Voting with Your Dollars: Les Sublimes and my Black Shirt Dilemma

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Most of my readers are fortunate to have the right to vote. We cast our votes for local and national politicians every few years to participate in democracy in a direct and sanctioned way, but also to suggest which values we’d like to see reflected in society. Voting in political processes is very important, but I also firmly believe that we vote every day, with our purchases, that is, with our dollars. What better reflection of what we value than how we spend our hard-earned money?

So, enter my black shirt dilemma. Do I buy a shirt now that I can afford or wait until I save the money to buy a shirt that aligns with my values?

It’s been about 6 months now that I have no shirts, no blouses, no tops left in my closet. Everything had been worn through and was beyond repair. I’ve been getting by wearing dresses and knit sweaters during this time. Many times I’ve wanted to buy myself a replacement white or black tee, but didn’t have a good source or the money to buy an ethically made shirt. So, rather than buy a conventional shirt at a big box store I just waited until the time was right. Many people, myself included, would say that a basic tee is essential, like underwear, in your wardrobe. Well, essential is stretching it, since I’ve clearly proved this point wrong. Nevertheless, I do think basics are a good investment and owning a few (let’s say two) basic tees would allow me to wear more of my current wardrobe (…having no tops, I can’t wear my one pair of pants or skirt).

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About a month ago I got an email from a small company out of Paris called Les Sublimes. Alexis and Kachen wrote to me about their dreams of launching an environmentally-friendly and ethically made line of basics for women. The clothing would be wardrobe essentials that don’t compromise on our values. Sadly, I have noticed many times that wardrobe basics are the clothing most of us cut corners with in our budgets. Oftentimes we are willing to spend more on statement pieces or items when the brand will be obvious. In contrast, generic pieces and basics are often where I see people buying from fast fashion brands, where the quality is poor, the production is not fair, but the price is right. Except that in reality, we know the price is wrong.

As I learned from Alexis, Les Sublimes will produce their line of basics (tops and dresses) in France, in an environmentally-friendly way, that reduces water use, and is made from organic and sustainably harvested natural resources. The garments will be produced with the intention of improving the lives of every person along its chain of production, from the farmers to the artisans to the garment workers. In addition, Les Sublimes will be giving back by supporting education for girls living in poverty. Every single piece of clothing sold will translate into one month of education for a girl. You can read more about their giving here.

Pre-sale to fund Les Sublimes first production

So, if you are looking to stock some ethically made basics, look no further than Les Sublimes, you can purchase from their pre-sale which they are running through Indiegogo.

Les Sublimes launched an Indiegogo campaign earlier today to help them produce their first collection. Indiegogo is essentially a platform for Les Sublimes to organize a pre-sale, so they have the funds to produce their line. This means that everyone who funds Les Sublimes through their month-long campaign will receive a piece from their line if they donate over 9 Euros ($10 USD/ $13 CAD). You can see all the details of the rewards on the campaign page.

When you purchase from Les Sublimes and other ethical companies, you are putting your money where your mouth is, you are voting for:

  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Responsible harvesting
  • Low impact, environmentally-friendly production
  • Use of organic and biodegradable fabrics
  • Fair and living wages
  • Small scale, local production
  • Social responsibility
  • Quality over quantity
  • Durability over disposability

So, it turns out that come August I will once again have a shirt in my closet! Woohoo.

You can find Les Sublimes online here, follow them on Instagram here and on Facebook here. And don’t forget to visit their Indiegogo page to read more about their story and production ethics.

You might also like my post:

Slow Fashion: Four’emKi for women and children

Social Responsibility: WOOLN Knits

Ethical Wool: Love Your Mother in Luv Mother

Slow Fashion: Dreaming with Little Creative Factory

Fashion for Good: Punjammies Made From Hope

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Slow Fashion by Eco Label Four’eMki

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Four’eMki designs women’s and children’s wear. Show above is the Shape Dress and below the Poncho Dressboth for women. All garments are sewn to order.

 

I started a new blog series over on the Enfants Terribles Magazine blog today called ‘Eco Label Love’. For this series I will share interviews with small companies who produce clothing and other products in a sustainable and ethical way. The fashion industry can be pretty terrible in terms of labour practices (for example, this). And, fast fashion is sorely contributing to landfill.

We need another way to clothe ourselves. With care. Slowly. Ethically. Mindfully. Sustainably.

While the most sustainable choice is always to buy second hand or thrift, thrift is not an option for everyone. This is why I want to celebrate companies who are leading the way toward a more sustainable and fair (or more than fair) industry. When it comes to sustainability, this means the fabrics are organic and renewable, locally sourced and sewn, or eco-dyed. In terms of ethical production, this means the garments are sewn and produced under fair conditions, as locally as possible.

For the first interview and feature I spoke with Polish slow fashion brand Four’eMki, which produces their designs end-to-end in Poland: from fabric to final garment. With their current collection designed in a vegan spirit and called Natureholic, this little label, and the lovely woman behind it, stole my heart.

Please skip over to see my blog post and interview on Enfants Terribles Magazine here.

You can find Four’eMki‘s online shop here, follow them on Instagram here, on Pinterest here, and on Facebook here.

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You might also like my post:

Ethical Wool: Love Your Mother in Luv Mother

Slow Ethical Fashion: Dreaming with Little Creative Factory

The Slow Living Project

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Label Love: Mikoleón Sustainable Shoes + Clothing — and a Giveaway!

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Growing up our family always had what it needed, but certainly there was no money to spare or to spend on being fashionable. Our clothes were most often second hand or sewn by my mother, and when we did buy new things we had to be price conscious.  Shoes, however, were one thing that my mother would not spare expense on. She always said her children had to have good shoes — for the health of the foot, not for the sake of fashion. She bought us sensible shoes that fit well and since we only had one pair of shoes at a time, they would be shoes we could do anything in: climb trees, walk to school, play sports, and so on. When my sister, who was the fanciest little toddler you will ever meet (she went through a phase where she couldn’t be seen in public without a bridal veil), wanted fancy shoes my mother found a local shoemaker who made my sister Mary Janes that were functional and fancy (of course this was long before the online shopping era, so my mother had to locally source shoes, a good thing for sure).

I carried my mother’s concern for healthy foot development forward as a parent and have always done my best to outfit Ro and Sen’s feet with quality shoes that would let their feet breath and develop in a healthy manner. With Sen and Ro growing like weeds over the winter (I love weeds, by the way) I needed new shoes for both of them this spring. I had the good fortune of getting them handmade shoes from Mikoleón, which, by the way, have proven to be exceptional quality.

