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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. [...]
Genuinely sustainable clothing is made with an eye on several bottom lines — not just the money one. Sustainable clothing designs must work for everyone: the earth, the workers who make it, and of course, the consumers who wear it. But what what is it that makes clothing truly sustainable? Nikki’s Swallowtail Top and Cropped Pants are sustainably made in [...]
As autumn approaches, Stovepipe Pants paired with [L-R] a Princess Top or Tuxedo Top are a stylish and smart choice.Yes, I know. While August continues to sizzle, it’s hard to think about chilling winds and deep freezes, but for some of us, that’ll be a reality all too soon. Even now, up here in the Siskiyou Mountains, nights have a [...]
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 [...]
This question got me thinking about what matters to me when designing or wearing casual skirts. It really boils down to just a few things: Fabric that breathes, is made to last and is good for you and the planet A flexible design that addresses gaining or losing a few pounds And above all, STYLE! Classic shapes and [...]
With a few brief exceptions, I’ve worked at home my whole adult life. Telecommuting is a big thing these days, but working at home, especially when I was raising two kids seemed as utterly logical then as it does now.Me at my serger, happily sewing Sympatico clothing.Many Sympatico fans are home-based in their work too. Like [...]
Most of us are sold on buying local, knowing that it helps our local economies. But there are so many other bennies like the unmatched freshness of your local farmer’s market or CSA’s produce. And there’s the uniqueness factor: local artisans make all kinds of unique goods not to be found in the big-box landscape—goods [...]
“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 [...]
Today an astounding 60% of all clothing is made with synthetic materials. Housewares that include textiles are produced with an even higher percentage of plastics. From bedding (remember when we used to call them ”linens”?) to microfiber fleece and undies, fabrics derived from petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals have changed the textile landscape. Unfortunately, they’re also [...]