Something shifted in me around the time of my pregnancy back in 2017. Even though I had owned my share of hemp and organic cotton clothing…and steadily sifted through the endless racks of thrift and consignment store shops for second hand threads…fibers…all of a sudden…became more of an interest for me.
There was something about their texture, their source, and their color that began speak to me in a different way than they had before. It’s as if I hadn’t noticed the way cotton felt or linen or wool. It’s as if I hadn’t noticed the care made to make some garments while others hummed of machines and factories.
The fibers started to come alive in my hands…each telling their story.
Some of them told a story of a company eager to pay workers a fair wage. Some of them told a story of using sustainable and organic fibers. And, some of them told a story of traditional techniques and plant dyeing.
Some were store bought. Some were things I had traded for. Some were bought in a second hand shop.
They each had a story to tell.
Maybe it was the growing daughter in my belly…and my desire to have gentle things on her skin. Or, maybe it was the increased urgency to stop polluting with my clothing choices. I’m not sure…
But, it seems my curiosity about fibers, their source, and their gentleness on the Earth has magnified each day as my baby gestated in the womb…and this has continued as I raise her.
Some of you, who regularly read my blog, have seen the posts about micro-plastics, alternative and sustainable fibers, and now plant dyeing (and here’s another post).
So, you can tell this is a growing interest of mine. With so much waste being produced by the fashion industry, so much toxicity flowing into the environment from factories, and the exploitation of human labor…I’ve decided to make some commitments.
- Buy used when possible (lots of tag flipping in thrift and consignment stores!)
- Buy natural fiber clothing
- Support small businesses and women-owned businesses when possible
- Own less clothes; mostly things I really love that will last a long time
- Buy plant dyed fibers or non-toxic dyed fabrics when possible (much harder to find, but definitely a growing movement)
So, I put out a call to friends to share with me their favorite brands and small, sustainable crafters. I also look for these brands when I’m shopping at a second hand shop…
Here’s the list! Please add any others in the comments section!
Eileen Fisher – uses many organic, and sustainable fibers
Everlane – commitment to sustainable fibers and fair wages
Madewell – many 100% cotton and 100% linen items, not sure about worker wages
Maggie’s Organics – an long-time name in the organic cotton, fair trade movement
PACT – organic cotton clothing for adults and kiddos
Indigenous – a brand I saw at many Green Fests when I lived in SF
Groceries Apparel – organic and sustainable fibers
Back Beat Rags – small-batch clothing, organic fibers, plant dyed fibers
Cut Loose – organic cotton, linen, rayon
Mollusk – hemp, organic cotton
Jungmaven – hemp, organic cotton
Pyne & Smith Clothiers – linen
Conscious Clothing – organic and sustainable fibers
Rambler’s Way – Tom’s of Maine founder now explores US wool and cotton
Even Smaller Clothing Crafters
Wild Craft Company
Belle Weather Designs
Bohemian Folk Clothing
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Yes! I just saw that! I’ll share it in my next email, for sure… It’ll probably go out in the next day or so!
Has anyone found a someone that you take your old clothes to (like hole-y, ripped, worn-out, etc.) and they tailor them into something new for you? I’ve been dreaming for several years of somebody I could even mail clothing to, say like 2 pieces, and then have them make one new piece from the two. I wonder if any of these small crafters would do that?
I recently patched up a shirt, Ethan, by hand sewing and then plant dyed it…gave it to a friend and she loves it! So, yes…I’ve done that.
Oh, you mean old clothes (many pieces) and they craft something totally new? Well, that’s where the old quilting tradition came from…so there are definitely people looking for certain scraps to make quilts. I’m sure there are some folks who make clothing as well. Yolende in the Delta does this in MS!