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Mikoleón is a small company making children’s clothing and footwear. The production ethics are outstanding: their clothing is made from up-cycled fabrics, 100% cotton, chemical free, dye free, fair trade, reduced CO2, sustainable and handmade. Their shoes are handmade by cobblers in traditional slow production methods. The leather is processed in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. With all this production goodness I wanted to share more about the company with my readers (this is not a sponsored post!), so I asked Cony, the woman behind the company, if she might indulge me in an interview. She said yes and offered to do a giveaway too — yay!  I don’t encourage frequent or conspicuous consumption, but do take note of Mikoleón for the next time you need to buy some beautiful ethically made children’s clothing and footwear. And make sure to read to the end of the post to see how you can win something from Mikoleón.

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Cony, could you tell me a little bit about yourself, the person behind Mikoleón. What is your background?

I’m a mom of 5 and now grandmother to 14 beautiful grandkids including triplets! I’m an entrepreneur at heart! I love the idea of creating something and watch it blossom…I like to figure things out; I’m fascinated and obsessed with anything related to textiles and natural fibers; and I’m committed to living a green life as much as I can!

How would you describe Mikoleón in 5 words?

A brand with a conscience.

Why did you choose Mikoleón for your brand name? What does it mean?

A Mikoleón is a Kinkajou also known as “honey bear,” but not an endangered species…yet. They are native to the jungles of Central and South America, they eat fruits and live among trees. Mikoleón in Spanish means monkey-lion, and for us, it was the perfect name to describe the soul inside our company.

What inspired you to start designing shoes and clothing?

I wish I could say that my dream was to be a fashion designer! But the real reason is…I saw an opportunity to help people in Guatemala with sustainable jobs and that combined with my love of textiles sealed the deal! I was in awe of their craftsmanship and desire to have a better life. I couldn’t deny the opportunity.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

I wanted to be a mom. Now that I’m one, I want to someday write a children’s book about love.

Craftsmanship and sustainability are important to you. How do you translate these into your designs and their production?

Even though we have skilled artisans, there’s always a learning curve to produce high quality products for them. Training our employees to understand the level of quality we want is imperative and essential to our production. We strive to make products that are simple in design and that showcase our specialty fabrics.

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Where are Mikoleón shoes made and clothing is sewn? What is your relationship with the seamstresses?

Our shoes and clothes are made in Antigua, Guatemala. Our seamstresses and cobblers are skilled women and men that were in great need of a job to provide for their families. We were just lucky to find them…and have the chance to help them.

Our fair wage policy goes beyond what the local Guatemalan government considers a fair wage. Our in-house employees enjoy all the benefits the laws in Guatemala require, such as medical, social security, maternity leave, and vacation benefits. In addition, Guatemala laws require that you pay your employees for 14 months of wages but they actually work only 11 months! Twice a year they get paid for two months of work while working only one.

We take much pride to say that we pay fair prices for their goods.

What’s special about the materials you use? And your production methods?

Our denim is up-cycled. Basically, we collect new waste materials from the denim factories in Guatemala, and transform it back into threads; we then use the up-cycled threads to make new woven and knit fabrics. This saves a tremendous amount of water in the manufacturing process compared to traditional new fabrics.

We consider ourselves a slow fashion company, meaning, each piece is done in small quantities as needed. We don’t have a factory, I like to think of it more as a sewing shop, and much like a seamstress or tailor shop would be here in the USA. We buy raw materials from ISO certified factories (ISO 9000), and we are always mindful of the environmental impact of our production methods.

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What has made you the most proud of what you’re doing?

Being able to empower our employees to believe in themselves and their worth; and second would be, knowing that we are providing our customers with products that make them feel good while making conscious fashion choices.

Do you plan to expand the line?  What’s next for Mikoleón?

For now, we just want to educate consumers about the beauty of natural fibers, up-cycling, and the negative impact on our environment and the real cost of fast fashion.

When you are all caught up on work, what do you love to do?

I love a cup of chai tea, sitting on my back porch and staring at our beautiful Rocky Mountains, reminding myself how lucky I am for the chance to love my little tribe!

 

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Thank you Cony! Readers you can find Mikoleón’s online shop here and follow them on Instagram @mikoleonkids

Mikoleon wants to giveaway a $100 gift card and a Nena & Co Mini Clutch to one of my readers! …Details below

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Example of a Nena & Co Mini Clutch shown above **If you are curious about Nena & Co, you can read about them here

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Sen calls his Mikoleon shoes his “Adventure Boots” — according to him the side pocket is meant to hold treasures collected while adventuring, I’m pretty sure he’s got that one right!

To enter the giveaway, visit my Instagram account (rules are explained there too) and make sure to:

  • Follow @mikoleonkids
  • Follow me @hippieindisguise
  • Like and comment on the giveaway photo to confirm your entry
  • For extra entries: Tag friends in the comments. Please separate each friend into a different comment so that it is easier for me to make the ballots:) No limit to number of friends tagged.
  • For an extra entry: Sign up for Mikoleón’s mailing list (and BONUS you’ll get a 20% off coupon sent to your inbox!)

Contest closes Sunday May 1st, 2016 at 3:00 pm NYC standard time and is open worldwide. The winner will be announced on Instagram on Sunday May 1st after 4:00 pm. Good luck friends!

You might also like my post:

Reincarnating Traditional Fabrics into Modern Bags: An Interview with Ali from Nena & Co

A Thoughtful Guide to Women’s Gifts for Any Occasion

Glimpses into our Home: Slow, Mindful, Minimal, Nature-Inspired Decor

Want to find me in other places?

Shop Love: Rowdy Roddy Vintage

Back in October I shared an interview with Taralyn, the owner of Little Heirloom, an online shop based in Canada, as the first in a little series of my favourite shops around the world stocking sustainable goods. So, today, I have the second: an interview with the lovely Jolyne Colburn owner and curator of the fun online (and brick and mortar too!) shop Rowdy Roddy Vintage. RRV, as she likes to call it, specializes in vintage and organic clothing for children. Jolyne’s hobby of vintage hunting led her to open Rowdy Roddy Vintage. She loves searching for unique prints and hand knits, and thought it would be fun to do so for others.

Tell me a little bit about yourself. What is your background? What are you passionate about?

