How A Conscious Clothing Garment Is Made

We wanted to pull back the curtain and give you a behind the scenes of our production process. All of our garments are made to order, so it all starts with you, our amazing customer, hitting “send” on your order. Your order lands in our inbox. From there it is added to our “cut list.” Today we are following a Woodland Jumpsuit from fabric bolt to finished garment.

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Once we receive an order, we pull the proper sized pattern from our rack.

Conscious Clothing - How a garment is made

Cara carefully lays out the pattern pieces, paying attention to the grain and the layout, creating as little scrap waste as possible. We pre-wash our fabrics in-house to prevent shrinkage once the garment is finished.

Conscious Clothing - How a garment is made

The cut pattern pieces get neatly stacked on the sewing rack.

Our sewers grab a stack and start sewing. They fit the patten pieces together like a puzzle to bring the garment to life. We batch same color and style garments together for efficiency.

Conscious Clothing - How a garment is made

We add the hand screen printed tag during the sewing process.

Conscious Clothing - How a garment is made

Once sewn, the garment is trimmed.

Conscious Clothing - How a garment is made

Next the cover stitch is applied.

Conscious Clothing - How a garment is made

Then the snaps are added.

Conscious Clothing - How a garment is made

Finally the garment is finished, any stray threads are snipped and rolled with a lint roller. Then each garment carefully inspected before being folded and packaged for shipping.

Conscious Clothing - How a garment is made

We reuse scraps to thoughtfully wrap each order and tie up with one of our signature scissor stickers. Then we pack it up, free of plastic (whenever possible), and send it off to its new owner.

Conscious Clothing - How a garment is made

Where we hope she will unwrap and enjoy for years to come!

How To Wear Conscious Clothing For Holiday

Our clothes are pretty much the opposite of an ugly Christmas sweater; they are understated, well made and use natural materials. We know linen may not be the first material you think of when you reach into your closet to get dressed up for holiday parties, so we wanted to share our favorite ways to wear our pieces in a glamorous and festive way. We also have beautiful garments in raw silk and tencel, a soft sustainable fabric with a nice sheen. Keep scrolling to see how we styled the looks… plus one of our favorite holiday drink recipes!

Conscious Clothing Holiday
Conscious Clothing for Holiday

Our linen Jumpsuit looks classic and elegant with a pair of festive shoes and a cocktail ring.

Conscious Clothing for Holiday

Sasha is wearing the the Harvest Wrap Jumpsuit in stone and she layered it with the Alpine Cardigan in Pomegranate for the pop of holiday color.

Conscious Clothing for Holiday

Rose looks chic in the Moonrise Pant styled with the Alpine Cardigan in Sand.

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How to Wear Conscious Clothing for Holiday
Holiday Cocktails

The Selene wrap dress is one of our silk styles. It makes the perfect holiday little black dress, and we added a little extra bling with a vintage brooch.

Conscious Clothing For Holiday

Pomegranate and Rosemary Gin Fizz

recipe from Creative Culinary

  • 1/4 cup gin

  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp rosemary simple syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 sprig rosemary. Boil water until sugar dissolves, remove from heat, add rosemary and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Remove rosemary and refrigerate simple syrup)

  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate juice

  • Club soda, chilled

  • Rosemary sprigs and pomegranate arils for garnish

Directions

  1. Mix gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and pomegranate juice in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously 10-12 times then pour over ice in a lowball glass

  2. Top with club soda and stir gently.

  3. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a large spoonful of pomegranate arils!


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Our Marketing Director's Earth-Friendly Gift Guide

The more I read about consumerism and the wastefulness of the holidays, the more I want to abandon all the gift-giving hullabaloo. But, I have a three year old, so at the same time, these are the best Christmases! Though, unlike my upbringing where our living room was wall-to-wall gifts when my brothers and I came down the stairs on Christmas morning, I am opting for a small haul filled with thoughtful gift giving and intentional wishlist-making. I am making an effort to shop small and local when possible, and have a preference placed if the company gives back or makes their products sustainably. The items on my list below are a combination of all of the above. I already own everything I need, so my wish list is made of special items I have been coveting for months, but have not bought myself, because I know my mom and husband are always looking for the perfect gift for me.

