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.
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
Mollusk – 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