I was born in San Francisco, California and went to the College of Arts there for Graphic Design. I have always loved to paint, draw and read magazines, so I thought design was perfect for me. I have had the opportunity to work with some great companies and high fashion magazines in the past that taught me the ropes. And because of my love of art, I have always loved to travel and see new things. I try to travel as much as I can with my son Roddy too, as other cultures supply so much knowledge in addition to our own. One summer we stay in Europe, the other, America, and the next in the jungles of Costa Rica…

Now, living in Scotland, so many people ask me “Why are you here and not in California?!” Well, long story short I married a Scotsman and here I am. Yes, there are not as many sunny days here, but I do love it. It is filled with castles, beautiful scenery, and sheep (I love sheep)… The people are so lovely and I have so much amazing history at my fingertips. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss California! But there is a sense of peace here that I don’t get anywhere else. Maybe it’s because I don’t know as many people here, but the shop has created a wealth of friends, similar to family, for me.

The things that I am passionate about besides my business and family would have to be my love for cooking, traveling and my need for the softest fabrics known to man.  I love a good dreamy linen or organic knit…

How many children do you have and how would you describe them?

I have one child, Roddy (4yrs), and one on the way in the spring. Roddy’s full name is Rodrigo, named after my uncle. My family is Costa Rican, so my husband and I wanted a name that would embrace both is Latino and Scottish cultures. With this spicy blood combo, boy is he a wee firecracker! But the best kind really, he is my best pal, so funny, so loving and clever. Every day he is surprises me.  What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

My husband is a drummer and is away A LOT. So I would say when we can all be in the same place at the same time is my favourite thing. Whether that’s if we meet him on the road or he comes home and we ignore that he is jetlagged, just being together is the best thing in the world.  What did you want to be when you were a child?

As far back as I can remember I always liked to be involved in art in some way. Whether it was drawing, painting or sculpting I wanted to be doing it.

Did your career aspirations change once you had a child?

A little, but just a little. I told my dad that I wanted to go to Art School for painting and he said “no way.” As much as that infuriated the teenager in me, I am glad that he forced me to choose another field at school. I knew I loved design as well and it was a good fit, and while I was there I could squeeze in some painting classes too. Win Win. The tools that I learned as a graphic designer were indispensable and great for the coming years. I still use them daily with RRV (Rowdy Roddy Vintage), whether its for a new shirt, our website or an email mailer. So, I’m not sure If I have said this, but thanks Dad! 

What is Rowdy Roddy Vintage and why did you decide to start your own business?

My love for vintage is what inspired me to open RRV. I found it very difficult to find good vintage for babies and kids in the UK. So with my over active addiction to collect vintage, I had found a purpose! Being from the bay area and a wee bit of a hippie at heart, it fuelled my love for vintage as well. Wearing vintage keeps clothes out of landfills and helps the planet. We also support our community with our Buy Sell Trade scheme, where we pay you to recycle! 
We are always trying to find new ways to keep our kiddos lookin’ good and help the earth at the same time!

What inspired your shop’s name?

We started the business when my son Roddy was just 7 months old, and we thought it was a perfect fit for his personality… Wee Rowdy Roddy…

How do you choose the brands and clothing you carry?

I started my business with just vintage items that I would bring from California. Not long after opening and from the growth of my shop to a bigger location and our popularity in Glasgow, we introduced Lapin & me, a vintage inspired company that we thought was a perfect fit. After that we went from strength to strength and added Beau Loves, Mini Rodini, Bobo Choses, Finger in the Nose, Noe & Zoe, to name a few. We choose these independent brands because they fit well with our ethos. Whether they are organic, recycle or made locally and in small batches, we take all these little things in to consideration. 

What are your dreams for your shop and for motherhood?

As everyone who owns a business, I just want it to be successful. So much hard work goes into owning a business that you just hope for the best. I do have to say that I am very happy with what we have accomplished in the past years and I am lucky to have the great support of my staff, family, and lovely customers. I feel like I’m a winner already.

Now for motherhood, that is another story! It is a learning process that never ends. It is amazing to watch your child grow and try and teach them to be the best wee human they can be. Most of the time it is not easy, but it is always rewarding. I know the most interesting is yet to come with another on the way.  When you are all caught up on work what do you love to do?

I don’t think I have ever been all caught up! I am always trying to think of new ways to promote the business, so it is a never ending thing on my mind. Wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep stuff. But when I really try and have a day off, I love to try new recipes and maybe attempt to knit, although I never have enough time to finish the project! Hopefully one day I can again, because I do love it so…

Thank you Jolyne! Friends and readers you can find Rowdy Roddy Vintage’s online store here, and you can also follow Jolyne on Instagram @rowdyroddyvintage.

You can also find an interview I did for Rowdy Roddy almost a year ago here.

You might also like my post:

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Full Children's Gift Guide 2015   Thoughtful Gifts for Children

Processed with VSCOcam with g1 preset   The Mathematics of Love

A Thoughtful Guide to Women’s Gifts

Suitable for any occasion, any season, these are some excellent gift ideas for women and mothers.

Following up on my Thoughtful Guide to Gifts for Children, I’m sharing a guide to gifts for parents, well, mostly for the women and mothers in your life. I chose these items because they are sustainably made, high quality, and because I know I would use them every day / week and that they would add enjoyment to my life.

I should say that my favourite thing to get as a gift, for any occasion, is always a drawing or piece of artwork from my children. I don’t hope or wish for anything else. A handmade gift, a child’s pure, organic creativity is the absolute best. However, not everyone shares my view, and then there are the basics and some frills that are also nice to have around. So, in the interest of thoughtful acquisition, I’ve pulled together a list of gift ideas that cover all price points and are sure to be well appreciated by the recipient. Women's Gift Guide