Earth-Friendly Gift Guide
  1. Organic Linen Bedding - The bedding equivalent of our European linen garments. There is nothing better than sleeping on luxurious sheets.

  2. Do Good Tote - You can never have too many shopping totes, especially if it’s as cute as this one!

  3. Frida Linen Top - One of my favorite pieces in the new collection. I love the square neckline and this top is the perfect dress up/dress down garment.

  4. Cold Brew Coffee Maker and Carafe - I have been striving to generate less waste with my coffee drinking habit, so this to-go cold brew coffee maker is the perfect solution.

  5. Handmade Ceramic Vase - I love shopping small on Etsy and finding shops I love. This vase is made by hand with love and would look fabulous anywhere in your house.

  6. Oakmoss + Leather Simply Curated Candle - A local Grand Rapids favorite, these soy candles are made here in Michigan, 100% phthalate free and burn for 60 hours.

  7. Minimalist Wood Candlestick - Another handmade Etsy find: this set of candle holders will look amazing with my holiday decor and will transition easily to my everyday style.

  8. Organic Linen Block Printed Blanket - Our ecologically sourced linen is taken to the next level when we collaborated with textile artist, Brie Moblo of BMo Textiles, to make one-of-a-kind throws.

  9. Cooking Class - Cashing in on the experiential gift giving, I added a cooking class to my list. It’s a lovely date night that is fun and different and ends with plenty of food and wine.

Earth Friendly Gift Guide

Our Founder's Sustainable Gift Guide

A minimalist, always on the lookout to pair down, making a holiday wishlist is not my favorite task. We are currently renovating our home, so I have found a few holes, I would like to fill with beautiful, classic and long lasting goods. Similarly, my wardrobe is mostly established, but it’s always nice to layer on a few special pieces I will enjoy for years to come.

Eco Gift Guide
  1. Catalina Organic Towels - soft and beautiful organic cotton and organic linen towels in a lovely herringbone pattern.

  2. Sanko Bag - one of my favorite local companies, create supple handmade leather goods, this is the perfect everyday bag.

  3. East Fork Dinner Plate - Microwave and dishwasher-safe pottery dinner plate, made with regional materials in North Carolina, would look so pretty placed on an open shelf.

  4. Gotland Felted Wool Slippers - toasty slippers, ethically made with made with Danish and New Zealand virgin wool.

  5. Denim Surplus Jacket - our denim jacket, lined with hemp fleece, perfect for layering all winter long.

  6. Raw Moonstone Ring - I love the organic look of this handmade, raw moonstone ring, would look great stacked or worn alone.

  7. Eames Storage Unit - Made by local West Michigan company, Herman Miller, this storage unit will last forever and is a classic piece to pass down to my children.

  8. Glass Jar with Bamboo Lid - Moving toward a plastic-free life is a constant goal, these aesthetically pleasing jars can hold just about anything.

  9. Bamboo Drying Rack - This classic design is eco friendly and foldable, perfect for small spaces.

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Our Social Media Manager's Eco Gift Guide

I remember the shocking feelings I had while reading about the behind-the-scenes of America’s agriculture industry in one of my high school English classes. Soon after, I stumbled upon a documentary that gave me a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of the fashion industry… which shocked me on a whole other level! I had never thought much about where my items came from before, let alone how they impacted both people and the environment. After doing a little research, I realized how much of an impact every individual has on the world, which sparked the beginning of my sustainability journey. The items on my list are products I love sold by brands I believe in. Happiest of holidays to you all!

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide
  1. House Plant from Peace & Toil - There’s something about plants that make me feel more at peace and in tune with nature; there’s a term for this called biophilic design.

