It all begins with the fabrics. I strive to create pieces that are not only exceptionally comfortable, beautiful and functional, but that are also firmly rooted in sustainability. My fabrics are hand selected for their texture, drape, weight and color, as well as their environmental impact and ethical production methods. I source my fabrics from a small handful of suppliers who work closely with the mills to ensure the highest standards are adhered to in all levels of production. All colored fabrics and prints are made with non-toxic, low-impact dyes. With this in mind, I work with the following fabrics:
A responsible and environmentally conscious alternative to conventional cotton, organic cotton is non-genetically modified and grown without the use of harmful pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. In contrast, conventional cotton uses more agricultural chemicals than any other cultivated crop; often as much as one pound of pesticides for every pair of blue jeans.
Instead, organic cotton farmers use integrated soil and pest management techniques such as crop rotation and the introduction of natural predators of common cotton pests. All organic cotton growers must have their fiber certified according to governmental organic farming standards. Both land and crops must be inspected and certified each year by internationally reputable certifying bodies.
Fabric made from organic cotton fiber is delightfully soft and gentle on your skin and breathes easily. It is often blended with other natural fibers such as hemp, wool, bamboo, soy and linen to create a wide variety of weights, textures, weaves and knits.
The organic cotton which I work with is sourced from both the U.S. and overseas. All imported organic cotton is certified fair trade and produced in a mill which is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. As demand for U.S. grown and milled organic cotton increases so does the supply and I am excited to add more domestic organic cotton fabrics to my collection as time goes on.
One of the strongest fibers in the world, hemp grows extremely fast in almost any climate, producing more yield per acre than any other fiber crop. Its strong root system can penetrate up to three feet or more which helps to preserve topsoil and aids in moisture retention, requiring minimal water. Hemp does not deplete the soil, is naturally resistant to pests and will out-compete other plants eliminating the need for pesticides or herbicides.
Fabric made from hemp is incredibly long lasting and softens more and more as you wear and wash. Many of my hemp fabrics are blended with organic cotton to give you the best of both worlds - the durability of hemp with the softness of organic cotton. These blends come in a lovely variety of weights and textures and include light-medium weight jersey, stretch jersey, fleece, and french terry.
Due to current legislation, industrial hemp cannot legally be grown in the U.S. and all hemp fibers sold here are imported from overseas. The hemp fabrics that I work with are certified fair trade.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world. It requires minimal care and is an exceptional carbon dioxide extractor and oxygen emitter. The bamboo fabrics which I work with are made from certified organically grown bamboo. Bamboo fabric is made from both the bamboo fibers and pulp through a fiber extraction process. I source my bamboo fabric exclusively from a supplier that uses a closed loop system for this process.
Fabrics made from bamboo is delightfully soft to the touch and boasts a wonderful drape and a slight sheen. It breathes well and is cool to the touch, making the lighter weight bamboo blend jersey one of my favorites for summer time.
The bamboo fabric that I work with is fair trade certified and conforms to Oeko-Tex Standard 100. It is produced in a mill which is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation.
A great choice for sustainability, the soy fabric that I work with is made from the waste product of soybean oil production. After the soybean oil has been extracted the left over soy protein is isolated and is then refined and processed into a fiber using non-toxic production methods.
Soy fiber is soft and breathable, drapes well, and is very gentle on your skin.
All soy fabrics which I work with are certified fair trade and are often blended with organic cotton.
A protein based fiber made from the unwound fiber of mulberry silkworm cocoons. Silk is strong yet soft and offers an elegant luster and sheen which is unmatched by any other natural fibers. Like all natural fibers, silk is breathable and biodegradable.
Most of the silk which I work with is in the form of a hemp silk blend which is strong, medium weight, boasts an unsurpassed shine and when dyed creates vibrant saturated colors. This hemp silk blend is created in a fair trade certified mill which is member of the Fair Wear Foundation.
One of the first fibers to be spun or woven into fabric, wool is insulating, wrinkle resistant, naturally flame resistant and can be made into a wide variety of fabrics with varying weights and textures.
At present, I work with a limited selection of woolen fabrics including U.S. produced organic merino wool jersey and fair trade hemp and wool blends.
From vintage silk to upcycled cashmere and wool sweaters, upholstery fabric samples and linen table cloths, I love to incorporate salvaged and recycled fabrics into my designs. These unique fabrics add an eclectic variety and spice to my collection. Often times these are materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. I love the process of giving new life to something old or forgotten. For the most part, these recycled pieces are one of a kind and limited edition creations which are only available at my shows and at select stores.
I strive to reduce waste in all areas of my business. As part of the 'slow clothing' movement garments are carefully cut and sewn after you place your order. This allows me to maintain the highest level of craftsmanship throughout the entire process and drastically reduces waste and energy usage and helps to eliminate unwanted excess stock. Remnants and scraps generated through this process are carefully sorted by size shape and color and are recycled and reused accordingly. Larger scraps become one of a kind multicolored skirts, dresses and tunics, medium scraps become kids clothes, hats and tops, small scraps become scarves and accessories and tiny scraps become headbands and embellishing accents to other pieces. Scraps too small to be reused in my clothing line are often donated to other local artists and crafters and have been used for everything from rag rugs to quilts and stuffing for insulating door pillows, cushions and dog beds. Although not entirely there just yet, I am proud to say that I am well on my way to zero waste and continue to refine my process with this ultimate goal in mind.