  1. Prints of Your Children’s Artwork  –  Ok, not a big surprise that I recommend this! But seriously, I would hang every piece of art work my children’s made if I had the wall space and if I knew the work would sustain the wear, oftentimes the paper is too delicate or I don’t want to put tape on the artwork. I found a company, Tuta & Coco making excellent art prints on sustainably sourced paper, find them here (they also make cards and calendars)
  2. Knit Snood – I absolutely love my snood – a knit neck warmer – from Wooln, it’s hand knit by grandmothers from NYC from ethical wool sources, available in a range of colours, you can find it here, I promise you will love it!
  3. Mala necklace – I have a peaceful mala necklace and I can’t explain how much this has been a blessing in my life, the mala is great for meditation, but also when worn, even on a busy day is a great reminder to slow down, to find a calm moment and be present, the necklace is gorgeous and made from the best materials, you can find my favourite malas here
  4. Storm Overcoat – an extravagant item in my world, but a girl can dream, right?! This gorgeous jacket is made by my favourite women’s line, Ace & Jig, and is available here
  5. Photo prints – shameless plug…photo prints are a nice way to support photographers and artists, and are usually a lower price point in terms of art and wall decor, I have a shop on Big Cartel with photos listed for sale. The floral wreath photo shown has the option to include text, such as a child’s name. I can also list any photos from my blog or Instagram feed if you don’t see what you want, just ask, please visit my shop here
  6. Notebook – a staple in our house, I always have a notebook with me for ideas and another for drawing, I love Mohawk paper products, the quality and environmental standards are first class. Widely available, you can find the notebooks here
  7. ‘Blomster Mandala’ colouring book – by Maria Trolle, gorgeous flower mandalas to colour, good for relaxation and inspiration, you can find it here
  8. Reversible Ace & Jig Meadow blouse – taking capsule wardrobe to a whole new level, this fully-reversible blouse would be a dream addition to my closet, made from ethically manufactured textiles, you can find it here
  9. Wool sweater – this Jumper no 15 from Babaa is gorgeous and I would live in it from fall to spring if I had one, good knits are expensive but so worth the investment, Babaa’s wool is sourced ethically from sheep who are treated well, find the jumper here
  10. Essential oils – I never go a day without using essential oils whether for emotional support, health support or household cleaning. My two favourite blends, and my children agree too, are Balance (think spruce, camomile, vanilla, very calming and restorative) and Citrus Bliss (think citrus vanilla heaven, energizing aroma and delicious in water and smoothies)
  11. Indigo-dyed kitchen linens – daily use items should be well made but also beautiful, adding a little joy to the mundane, I love my indigo-dyed linens from Tafari Designs, you can find them here
  12. Reversible Ace & Jig Ra Ra Midi skirt – again helping to make your capsule wardrobe even more capsule, this reversible skirt is made of gorgeous ethically manufactured fabrics and looks good every season, you can find it here
  13. Lounge/pyjama pants – beautiful and super comfortable, but not so casual you can’t answer the door in them, I love my Punjammies pants, and especially love that sales are used to support women and children who have escaped sexual slavery – awesome! – find the pants here
  14. Playful – a little bit of crafty inspiration is always a good idea, I’ve had my eye on this book by Merrilee Liddiard for a while, her projects are modern, beautiful, made from everyday items and are easily adaptable to your own resources, find it here 
  15. Beeswax food wraps – another every day item that is so beautiful and wholesome that you feel joy every time you use it, these wraps replace disposable plastic wrap (which never biodegrades!) and can be used for an endless variety of things, and I dare say they are more effective than plastic, we love them, find them here, worth every penny!
  16. Wooden spoons and spatulas – everyday kitchen tools should be well made, work well, and beautiful, my favourites are handmade by Park Wood Shop and are available here
  17. Edible treats – I love consumable gifts like edible treats, yoga classes and massages, they are deeply enjoyable and don’t leave you with stuff accumulating in your home. I once had the delight of enjoying a jar of Fare Isle‘s beach plum jam and I can tell you it is so delicious I still think about it one year later, mmm. Find the jam and lots of other edible treats here
  18. Simplicity Parenting – written by Kim John Payne, it is one of my favourite parenting books, taking the perspective of less is more, living connected to the moment and disconnected from technology, being present with your children — the approach advocated applies to all aspects of life, not just our relationship to the children in our life, you can find it here

If you missed it make sure to check out my guide for children’s gifts

xo, Danielle

*FULL DISCLOSURE: I’M NOT COMPENSATED FOR PURCHASES OR CLICKS TO SITES. I’M RECOMMENDING THESE GIFTS BECAUSE I THINK THEY ARE EXCELLENT, ETHICAL CHOICES, THEY ARE SUSTAINABLY MADE AND ARE LIKELY TO BE USEFUL FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. UPDATE: I have recently changed a few links, for books only, to Amazon Affiliate links in an effort to earn commissions and support my work here. Thank you for your support.  

Wooln: Socially Responsible Knits

It’s that time of year again when I look forward to wearing a cozy knit hat and sweater around the house, sipping tea with a blanket over my legs. Somehow this is much more comforting than cranking the heat in the house and pretending the cold season is not upon us.

Hippie in Disguise Danielle Chassin Ace & Jig dress Wooln snood

Brunch Addict snood from WOOLN and Arbor dress from Ace & Jig

 

As a vegan I am apprehensive about wool products, but also believe that humans can have symbiotic relationships with animals and that ethical wool is not an oxymoron, but a reality for a small portion of wool produced. I’ve been thinking more and more about the overall impact of goods (the entire lifespan) from production to waste, and how those goods which may be less harmful to animals in the production phase, like micro-fleece clothing, are harmful at the ecosystem level and also negatively impact the lives of many animals, mostly insects (which I count as no less valuable than other animals). At the end of their useful life these products live on forever as landfill. So I’ve had to seriously reconsider opting for animals fibres more often for the greater sustainability of these fibres (wool is biodegradable). Luckily there are more and more companies sourcing ethical wool and making beautiful things with it. Enter Margaux and Faustine…

From France to New York (and many places in between), Faustine and Margaux are two mothers who share a passion for knitting and social responsibility. They recently launched a small knits shop, WOOLN, with an innovative twist. I absolutely love what they are doing and hope their model, that is, doing business with the aim of benefitting society at large, will be adopted by other businesses.

Margaux, Faustine, please, tell me a little bit about yourself. What is your background? How has it influenced your creative pursuits?

Margaux: I was raised in the French countryside and have always wanted to move around the world…which I did many times in my adulthood: I studied in the UK and France, then lived in Italy, New Zealand, Australia and back to Paris. I now live in Brooklyn and I’m thrilled! I believe that starting from zero again so many times makes oneself creative, even not intentionally.

I quit my serious job 5 years ago to dedicate myself to my passion: knitting. My life is all about yarn, needles, wool, patterns and softness since then! (And I confess, sometimes I dream of going back to the countryside!)

Wooln NYC Faustine and Margaux sustainable knits knitwear

Faustine: Sometimes, I feel I have had many lives already, and that I will probably keep going on having “circles of life.” When I finished my Business School in Paris, I went into working in finance in London. And felt so “creatively” frustrated that I gave up after only a few years and settled myself as a full time artist in New York (mostly painting until I started sculpting a year or two ago). This also correlates with when I had my first child. After being a full-time-artist-and-mum for almost 4 years, I met Margaux and we launched WOOLN, and since then, it has been providing me with the perfect balance between creativity (we do everything ourselves, the patterns, our website design and I am the one who makes all the illustrations, the packaging bags, etc…), and business (strategy, sourcing, IT, etc…).

What part of the world do you live in?

M: Brooklyn, NY. Did I already tell you I love it here ?