  2. Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bags - I’m pretty sure that these have changed my life! I already have a couple of these nifty reusable bags, which you can use to store, freeze, boil, and microwave things. Clean up is easy too: just throw them in the dishwasher!

  3. Garden Top - I absolutely love this piece from our collection, particularly in the color “Curry.” I like that it pairs well with high waisted pants because since I’m petite, I often wear that style to help elongate my legs.

  4. Meow Meow Tweet Shampoo Bar - I’ve been working on going zero-waste in my bathroom for a while, and this is one of those items that just makes sense to have around. This bar works great, has a beautiful smell, and you can break off a little piece for easy travel (no worries about ounces for airplanes.)

  5. Mata Traders Sun Drop Silver Earrings - You can always catch me with a pair of dangle earrings; my favorite type of jewelry! I’m a fan of this brand because they care about fair trade and work to bring fair wages to artisans around the world.

  6. Sprout Plantable Pencils - These are on my list because I can use these pencils for school and then plant them to grow mint, basil, or several other things.

  7. Nightlight Hemp Overalls - I have a pair of overall shorts that I wear in the summer, but I don’t have a long-legged pair yet. These will be a staple piece for my winter capsule wardrobe.

  8. Pela Biodegradable Phone Case - Protect your phone while protecting the environment? Sounds like a good idea to me!

  9. AM Yoga Drop In Class at a Local Studio - Yoga helps relieve me of stress while making my body feel so much better, especially when I don’t want to exercise much outside in the cold.

Conscious Clothing Eco Gift Guide

Conscious Muse - Morgan Ford of The White Farm House Blog

If you follow The White Farm House Blog on instagram, you are familiar with the beautiful, farm lifestyle she portrays. Pulling up to Morgan’s charming home, was basically like walking into her feed. We were greeted by a sweet, fluffy dog, Wyatt, we were barely in the door when Morgan offered us freshly baked scones and coffee. Her two sweet toddlers, Auburn and Gus bustled about, while Morgan made her favorite holiday potpourri. Morgan is mama, a nurse, a blogger, a wife, an influencer, a farm hand and a true lifestyle brand. She is also one of the kindest and most humble humans I’ve ever met. Morgan embodies the Conscious Clothing woman. She is a strong woman with deep values. She cares about quality and respects the earth, and she instills those values in her children. We are honored that Morgan not only invited us into her home and allowed the talented Amy Carroll to capture a snapshot of her life and family, but she also sat down for an interview.

 Morgan wears:  Garden Dress  +  Alpine Cardigan

CC: Tell us a little bit about your story. 

Morgan: Well it all started when i married the boy next door. Then we bought the house in the middle. yes, you heard that. We live smack dab in the middle between my family's farm and my husbands family farm. We lived there a year before one night at dinner my hubby decided to rip down the panty in the kitchen to show me the brick chimney running through the center. And that right there, is when it all began. Boy if i knew than what i know now..... one year later we remolded the home all ourselves. 

CC: What does a typical day in the life look like?

Morgan: Motherhood/working mamma.  I am an RN working three days a week ripping those poor babes out of bed those early morning before rushing to work.  The days are long, but its only three days I tell myself. 

CC: You are a working mom with two small kiddos, a blogger and keep an impeccable space! How do you do it all?

Morgan: Well, you don’t find me sitting often. But thats okay! I love it that way.  I loved being involved with my work and our kids.  And of course I love rearranging the home and always imaging spaces and making a comfortable home for my family. 

The White Farmhouse Blog for Conscious Clothing
 Morgan wears  Georgia Dress

Morgan wears Georgia Dress

CC: You make farm life look so dreamy. What do you love about farm life? Tell us about the less glamorous parts?

Morgan: It is hard. Just because its negative 10 degrees doesn’t mean you can stay inside. Everyone still needs water and food, fresh bedding. 

The White Farmhouse Blog for Conscious Clothing

CC: Do you have any "mom hacks" you want to share?

