalization allows for everyone to be included. We’re in a moment where everyone wants to share their story, and the feeling of having a unique piece is the perfect invitation to connect and share.

Jensen and Ellie behind the scenes at Oddli
Jensen Neff and Ellie Chen behind the scenes at Oddli; photography by Emma Berson.

You’ve described Oddli clothing as “something we were excited to wear that morning when you wake up and are like, ‘I have something so fun going on today!’” What role does fun play in Oddli?

We love seeing people choose Oddli as their uniform for their birthday, graduation, first dates, etc. At its best, Oddli gives people permission to feel and act more like themselves, and that stems from the sense of inclusion and play that’s built into the brand.

Zehra Javed headshot

By Zehra Javed

Zehra Javed is the associate editor of With experience in social media management and new media, particularly TikTok, Zehra is passionate about using social media as a tool for connection. As a member of Generation Z, Zehra has grown up navigating between the physical and digital worlds. With one foot on grass and one foot online, she is constantly seeking a balance to integrate who we are in person and who we are onscreen so that we can be more connected than ever. Zehra holds a bachelor of science in industrial distribution, with minors in computer science and mathematics from Texas A&M University.

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