F: Manhattan, NY. I have lived in 10 different places, and it is by far my favourite place to live in the entire world! Having said that, now that I have a family of my own, I feel I could pretty much live anywhere and be happy, as long as I have my children and my husband with me.

How many children do you have and how would you describe them?

M: I have 2 beautiful girls Cosima and Sidonie aged 3 and 1 and a half. They are both very cheeky!

Wooln NYC sustainable knits knitwear

F: I have one girl who is 4 and one boy who is 2. They are obviously both equally cute but I can’t decide who gives me more work! And I also have 2 stepchildren from my husband’s first marriage; they are 15 and 9, they are very cute too and don’t give me any work! (They do not live with us). When we travel, we use an entire row of the plane! They all get along so well, it’s the cutest thing to see.

Wooln NYC Faustine Badrichani and family

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

M: A picnic or an exhibit in a big museum where we can run. Also we love spending long holidays in our family home in the south of France.

F: We love travelling, and now that Joseph is over 18 months, it is getting more fun every time. We are just back from a trip on the US West Coast, which was amazing!

What are you passionate about?

M: Knitting (and cheese too!)

F: Knitting (and cheese too!)

What inspires you?

M: French indie movies, my husband and many of my NZ friends. Kiwis have something special.

F: Reading, travelling, going to museums, watching documentaries, and… Pinterest!

Can you tell me a bit about Wooln? What do you design and how do you source your materials? 

WOOLN is a line of hand-knit accessories, knit by grandmothers and retirees in New York with socially responsible yarn.

Wooln NYC BabyKit wool hat and mittens

M: It took us a very long time to find the perfect yarn; we wanted something local, 100% natural, soft and socially conscious. We finally sourced two types of yarn:

  • One is a 100% American wool – spun and dyed in a family owned spinning mill in Nebraska, with sheep grown up here in the USA
  • The other one is an extremely soft Royal Alpaca yarn. The company works responsibly with artisans in Bolivia and Peru.

I love your term ‘wool agency,’ can you explain what this means to you? 

F: Wool Agency was actually the first name we had found for the company. We changed it to Wooln, because we felt Agency was not really what we were doing, like a nanny agency or web agency was not necessarily what we wanted to be associated too. We picked WOOLN because we liked the vowel drop, which reminded us of other “sharing businesses” like tumblr and flickr, and it felt more 2.0, which is the DNA of our company: we only sell online, we communicate with our knitters via emails, we found a few of them via Craigslist, we raise money via crowdfunding on Kickstarter, our PR is only through bloggers, etc…

By creating WOOLN, we try to match 2 things that matter equally to both of us: having an amazing product, be fashionable, and cool and great looking, as well as doing something good for society, which for us means working in a socially responsible manner, and promoting a new way of buying. We hope we will be able to fulfill those two goals, and not just be this socially responsible company, or this fashionable brand, but a cool mix of both.

Wooln NYC sustainable knits knitwear

You have an innovative and socially responsible business model, can you tell me more about it?

F: Our model is very innovative as it has not been widely done in the fashion industry; however, it is anchored in the sharing economy trend. We are using talents that are otherwise barely taken advantage of to create a cool product and give consumers a new way of buying. With WOOLN, the act of buying is very personal: buyers know who made their hat, they can know more about them and really have this connection, which is something completely different from what they get by going to one of those big fast fashion brands. Our mission is to create connections between people, and to make buying a question of people, not just of material things. [Danielle: every WOOLN item comes with the name and information about the knitter and you can read more about each knitter on the WOOLN website.]

I love that you share mini biographies of your knitters and the illustrations are such a special touch. Who does your illustration work?

M: Faustine! She is the best illustrator! When I saw her illustrations, drawings and paintings in her studio for the first time I was very impressed. It came naturally that she would draw WOOLN faces for our packaging and branding we didn’t know yet that she would also sketch our knitters.

Wooln NY sustainable knits

F: I have always loved drawing, and drawing for WOOLN allows me to really feel complete and fulfilled with this whole experience! Business with an artistic twist.

One of our Kickstarter rewards is a sketch from me, and so far it has been the most bought reward! It is going to take me a month worth of drawing, but I won’t complain, I just love it!

What has made you the most proud of yourself and your business?

M: Finally getting this project that I’ve had in my head for so long REAL! Being able to forget about fear and judgment, and more practically, visiting a huge number of senior centres in New York to find our great knitters! And of course raising these 2 adorable little girls.

F: Even though we are only in the first year of WOOLN, it is the biggest achievement for me. I feel like I have been waiting for so long to have this fulfilling experience, and everything now comes together, providing me with everything I need to be balanced: doing something for the benefit of society, doing business (I am definitely business minded), being creative and artistic! What else could I ask for? (maybe more time for my family but I do not want to push it…)

What are your dreams for your business and motherhood?

F: Our strategy is really to take one collection at a time, and keep making headway. We have already learnt so much and the season has barely started! On a longer term basis, we hope to add a cotton collection for the warmer months (even though we both enjoy spending our summers in France with our parents and children rather than working in sweaty New York…) And probably extend our locations, maybe start having senior knitters on the West Coast would make sense!

As a mother, I do not have any dreams or goals: I am just trying to do my best and enjoy every little moment with them. Before having kids, I did not really understand why people would say “enjoy every minute of it, it goes by so fast.” Now I do. It does go by way too fast! And I want to make the best of every minute.

Merci Margaux et Faustine // Thank you Margaux and Faustine!

Readers: you can find WOOLN’s online shop here and on Instagram @wooln_ny.

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Have you subscribed to the Global Guardian Project yet? They are monthly learning capsules for children and families to learn about global stewardship. Each month features a different country’s wild life, landscape and challenges, and includes art projects, activities, meditation, recipes and more! Use my discount code: HIPPIEINDISGUISE for 10% off , you can read more about it here

Meet Creative Mother: Peta of Sapling

Each creative mother I interview for the blog inspires me in some way, whether it’s how they’ve pursued a dream, crafted a creative life for their family, are living close to nature or are a role model in some other way. Peta Stinson is a lovely business woman I met through Instagram a few years ago, she was always very kind, sincere and open. Who wouldn’t like that?! Despite the fact that my children didn’t fit into any of her clothing I decided to follow her shop on Instagram because I loved how open and honest she was about herself and her business, and she seemed like a good person. I also loved how fearlessly creative and experimental she was.

