Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sustainable fashion & Organic Cotton

My apologies for such a rant in my last post about pollution. That was a topic I needed to get off my chest! I'll try to focus on more inspirational topics going forward. Every once in a while it's good to think about the heavier issues facing our lives too....

Now on to fashion! It's an interesting topic for me because although I have a degree in "fashion design" I have never considered myself to be a fashion designer - probably one of the main reasons which led me to working in the Outdoor Apparel industry for my career. I've always been very intimidated by the fashion world, its sophistication and obsession with beauty. Much of it conflicts with my own personal values, and issues with self esteem, body image etc...

Then along comes a designer who knocks me sideways with inspiration! This does not happen very often but when it does it hits hard. A co-worker had told me a bit about her because she could see how much I would love her work. However, I didn't give it much thought until I stumbled across her new book "Alabama Stitch Book" in the blogosphere, then her blog and website. The woman I'm speaking of is Natalie Chanin. Yes, I'm sure you have already heard about her and Alabama Chanin, her re-launched business.

Her love of all things made by hand, passion for sustainability in fashion, commitment to working with organic cotton and desire to keep her business small and local are the perfect combination of an ideal business to me. I can't wait to receive her new book! Amazon.ca in Canada gets new releases after they launch in the USA which is frustrating but expected for us folks in the North!

I've already read numerous glowing blog reviews of her new book "Alabama Stitch Book" and you can link to them here and here.

Another inspirational fabric designer I would like to highlight is Harmony of Harmony Art. She has made a commitment to only using Organic Cotton for her fabric designs. How inspiring to read about a woman who not only designs her own fabric prints, but also produces the finished fabric! It has been a long slow labor of love for her to build this business from the ground up. You can read about her challenges and triumphs in her blog "The Journey is the prize".

That's it for today I must run off to work now!


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