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Sustainability Blog and EcoPetites News — Category_Behind the scenes RSS



How can I measure progress?

Then and now: how green I am. As a sustainable-modeled business, you know I value that which is green, in the eco-friendly sense, but that is not what I mean here. This is a major career change for me, coming from a background as a medical illustrator and moving into fashion. And I started out green, and I mean green behind the ears, not knowing what I was getting myself into kind of green! Now, don't get me wrong: there are some things I know that do apply: sewing and designing my own clothes for 20+ years, knowledge of human anatomy, experience in running a solo business and a passion for sustainability. But when it came to how to start...

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Hand-dyed Fabric, gone full circle

The MN Textile Center has been a wonderful find for me. And this is the story of fabric I dyed that has now gone full circle! I first learned how to dye fabric by taking classes there: Color Wheel in Cotton, Mastering MX Dyes and Bengala Dying. The instructors are so helpful and knowledgeable, and I had lots of fun meeting the other students as well. Then it came time to dye fabric on my own, and I rented the dye lab there to experiment first, and then dye a whopping 10 yard piece of hemp/organic cotton fabric! These photos show me in the dye lab (on a cold winter's day), the experimenting and then the 10 yard piece all...

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Why I do this

Sometimes people ask me, why did I decide to jump in and start this business? What is my passion and what does it mean to me? I believe in being part of a positive change in how the fashion industry produces clothing, from the fibers to the factory. Mostly, I care about how the industry affects the people in it, wherever they are in the world. I want my children to know that exploitation does not have to be tolerated as status quo and that we don’t have to turn a deaf ear while others suffer, just so we can have something we want but don’t really need. My kids are citizens of the world. One was born in Guatemala,...

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How the Fabrics Were Chosen

The fabrics were chosen for various qualities. First and foremost, the fabrics are chosen based on my commitment to sustainability. There are many factors to take into consideration right there. This can be its own topic! For my first line, Spring/Summer 2015, the fabrics have all been sourced from Pickering International, who specializes in supplying eco and sustainable fabrics. You can read more about them by clicking here. Another reason for choosing this supplier is a very practical one: I can purchase relatively small amounts of fabric at wholesale prices. As a small business just starting out, this is critical. The next attribute I looked for in the fabrics was their durability. I tested various fabrics by putting them in...

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The New Year's Resolution that Birthed a Business

I have made plenty of resolutions that I didn’t keep, just like everyone else. But one resolution actually stuck, and led to one change after another. It was my 2012 resolution. I resolved to not buy any newly produced conventionally grown cotton. Why I chose that is the topic for another story. I wasn’t perfect in keeping that resolution: I bought my son canvas sneakers and I bought vitamins with cotton balls stuck in the tops. And I wasn’t even sure if the choices it led to were good ones: is silk any better? Polyester? But it sure did make me think about every purchase and led to research on other fibers. Some items were easy. Take kids clothing: lots...

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