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Recently, Peta collaborated with actress Jaime King on a collection, including this Be Brave shirt

About a year ago, while her number of followers grew past 20,000 or more (I wasn’t keeping track, so I’m not sure of the number) she decided to unfollow everyone she had in her feed, and just see what would happen. Who would she miss seeing pop up in her feed? Who would stop following her because she had let them go? Who was a fair weather friend and who would stick around? I’m someone who doesn’t bother tracking who follows me or not, it’s information I don’t care to know, so I didn’t notice that Peta had stopped following me. When she mentioned on her Instagram account that she had conducted an Instagram experiment I was intrigued and impressed, I wrote her to say so and that little gesture turned into a dialogue and ongoing rapport. It seems that aside from figuring out who was really interested in her and her line, it actually strengthened some bonds.

Peta continues to intrigue and inspire me, so a few weeks ago I asked if she’d agree to an interview for the blog. Despite her busy days, she gladly agreed. Yay! If you are looking for adorable baby clothing or a businesswoman role model, or just a plain old-fashioned nice person, Peta is someone you’ll want to connect with. Her line, Sapling Child, goes above and beyond in terms of organics, and is pioneering into new areas of sustainable products. She’s one to watch and for very good reason. Without further ado, I present to you: Peta Stinson.

Dear, Peta, please tell me a little bit about yourself. 

I’m a mother of 3, a wife, a designer and an entrepreneur. I’m highly strung, I do too much, I don’t know how to relax, and I love what I do.

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What part of the world do you live in?

At the moment we are super blessed to be able to travel and wander. We are taking the opportunity over the next few years to travel around the world with the kids, at the moment we are in Canada, and enjoying every moment.  

How many children do you have and how would you describe them?

We have 3 kids, all boys, and I swear they are all insane! It’s also AMAZING how different all 3 of them are (like three points on a triangle), although they are all FULL ON – jumping off the beds, climbing up the walls, crashing and banging through life kind of kids – they are all so, SO different.

What are your core family values?

Showing kindness, using manners, helping others, and treading gently. Although, mind you, those values are kind of a rough plan….our babes certainly have a very long way to go. It amazes me that although every day of their lives they are asked: “What do you say…” (when they ask for something), they still don’t always say it! When they do remember these things, I definitely do a happy dance in my head (and say to myself “yeah we got this parenting thing NAILED”).

How do you spend most of your days?

The mornings are pretty much always the same, now that all the boys are at school. I get woken up by my 5 year old, way too early, who still climbs into my bed and covers my face with kisses (I’m trying to enjoy these moments as I know they won’t last forever, but 4 am? Seriously?). We get up, get breakfast organised, wake up the big boys and get them off to school.  

Then it’s a day of work, emails, design, more emails, a bit of pretending that I know what I’m doing, a bit of doing stuff that I have no idea how to do (PR, advertising, at the moment designing packaging, measuring samples), and then before I know it it’s school pick up time.  

We’re lucky enough that we live only a short walk from school, and it’s so lovely all walking home together.  

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

Sunday morning pancake breakfasts have got to be my fave. We sleep in, make pancakes and sit around the table together eating, giggling (mostly), and planning out our lazy Sunday.

What are you passionate about?

Chocolate? Can I say chocolate?  Hmmmm….

What are some words you live by?

“Breathe it all in. Love it all out.”

Can you tell me a bit about Sapling Child?

Sapling is an organic baby wear company. We use organic cotton, and GOTS certified water based and vegetable based dyes. More than that though, we are a company trying to do what we can to improve the manufacturing industry as a whole, to provide the environmentally conscious alternatives that our community wants, and to show that having corporate ethics doesn’t mean that design has to take a back seat.

We are also fair trade, we pay our workers well above industry standard, we think carefully about our impact on the environment at every step of the manufacturing process. We have an orphanage in India that we also support, and our community contributes to the running, upkeep and items that the orphanage needs when they purchase our clothing.

How would you describe the ethos of Sapling Child in a few words?

Ethically Made.  Exclusively Designed.

Why did you decide to start a business?

We were living in Fiji at the time for my partner’s work. My spouse visa was quite restrictive and it meant I was unable to work. I was at home with the kids, I was restless, bored and I wanted to do something. It wasn’t until I had my third child, Oliver, that I knew what it was I wanted to do.

Oliver had meningitis as a newborn. We almost lost him and he spent many weeks in NICU after we were medivaced back to Australia. At the time, there were limited organic baby clothing choices. The organic clothes that I could find had been dyed with toxic bleaches and dyes. When babies are so sick their skin is so thin and their lungs are so delicate, it was important to me to find something that was truly ALL organic. When I was unable to find anything, that led me to start Sapling.

Do have any projects or collaborations coming up?

YES! We have some super exciting collaborations coming up, but I can’t tell you what they are or who they’re with!!! It’s KILLING me!

Did you life goals and career aspirations change once you had a child?

Definitely. Flexibility wasn’t important to me before kids. Now it’s the most important factor for me in career choice.  Having the flexibility to walk the kids to school, and to pick them up. Having the flexibility to stay at home if one of them is sick. Having the flexibility to take time off when I need it is the most incredible thing.

What are your dreams for your professional work?

I have so many. I’d like to expand beyond babies….we are also researching ways to make diapers and wipes more environmentally friendly.  

What are your dreams for your family?

Unrealistically, for my littles to stay little forever. Realistically, it’s all about happiness.

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Thank you Peta! Friends and readers you can find Peta’s line Sapling Child online here, and on Instagram @saplingchild and Peta’s personal account @petastinson.

This interview is part of my Creative Mother series, find the rest here.

You might also like my post:

image   Creative Mother Alana of Tafari Designs

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Want to find me in other places?

 

Released: The Ro Dress

It’s here! The dress Ro and I designed with Mimobee! It’s hard to believe that what started as an idea back in June, arrived in the mail last Friday, and is available for pre-sale today! Surreal, to say the least.

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If you are new around here, Ro and I were invited to collaborate with Mimobee for their collaborative capsule collection this fall (you can read about the process here). A few Instagrammers and Bloggers were invited to design a piece that represented their aesthetic. The final collection includes our boho inspired look, a street-inspired blazer, a minimalist dress, and a conceptual shirt.

Ro and I always have ideas for garments we’d love to bring to life, but never thought a serious brand would come asking. So when Mimobee asked, we didn’t hesitate, even though we were pretty scared that our lack of any technical skills might sink the ship! We figured hard work could take us pretty far. However, we never imagined that our collaboration with Mimobee would be fun, so much fun! Being involved from start to finish we learned so much, and Ro is already starting to put together ideas for her next piece. Should she get asked again…But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

For our dress, we wanted to design a garment that was elegant, comfortable and functional. Something that we would want to wear everyday, but was still dressy enough for an occasion. We also wanted to make something that could celebrate all shapes, with the drawstring waist and sleeves, the dress is unfussy so it can grow or shrink as needed. Finally, in the interest of slow fashion, we wanted to ensure our design would be relevant beyond this season, by incorporating some classic design elements.

