I grew up amidst the rolling hills of Northern California. My mom was an old hippy, so we always spent time in nature. We were raised to value nature not just as a place to have fun and enjoy but also to see her as a mother who cared for us and who we had to care for as well. So when I this clothing line, it had to be done in an environmentally conscious way that respected the earth, and it’s people. It’s a lifestyle that wasn't widely supported by the mainstream and definitely not in fashion.
I’m amazed at how far the ethical fashion industry has come, but its market share is far behind that of fast fashion. If we look at it purely from a fiscal perspective, the 2020 ethical apparel market share stood at $6,349.9 million(1) while the global fast fashion industry was worth a whopping $31.4 billion(2) demonstrating ethical fashion still has a long way to go.
I'm proud to be an advocate and contributor to the sustainable clothing industry, not to mention the satisfaction of creating and making clothing that people feel comfortable and confident brings me.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
When I think of sustainable fashion, I think of organic materials free from toxic chemicals or nasty plastics, a wardrobe that is harmonious with nature and feels good on my skin.
To sum it up in a sentence, I would say sustainable fashion refers to clothing and accessories created using materials and processes that cause the least possible harm to the environment and people working in the fashion industry.
Living in a manner that is environmentally sensitive and socially responsible means reducing waste and pollution created by the industry.
Why is Sustainable Fashion Important?
Buying clothes sustainably is more than a lifestyle choice. The fashion industry accounts for up to 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than international air flights and shipping combined. This is because many textiles still rely on the use of by-products of crude oils and gasses.
Additionally, the fibers used in clothing and the process of making these materials add up to a fifth of plastic produced each year(3). And, shockingly almost 90% of this produce ends up in landfills or incinerated rather than being recycled or reused(4).
Today’s demand for fast fashion means that we're now producing double the amount of garments we produced in 2000(5), while the world's population has only grown by 27% (2000-2020)(6), it’s an industry fuelled by generations of consumers who have been programmed to always want more to feed the economic growth of large enterprises.
It’s only through changing the attitude to fashion and what we wear that we can reverse the environmental impact of the industry. Research shows that 1 in 3 US citizens would do all the clothing shopping at sustainable stores(7) but a conscious decision to boycott the high street fashion brands in favor of fast fashion alternatives online would result in more sustainable stores closer to home, whether by means of injecting capital into the more conscious manufacturer or through a clear demand for truly eco-friendly fashion from fashion giants.
Designers who Influenced my Process
My ethical clothing production is influenced by designers who are committed to social responsibility, sustainability, and innovation. These designers work closely with producers to ensure ethical working conditions and environmentally sound practices, using the highest quality fabrics and dyes. The results are garments that not only look beautiful but also have a positive impact on the world through their production.
Eileen was working as an interior and graphic designer and had trouble finding clothes. She kept imagining simple, timeless pieces like the kimono, which people have worn for thousands of years. That vision led to her “aha” moment: a system of shapes that worked together to make getting dressed easy.
Today, that systems approach has grown to include the whole life cycle of the clothes, from how they’re made at the outset to what happens after you no longer need them, taking into account the well-being of those involved along the way. That’s why they’re designing a circular system and moving away from the take-make-waste manufacturing model towa
Their bold colors and print is reflective of African culture and style, and using natural dyes and textiles is synonymous with the brand, as well as focusing on empowerment, skills, and jobs through their collaborative partnership with a number of brands.
rd one that reuses, replenishes or regenerates the resources involved.
What I love about Stella McCartney’s creations is the way she uses color and texture for bold new designs and does so without compromising her ethos for environmentally conscious sourcing and manufacturing.
How I set out to Achieve Ethical Clothing Production
As a designer-manufacturer, I always ensure that everything I do causes the least harm to people and the planet. My products are designed in California and handmade by myself and skilled community members.
I’m also really conscious of the textiles I choose to work with, often opting for cotton, which is not only incredibly comfortable on the skin, but as an organic product, it has a minimal negative impact on the climate.
My Favorite Picks
My work is based on easy-to-wear lines bursting with an infusion of color; I’ve included some of my top picks below.
An everyday essential, the tank top has matching leggings that can be bought separately. The materials used for this piece are cotton and spandex; using quality textiles that fit modestly and are made to last is a big part of what I set out to achieve with my designs, and the calmness of sage is something I love.
The organic Peitho Tanks come in sienna, rosewood, and ochre and are part of a larger collection boasting bottoms, sweatshirts, and accessories.Organic Wildflower Onesie
I love how the natural shades used in this line merge and pops to create a unique piece for your bundle of joy.
The bodysuit is available in various colors, including Amethyst, Lichen, and Aurora, and is available for ages 3 - 24 months.
The way in which silk takes up the low-impact dyes used in my work is phenomenal, and although each scarf is unique, I marvel at how reflective they are of the sky at dawn.
A one-size-fits-all, the full range of silk scarves come in wildflower, desert sunset, and amethyst.
(1) Ethical Fashion Global Market Opportunities and Strategies Report 2022 - ResearchAndMarkets.com, March 29th 2022, https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220329005710/en/Ethical-Fashion-Global-Market-Opportunities-and-Strategies-Report-2022---ResearchAndMarkets.com (2) The Most Important Fashion Industry Statistics in 2022, February 28th 2022, https://fashiondiscounts.uk/fashion-industry-statistics/ (3) Fashion’s tiny hidden secret, March 13th 2019, https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/fashions-tiny-hidden-secret (4) The Fashion Industry Waste Is Drastically Contributing To Climate Change, March 9th 2021, https://calpirg.org/blogs/blog/cap/fashion-industry-waste-drastically-contributing-climate-change (5) Style that’s sustainable: A new fast-fashion formula, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/style-thats-sustainable-a-new-fast-fashion-formula (6) World Population 1950-2022, https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/WLD/world/population (7) Survey: 1 in 3 U.S. Consumers Would Do All Their Shopping At A Sustainable Clothing Store, If Only One Existed, May 2026 2021, https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2021/05/26/2236466/17500/en/Survey-1-in-3-U-S-Consumers-Would-Do-All-Their-Shopping-At-A-Sustainable-Clothing-Store-If-Only-One-Existed.html