Morgan: If you're spending hours upon the day picking up and moving things, before you even have time to clean i do believe it is best to look at all those things and have less of those things. 

CC: As you know, Conscious Clothing is all about being conscious about our consumption and how we interact with the earth. How do incorporate eco or sustainability practices into your life? How do you pass those values along to your kids?

Morgan: I grew up on a farm and learned quality or quantity from the start.  I went through a stage of wanting everything trend or the next best thing, and shorty there later found it all to be the biggest waste. 

CC: Your beautiful instagram feed makes it look like you have mastered the art of slow living. Is social media a total lie or do you have tips on moving toward a slower, more intentional lifestyle. 

Morgan: LOL! social media sure is a funny thing isn’t it? Whether it’s trying to be intentional with the family or with my kids, I feel the same regarding social media. It’s a tool. and yes we all love IG and Pinterest to keep a running list of my dream projects, BUT I need to have boundaries. I can't keep dreaming for the next thing, but need to be present. My best tips towards being content, is finding happiness at home and with yourself. Comparison that comes from this thing called social media is a real thing. If you're checking social media before bed and the first thing when you wake up before greeting your kids or spouse you may be in that death trap that captures most of us all. You will find you are more present and intentional when you aren't spending so many minutes an hour checking those things. 

CC: You are a fellow West Michigander, do you have any favorite places or things to do in Michigan?

Morgan: My favorite things are to get take out pizza from a local bakery in Symra, Michigan with their homemade peanut butter bars, rent a movie, and stay home as a family. 

The White Farmhouse Blog for Conscious Clothing
The White Farmhouse Blog for Conscious Clothing
 Morgan wears:  Garden dress  + apron (coming soon)

Morgan wears: Garden dress + apron (coming soon)

CC: Favorite holiday recipes? 

Morgan: Christmas potpourri cooking on the stove. 

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

1 orange sliced

4 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2-3 cups water

- combine ingredients in a small pot and simmer over low heat for as long as designer. Add more water if it gets low and enjoy the holiday scent!

CC: What are your favorite pieces in the Conscious Clothing collection?

Morgan: The Garden Linen Dress, Frida Top, and the Alpine Cadigan

The White Farmhouse Blog for Conscious Clothing

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photos by Amy Carroll

Black Friday By the Numbers

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. As a conscious retailer, we have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. As a small business these additional sales sustain us through slow seasons, but as a conscious brand with values, we also see how wasteful this time of the year can be. We are doing our part by creating quality products, which are made sustainably and ethically and built to have longevity to grow with your wardrobe for years to come. We also avoid using plastic in our shipping process in order to minimize negative effects on our planet. Check out this infographic we put together depicting the impacts this season has on our earth. This year, we want to focus on being conscious with more than our clothing! Will you join us?

Black Friday Infographic

Small Business Saturday Pop-Up Shop

Our next pop-up shop is coming to the Grand Rapids area this Saturday, November 24th at OMG! Yoga in Rockford, Michigan from 10:30AM - 2PM. We are excited to share the space with one of our favorite fellow local businesses and celebrate small business Saturday and the unofficial start to the holiday season! We will be bringing our entire collection, not just our yoga gear, though we will have that too, of course. Drop by, feel our luxurious fabrics in person, try on some styles, then work off some mashed potatoes.

Conscious Clothing Pop-up

Conscious Clothing Capsule Wardrobe

We are excited to introduce you to Lauren Koster! Lauren spent 12 years in the mainstream fashion industry. She designed beautiful products, but as she educated herself on the cost of fashion it began to weigh on her. Early in her career her lunch breaks were spent shopping in Midtown Manhattan. Later on she watched out her 34th Street office as Zara and H&M got new merchandise daily and saw the industry and her own consumer habits in a new light. Now, she focuses on intentional purchases, and creating a curated capsule wardrobe that offers maximum potential for outfit combinations. Lauren shares her favorite Conscious Clothing pieces and how she loves to mix them to create a chic, ethical capsule wardrobe.


