The story behind EcoPetites

It's been a long time since I've posted about why I do this! And I just added this story to my "about" page, and thought I would share it with you.

The kernel of the idea for EcoPetites was born after I went to a live lecture given by Nobel peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchú Tum. She speaks about the plight of indigenous people of the Americas by telling the stories from her own experiences as a Mayan in Guatemala. I ended up at this lecture because my son, who was adopted, is also Mayan, also from Guatemala. I listened to her tell her story about watching her little brother die in a cotton field, basically from poverty, and I was changed forever. I could not benefit from the gift of adopting this wonderful child and be part of the system that created and sustained this poverty at the same time.

At this point in time, I had already been learning about the importance of alternative and more ethical options in agriculture through membership in the local co-ops. It dawned on me that the harmful labor and environmental practices of agriculture related to food also exist in producing fibers for textiles. My first step began as a New Year’s resolution in which I boycotted all newly produced conventional cotton. In that year I learned a lot, as I sought alternatives and followed my curiosity about the textile and fashion industry.

Some alternatives were easier to find than others. I was able to buy organic cotton clothing or used clothing for my kids. I found ethical menswear brands for their dad. But it was difficult to find clothing for me. However, as a creative person, I have been sewing clothing for myself since college. So, I just leaned into that more, purchased organic and sustainable fabrics and sewed most of my own clothing.

Mind you, this was just a hobby and a passion, not how I made a living. I have a master’s degree in medical illustration, and that is what I did. At the same time people who know me on a personal level know that I am always trying new things and have a need to learn and be creative similar to my need to breathe. It’s just what I do.

What I noticed next is that people started complementing my clothes. This idea started to form, that I am probably not the only short woman who cares about ethical purchasing, and not the only one who had trouble finding ready-made clothing. People seem to like what I make. So, what if I supercharged my ability to make a change by starting an ethical brand just for short women?

Eventually, I took the leap and here I am.

My dream is that ethical fashion brands will raise the expectations of even the average consumer and companies will strive to do better. That more people will care. That less people will be overwhelmed with information, put their blinders on and just carry on. That more people will know what the options are. That I personally can take down the barriers to action for short women, who are not currently being designed for and marketed to and thereby included in this ethical movement.

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