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When I began Sympatico, it was with the aim to make comfortable, wearable clothing and to do the right thing environmentally. But finding the right fabric proved to be challenging. Early on, I zeroed in on Tencel as a possible candidate since it's really soft, lets your skin breathe, absorbs moisture, drapes beautifully and resists wrinkles.
Unlike rayon or bamboo, it's made in a transparent, closed-loop system that recovers virtually all the organic, non-toxic solvents used to make it. The eucalyptus trees from which it's made are sustainably farmed without pesticides or fertilizers. So much to recommend it, but frustratingly, the fabrics I sampled weren’t quite right for my designs.
When I found the 55% hemp 45% Tencel blend that I continue to use to this day, everything fell into place. I had previously passed on hemp because it just didn't have enough drape for the styles I envisioned. But blended with Tencel, hemp takes on a softer, more comfortable role. Just like Tencel, hemp thrives without needing agricultural chemicals. Both fibers stay fresh longer because of their natural antimicrobial properties. The blended fabric drapes attractively yet has some structure, it ages gently and requires non-fussy care.
Style, breathability, comfort--it's easy to like this fabric!
Find out more about Tencel here.
Find out more about Sympatico’s versatile hemp/Tencel fabric here.
When I recently put out a call for Sympatico fans’ travel tales (and photos) for publication here, I didn’t know that I had Edith Vermiji in mind. But in reading her submission, I realized she’s emblematic of so many women who visit my booth at craft fairs. Smart, educated, engaged in interesting work, and widely [...]
It’s not uncommon for me to hear shoppers in my show booth exclaim, “Oh, good—elastic!” They know what I know—elasticized waists make a lot of sense when dealing with non-standard tummy proportions. But it goes further than that. Anyone who has a fluctuating waistline or experiences bloating can appreciate the forgiving fit elastic offers.Unfortunately, [...]
I read recently that people mostly wear variations on only about five outfits. Considering how many garments are in my closet, that makes no sense at all! And yet, when I think about the combinations of items that make me feel attractive, comfortable and most like myself, it's true! Obviously I still need dress-up clothes [...]
When I last wrote about industrial hemp cultivation in the United States , things were looking up. A number of states had recently legalized growing industrial hemp—in some cases permitting experimental crops. Kentucky, at the forefront of this movement, was actively pursuing hemp as an alternative to tobacco. Consumer demand for body-care products, foods, textiles, and building materials augured well for the future of industrial [...]
Customers often ask what's the best way to care for their new clothes. There are some universals that not only help preserve clothing but also are good for the environment. According to a Proctor & Gamble study, washing and drying account for 75-80% of the energy consumed during our clothing's lifecycle. Here are some ideas to [...]
There’s really nothing wrong with sweating. It’s one of the ways our bodies release toxins and stay cool when temperatures rise. But let’s face it, in the right conditions sweat can acquire, ahem, a certain ripeness. A combination of moisture, warmth and sloughed-off skin breeds the bacteria we associate with body odor.One of the things [...]
It's become a habit of mine to slip away from the Sympatico booth at the Lithia Artisans Market of Ashland to see what our compatriots in the world of growing things are up to. I invariably come away with wonderful fruits and veggies, and sometimes, things to grow in my own garden. As fellow [...]
Wise decisions we make as consumers and businesses support a healthier planet.Upon a Sympatico order’s arrival, some customers may be surprised a bit by the lack of packaging I use: a simple US Postal Service box or envelope. No tissue paper, no plastic bags, no bubble pack—just your clothing and a receipt.This lack of trimmings [...]
Something I often hear from customers as they try on my clothing is, “Oh, pockets, thank you!” Because function is at the heart of all Sympatico designs, whenever possible, I include pockets on all skirts and pants. It's really a no-brainer: they’re endlessly useful and add to a garment's versatility. So you have to wonder [...]