We continually have contact with fabrics from the time we are born. Unfortunately, the production of textiles has often involved harmful processes and practices. The use of toxic chemicals has affected land, water, workers and consumers. Unsafe working conditions and child labor have been more common than we’d like to admit. The damage continues to be severe and there is still very little accountability to those that are inflicting the most harm. However, we have many choices, and by making careful buying decisions, we can help change the industry. I hope to be a part of that change by offering these products to you.
To learn more about industrial textile production and brands to beware of check out
The World Watch Institute www.worldwatch.org
The Union of Concerned Scientists www.ucsusa.org
International Program to Eliminate Child Labor www.ilo.org/ipec
Taking these things into consideration, these are the fabrics I work with:
Salvage & Re-Use Materials
These designs are created from remnant or “waste” materials such as burlap coffee bags, leather, upholstery, boat canvas scraps, and more. Often these “waste” materials are simply thrown away. In New York City alone over 18,000 tons of linens are sent to the landfill each year. Salvaging materials not only rescues these valuable resources from the landfill, but it also fulfills my craving for patterns, colors, and textures. The sheer volume and variety of these reuse materials has allowed me to explore designing with many different types of textiles and to be adaptive in my designs to the types of materials available.
Organic and Natural Fibers
For my natural and organic clothing I have researched and sourced materials for sustainability, affordability, durability and comfort. These fabrics not only look and feel wonderful; they are a great way to support organic agriculture and fairly traded goods. All of the organic and natural fabrics I use meet the Global Organic Textile Standards.
As the blending and weaving of fibers becomes increasingly diverse a growing range of incredible fabrics becomes available. I use organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, soy, silk, linen and combinations or blends of these fibers. Many of the colors I use are custom dyed, inspired by native Michigan plant dyes and the Great Lakes landscape. These rich and luxuriant fabrics are made to be lived in. From undergarments to over skirts designs are functional and unique. The beauty is in the simplicity. These clothes are easy to integrate with your other clothing, they are fun to accessories with and can be layered, mixed and matched to create a variety of looks.