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We hope you love the dress as much as we do! If you do, you can buy it here.

Important details:

  • The dress is available for pre-sale ONLY for the next two weeks (sales close Sunday, November 15th). The dresses will then be sewn and shipped by early December.
  • All aspects of production take place in California, in the same space where Mimobee owners, Tom and Helen, work and where all the designing happens, the sewers are paid fair wages and work in excellent conditions. It’s a Mimobee family.
  • The dress is sewn from 100% organic cotton and dyed using eco-friendly dyeing methods.
  • The dress is available in size 2 to 16. That’s right mamas, some of you will fit into that size 14 or 16, so get one for yourself!
  • In addition, 10% of sales will go directly to the Jane Goodall Institute, a charity close to Ro’s heart. The Jane Goodall Institute works to preserve great apes and to improve global understanding of conservation issues to safeguard the planet for all living things. (For the last two years, Ro has chosen to raise funds for the Jane Goodall Institute in place of birthday gifts. After getting a little package in the mail with the name, photo and story of the chimp she is helping, she told me she couldn’t imagine ever wanting gifts. Giving a gift on your birthday is way more fun!) You might remember that we raised money for the World Wildlife Fund when we collaborated with Gardner & the Gang.

If you’d like a chance to win a dress, follow my blog by email, WordPress or Bloglovin and leave me a comment letting me know that you did. If you are already following, just let me know in a comment that you’d like to be entered in the draw. I will be giving away two dresses, so you have two chances to win! Visit my Instagram account to find out another way to win a dress.

Thank you to the Mimobee team for being so amazing to work with. Thank you to everyone who shared their ideas and gave feedback on earlier designs. And thank you, in advance, for buying a dress and supporting the Jane Goodall Institute and a young designer’s dream. Find the dress here.

[UPDATE: Congratulations Piper and Poppies, who entered on the other blog post here, your name was drawn for the dress! Please send me an email to claim your prize]

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Ro’s moccasins are from Canadian brand Manitobah and are available in a range of colours, in both children’s and women’s sizing. You can find them here.

Label Love: Mountain Honey Clothier

“Everything sweet about childhood can be summed up in a bonnet”

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A few months ago I won a giveaway with Mountain Honey Clothier. The prize was an organic, reversible bonnet, with removable ears — one hat, four ways to wear it. I loved the simplicity and versatility of the design, making it fun for a young child and mature for an older one. Not to mention, it was beautiful and the sort of item you knew you’d save for your grandchildren.

After exchanging a few messages with Deidre, the woman behind the brand, I learned about her unconventional path to starting her business and more about all the care, consideration and research she puts into her craft. I was also really impressed with her efforts to source her materials and produce her heirloom clothing line in the most sustainable way. She even uses her scraps to the fullest by making adorable soft toys and treasure bags. I asked her if she’d share her story and she happily obliged. Thank you, Deidre.

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Tell me a little bit about yourself. What is your background? How has it influenced your creative pursuits?

I’ve been sewing since I was a little girl. Creative expression has always been a huge part of who I am, as a young teen I actually covered every square inch of my bedroom wall with little doodles, I spray painted my door one day while my mom was at work, I stepped in paint and walked on the wood floors of my room. My mother was ever tolerant of my need to express myself. She was also the one who taught me to sew, starting with Halloween costumes. She supplied me with plenty of fabric scraps and odds and ends and was generous enough to allow me to use her nice sewing machine, even when she wasn’t there to supervise. I made little pillows and stuffed animals.

When I had my own children I began to sew even more. Creating clothing, toys, and blankets for them. I loved seeing them play with or wear something I made with my own two hands, and I loved that the items were quality and would last.

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Five years ago I began a degree program in Biology. While in school I participated in some research and I was keenly interested in molecular and cellular biology. I aspired to go on to a PhD program and perhaps become a researcher. While I was in school I had a few odd jobs to help support our household. We are very lucky to have a devoted and hardworking husband/father who supports our family, but I wanted to be contributing to our livelihood as well. However, being a full time mom, and running a household while attending college full time, especially in such a challenging field, required flexible work. Not to mention the fact that I was pregnant and delivered my third precious little boy during this time. So one day I was contemplating odd jobs, I was more in love with sewing than ever before, and I decided I would just google “how to earn money sewing”. That sounds silly, but it’s the truth, good old Google.

Well, little did I know where that would lead. Before long I was doing private label work for a children’s clothing designer. Soon I was doing product photography and taking on clients who needed me to do prototyping work. All along I was amassing a little collection of my own designs and selling them here and there to friends and at small craft shows.

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Time flew by and in May of 2014 I graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Biology from Castleton University in Vermont. I absolutely love science, I love research and problem solving. Despite this and all I had invested in my studies I was feeling more and more pulled towards my children’s line. I dreamed of making a go of it, of building something amazing. But Leaving something certain, something everyone expected me to continue in and that I had worked so hard at for something utterly uncertain and completely new was a frightening possibility. I convinced myself it was an amazing daydream but a scary reality. So, I continued to grad-school. I didn’t get far though, halfway through my first semester I took a leave of absence for personal reasons and that was when I finally decided to be brave enough to pursue this dream.

Here I am now, a year later. I have learned so much. I’ve refined my brand, stuck to what matters most to me, and created what I feel are some really special pieces. I am ever inspired by my children, by the natural world, and by a drive to build a company that is different than your average children’s line. I’m very committed to sourcing responsible materials and due to my background in the sciences, I feel I am acutely aware of the environmental, humanitarian,and health impacts of the products we bring into our lives. I’m striving to make sustainable and healthy choices down to each little detail. I am beyond excited to continue this journey and grateful for the ability to be there for my family and to have them be a part of this little company.

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What part of the world do you live in?

Vermont, USA. The green mountain state.

How many children do you have and how would you describe them?

3 boys. Maxwell, 16, is an overachiever like his mom but the most gentle soul. He is the principal bassist of the Vermont Youth Orchestra and an extremely talented musician. People are surprised to find out he’s 16, he has the maturity of an adult at times and is over 6 feet tall. Max plays on several school athletic teams, including the Varsity football team. But perhaps the most memorable thing about Max is his laugh, he has the most wonderful infectious laugh.

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Jacob, 10, the saying “still waters run deep” well it was written for this kid. My Jake is a bit of an introvert. He is the intelligent, quiet type. Those that know him best get to see his more relaxed side, and wow is it magical. He is passionately loving of his friends and family. He is full of emotion and so good at articulating his feelings. He doesn’t rush nor does he allow others to rush him and sometimes I really need his reminders to stop and smell the roses.

