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As an entrepreneur focused on sustainability, I find it encouraging when I come across ethical clothing brands who share my commitment. That’s why I am highlighting a collection of companies, including ethical fashion brands and artisans, who share Sympatico’s values. Here are some those folks and their very gift-worthy creations:
The GoLightly Scarf in Pretty Purple
Hand-knit in lush cashmere in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Golightly Scarf is offered in dozens of shades. The company’s well designed website offers a broad range of clothing and accessories for women, men, and kids. Golightly puts their skilled, fairly paid knitters and other staff front and center here.
The Tote Project employs women in West Bengal, India who have escaped the sex trade. They hand-make each pouch applying a unique tassel of braided sari fabric. The Free to Imagine | Pouch is made with organic cotton and lined with recycled sari fabric in an ever-changing palette of shades. The design is applied using eco-friendly inks and 10% of proceeds help support at-risk youth and sex-trafficking survivors.
If you’re looking for frump-free knitwear that’s sustainable, this versatile, stylish wrap is USA-made in ultra-soft Modal knit. It serves triple duty as loungewear over your jammies, a belted dress over leggings, or as a no-closure sweater. Ethically sourced and sewn by Majamas Earth whose website has an inviting selection of fashions for women men, maternity and kids.
From its website: "Farm to Feet is committed to the single, simple goal of creating the world’s best wool socks by exclusively using an all-American recipe: US materials, US manufacturing, and US workers." The Pickens sock is made with a sculpture knitting technique that creates its abstract floral design. Crafted with USA-sourced merino wool, like all Farm to Feet socks, the Pickens has a lifetime guarantee! The company offers a broad range of men’s, women’s, and kids’ socks for sports, the outdoors and everyday wear.
California jeweler and metalsmith Karen West was inspired by 2017's total solar eclipse in creating the striking Modern Totality design of oxidized silver with a touch of 23K gold. Both materials are recycled for enhanced sustainability. Karen sources materials from a Responsible Jewelry Council member who undergoes regular, third-party audits to ensure buying practices meet the group's high standards.
For nearly three decades, MarketPlace: Handwork of India has worked with Indian artisans' collectives and low-income women to help them achieve their full potential. Sales of MarketPlace clothing helps underwrite critically needed social changes. The Nitya Tunic in hand-printed, delightfully soft cotton has lots of ease and a hand-embroidered front with pin tucks.
Yes, I know, it’s blatant self-promotion. But the Sympatico Tuxedo Top deserves a spot on this list by virtue of its sustainable hemp/Tencel fabrication plus earth- and human-friendly production processes. A three-season essential, its meticulously crafted to offer many seasons of wear while needing little care.
Do you have a favorite purveyor of sustainable goods? Drop me an email and I may include them in a future guide.
In a world where market share is the holy grail, running a tiny ethical clothing company can sometimes feel quixotic. The economies of scale and efficiencies that accompany a business growing bigger are a focus of many business plans. That’s especially true for goods such as apparel that the global market sees as a commodity. [...]
Vintage Rose is my newest shade and it gets along famously with a wide swathe of other Sympatico colors.
As with all styles, the Tuxedo Top and Stovepipe Pants use low-impact, fiber-reactive dyes.The slightly muted quality of Vintage Rose makes it easy to wear and coordinate with a broad range of shades. The somewhat dusty tone is enhanced by hemp/Tencel’s linen-like texture that drapes prettily thanks to the Tencel content. As with all Sympatico shades, Vintage Rose is [...]
Today, you’ll find industrial hemp in a head-spinning array of products. Clothes, food, paper, textiles, plastics, insulation and biofuel are all made with hemp and the oil from its seeds. A stroll down the aisles of your local health food store or co-op should turn up plenty of food and cosmetic items touting hemp as [...]
Though I use machines in cutting and sewing the Trapeze Tunic, I consider my approach artistic and artisanal. It's hip at the moment We see the “artisan" tag nowadays everywhere; artisanal this and artisan-made that. Big companies are buying up smaller enterprises, seeking artisanal cachet. Everything from bread to beer to beans is being marketed as artisanal. But [...]
“What is Tencel, anyway?” I get that question a lot at the Lithia Artisans Market where you’ll find me most weekends through October. Even though it’s been around since the 1970s, I find Tencel is far less well known than other modern fibers. And that’s a shame, given its sustainable, Earth-friendly production and wonderful look and [...]
I love how Earth Day underscores how doing the right thing environmentally calls for a genuine mindset instead of just a day’s celebration. It requires a fundamental love for the only home we have. Earth Day has been inspiring us toward that for 48 years, and though at times it seems we’ve made too little [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]