FOR WORK

Lauren wears the Frida top with cropped wide leg jeans. This top is great because it can be worn untucked with jeans for a more casual everyday look or can be tucked in with trousers for a more polished look.

Conscious Clothing Capsule Wardrobe

FRIDAY DATE NIGHT

The Carmen in tencel is perfect for a night out. This soft fabric has a subtle sheen that can play off of denim or more rugged materials. It can also be worn with leather leggings or a pencil skirt for a dressier event. Here the top is paired with the Denim Kimono Jacket; we love this jacket as a perfect alternative to the classic blazer shape!

Conscious Clothing Capsule Wardrobe
Conscious Clothing Capsule Wardrobe

HOSTING A DINNER PARTY

For a special occasion our Georgia Dress stands on it’s own. The linen is breathable and the fit is relaxed! This is perfect for spending the afternoon prepping in the kitchen, and then shining as the hostess. We adore the subtle pop of color of ‘Clay,’ which Lauren is wearing here.

Conscious Clothing Capsule Wardrobe
Conscious Clothing Capsule Wardrobe

WEEKEND RELAXING

There is nothing better than lounging in the Woodland Jumpsuit. The hemp fleece is ridiculously soft. Lauren layers the jumpsuit with the Denim Surplus Jacket for an afternoon hike.

Conscious Clothing Capsule Wardrobe
Conscious Clothing Capsule Wardrobe

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Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

At our earth-conscious company, many of our employees opt for a meat and animal product-free lifestyle. The vegetarian and vegan options are endless but if a meat-eater is hosting this holiday, you may end up with gizzards in the stuffing, bacon in the Brussels sprouts and butter butter everywhere. Of course we, who choose to abstain from many of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, still want to partake in the joys and celebration of food this holiday season. Our employees rounded up some of our favorite meatless recipes that are sure to please even the biggest steak-lover.


ROASTED VEGAN THANKSGIVING BOWL


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes - Conscious Clothing

ONE HOUR VEGAN POT PIES


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes - Conscious Clothing
Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes - Conscious Clothing

VEGAN GRAVY


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes - Conscious Clothing

VEGAN MASHED POTATOES WITH ROASTED GARLIC


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes - Conscious Clothing

VEGAN BUTTERNUT SQUASH STUFFED SHELLS


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes - Conscious Clothing

WILD RICE MUSHROOM STUFFING


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes - Conscious Clothing

GLUTEN FREE VEGAN DINNER ROLLS


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

SALTED CARMEL APPLE PIE


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes - Conscious Clothing

VEGAN PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes - Conscious Clothing

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season

Over 6 million tons of waste will be created this holiday season. Households will create 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Trash from shipping and gift wrap alone makes an additional 4 million tons of waste. 2.65 billion Christmas cards are printed each year. That is enough to cover an entire football field 10 stories high! 30 million Christmas trees and nearly a quarter of our food ends up in landfills. According to a national survey, 60% of people receive unwanted gifts and 70% would welcome less emphasis on gifting and spending. We know we are a consumer company, but we want to live up to our name and be conscious consumers. For our part, our quality garments are built to last, our fabric is eco and sustainable and we don’t use plastic in our shipping! In this post, we’ll be sharing more ways to reduce your waste this holiday season.

10 Ways To Reduce Waste This Holiday Season

Give Experiences

Instead of buying lots of gifts with little meaning, opt to give experiences. Anything from a nice dinner, to a day at the museum, to tickets to the ballet or a football game can become a meaningful gift and a wonderful way to be present with the receiver. Plus, you eliminate the shipping and the gift wrap.

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season - Give Experiences

photo: Elle


Use Gift Wrap Alternatives

As thrifty as we are here with our cutting, we end up with extra beautiful fabric. We can’t wait to try out the Furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping, using our fabrics scraps. Some other ideas to reduce gift wrap waste include using old maps, magazines, newspapers and miscellaneous craft scraps. You can reduce tape by using twine and opting for compostable branches or springs instead of ribbons or bows.