Derek, 3, this kids lights up our lives! He is doted on by the whole family and being the center of attention doesn’t bother him one bit. For his age his vocabulary is impressive, and he cracks us up on a daily basis with the things he comes up with. He has a habit of nicknaming people and the nicknames tend to stick. Derek is obsessed with helping and is so proud when the opportunity arises for him to use a tool or fix something with Daddy. He is my little sidekick and a HUGE part of Mountain Honey, you’ll always find him wearing a pair of ears!

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What are your core family values?

I’ve matured a lot over the last 16 years as a mom. The world has become a scary place for parents and I feel this has resulted in a tendency to overprotect a bit, honestly, it’s really hard now to balance keeping kids safe while giving them the space to discover who they are. This is what we are really working on as a family. I feel the best way to show someone you love them, is to do them the honor of trusting their judgement and allowing them to make decisions and to deal with any consequences that come. Our core values are honesty, responsibility, acceptance, and love. I’m working really hard to honor the difference between guidance and direction, to model these values instead of reciting them, and to give my kids opportunities to model those values as well.

How do you spend most of your days?  

Hahaha…October-December = wake, sew, wake kids, sew, make breakfast, sew, brush hair, remind boys to change underwear, sew, pack lunches, sew, drive kids to school, sew play play dough with Derek, sew, feed Derek lunch, read  with Derek, play with Derek, sew, pick kids up, sew, clean house, sew, cook dinner, sew, eat a family dinner, sew, cuddle kiddos, bedtime routine and kids to bed, sew, sew, sew, sew, sew, pass out, sleep 4 hours while dreaming about sewing. Repeat. Sprinkle in football games, concerts, playing outside, and family outings.

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What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

Discover new places.

What are you passionate about?

see novel above 😉

What do you design and how do you source your materials?

Designing is one of my favorite aspects of my job. Drafting patterns allows me to use my brainy side. Pattern drafting is as much engineering as it is creative. I make each and every one of my pieces myself, starting with the pattern design. Often, I am inspired by a fabric to create a new piece.

I have a deep love of fabric. While I buy some materials wholesale I also really enjoy patronizing small, locally owned fabric shops. Everywhere I travel, I find a shop to pop into and buy some treasured fabric. I’m also passionate about sourcing organic fabrics free of synthetic fiber. Not everything I source is organic but a really good percentage of it is. I haven’t done the exact math but I’d estimate at least 80% of the materials I use are organic and sustainably produced. My packing materials are all 100% recycled and I am extremely conscientious about energy use and waste in my studio.

Beyond the material there is the aesthetic piece. I think my aesthetic is best described as nature inspired with a vintage/heirloom charm. I love simple designs, that are timeless and a bit whimsical.

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What’s your favourite piece you’ve designed?

My bonnets, by far. They are my baby and are really unique to me. There is just something about putting ears on a baby, then combine that with an heirloom quality and styled piece, and you’ve got magic.

What are your dreams for your business and motherhood?

My biggest dream is to be a strong role model for my kids. It’s hard not to have some guilt about the little sacrifices we all have to make in order for this business to take off but I think the payoff is worth it. I dream that my kids will look back one day and appreciate that I showed them how valuable hard work and creativity are and that these efforts are reflected in the adults they become. My dreams of motherhood have less to do with me and more to do with what my kids experience, I hope that they feel loved and valued.

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My dreams for my business are that it will continue to grow and be successful. I wish for it to not only be able to sustain my family but that hopefully it will grow into something that can benefit my community and perhaps one day reach even farther. I don’t want to lose that handmade touch though, mass production will never be for me. I’d would love to be able to provide some flexible well paying jobs to other parents and to pass on my love for sewing.

Thank you, again, Deidre! Readers you can find Mountain Honey Clothier online shop here and on Instagram @mountainhoneyclothier_.

GIVEAWAY: To enter to win 2 bonnets from Mountain Honey Clothier, follow them on Instagram and leave me a comment here. For two extra entries subscribe to my blog by email, WordPress or Bloglovin. Contest closes Sunday November 8, 2015.

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Punjammies: Made from Hope, Worn for Comfort

Pyjamas are something I’ve not made a particularly special item in my wardrobe as an adult. Growing up, my parents gave me and my two siblings a new pair of pyjamas for Christmas each year. It was a lovely tradition. But once I stopped growing around age 12, the new pyjamas did not replace the old, over my last few years living at home, I accumulated an entire drawer of pyjamas. I often joked that I would never need to buy pyjamas again, I was set for life. Not surprisingly, I’m sure, I keep the children’s pyjamas down to a minimum with two pairs each, mostly for simplicity sake.

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However, when Cher, the owner of Underables (a Canadian organics retailer) wrote to me about an amazing line called Punjammies, I knew this was the right time to bring new pyjamas into our lives.

Punjammies are made in India by women who have been rescued from or escaped sexual slavery. Through the non-profit charity, Sudara, the women are given the opportunity to sew garments as a way to help them start over and build a new life for themselves and their children, within a supportive community of women and children. Not only are they paid above fair trade wages, they are also offered housing and medical care, and education for their children. Buying Punjammies directly supports these women and their efforts to restore their freedom and dignity. This is why they say the garments are “made from hope, worn for comfort”.

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We took our new pyjamas on a recent camping trip to Gloucester, Massachusetts, and on our last day I let Ro wear hers to the beach. Like most pyjamas they are very comfortable, the fabric is soft and the fit is just right. Ordinarily, I don’t let my children out of the house (or the tent!) in pyjamas (I’m laid back about most things, but pyjamas in public is not one of them), but on this occasion I said yes, because the pyjamas are so beautiful and don’t look so much like pyjamas that they call attention to themselves. And besides, sometimes we just need to say ‘yes’.

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Punjammies are available in children’s and women’s sizing, and I have to say I love mine. They are really comfortable and if someone pops in at my house and I’m still wearing mine I don’t feel underdressed. If you are interested in buying some and seeing the other fabrics they are available in, visit Underables. They ship worldwide and I have been nothing but pleased with the service and products from this store. (They also carry other great brands like Sapling Child, Goat Milk NYC, Mini Rodini, MOI Kids and Alpine Baby).

Visit Underables online shop here or find them on Instagram here.

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If you liked this post please consider sharing it or subscribing to my blog or both (!), your support helps me continue to write and share.

You might also like my post:

Shop Love: Little Heirloom

Creative Mother: Sophia of studio-escargot

Label Love: Luv Mother

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places…