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season - Gift Wrap Alternatives

via: Eyeswoon


Use Zero Waste Decorations

This time of year nearly every store has multiple aisles of decor dedicated to holiday decor, which equals a lot of waste! Try shopping second hand instead. You can find some gems at thrift shops or shop curated collections at antique shops. Don’t underestimate items found in nature or even around the house. Branches shine when placed in vases around the house and clothes pins with recycled bags make a perfect advent calendar.

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season - Use Zero Waste Decor

Utilize Stockings

When giving small gifts utilize the stockings so each item does not have to be individually wrapped.

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season - Utilize Stockings

Recycle Last Year’s Cards

Last year’s Christmas cards can be used to make holiday crafts like these ornaments, gift tags, bunting or even paper dolls. See more ideas here.

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season - Recycled Ornaments

Bring Out The China

We know dishes are annoying, but so is the additional holiday party waste in landfills and oceans. Have fun styling your table and opt for washable dish ware and reusable napkins and tablecloths.

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season - Skip the Paper Plates and Napkins

photo: Carley Rudd / design: Jenni Kayne / via: Chalkboard Mag


Regift

This is a tough one, but the age old troupe is true: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Give thoughtfully and with discretion. A nice idea would be to add a little something handmade or new to make it extra special.

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season - Regift

Opt For a Real Tree & Compost It When Finished

If possible, choose a potted tree. A smaller, potted tree can be just as festive as a cut tree. Plus, you can plant it yourself or donate it to a local tree-planting group! If you can’t find a potted tree, buy a real tree and compost it when finished. Find a local composting service to pick it up. Finally, artificial trees are often made from PVC, which off-gasses toxic chemicals into your home. If you do go with an artificial tree, make sure you choose one that’s nontoxic.

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season - Opt for a Potted Tree

Make Consumable Gifts

Start collecting jars now and make consumable gifts like this granola, which the receiver can use and then reuse the jar. Search Pinterest for endless consumable gift ideas like food, soap, beauty or cleaning products.

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season - Give Consumable Gifts

Skip the White Elephant Swap

I don’t want to be the wet blanket, but with the amount of waste that is already created during the holiday season, a game with the object of giving the most cringe-worthy gift does not make any sense. Instead be a conscious consumer and give something you know the receiver will use and enjoy.

10 Ways to Reduce Waste This Holiday Season - Opt out of a White Elephant Exchange

photo: Style Me Pretty


Do you have other ideas? Please share in the comments!

Holiday Pop-up Shop

We have had so many of you reach out and ask where you can try on Conscious Clothing styles locally. We are so excited to announce that we are having a few pop-up shops around the Grand Rapids area. The first is this Sunday, November 4th at Brewery Vivant. Come have a beer, see the clothes in person, feel the fabric quality and get a jump on your holiday shopping!


Conscious Clothing creates sustainable handmade clothing, using eco friendly and low impact materials.

If you can’t make it out on Sunday, don’t worry! We have three pop-up shops scheduled this holiday season.


  • 11/24 - Small Business Saturday Pop-up at OMG Yoga - 251 Northland Dr NE, Rockford, MI 49341

  • 12/21 - Gemini Handmade - 963 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506 (new location opening 11/20)

From fields to fabric

by Joshua Newman

The harvest moon a few days ago marked an official beginning to autumn here in Michigan, and the bright, glowing moon shines for multiple nights to offer farmers just a gleam more of daylight as they harvest their crops. Autumn is often the time that we reference harvests as it has historically been the time of year that our food crops are ripe and ready for picking. Of course, with today’s global shipping industry and the peak of food production science, the seasons hardly effect the availability of our favorite fruits and vegetables. However, food isn’t the only resource we grow in fields.

“. . .polyester and nylon are both derivatives of petroleum. Synthetic fabrics are. . .a product of the oil industry.”

At Conscious Clothing we strive to use fabrics that are as sustainable and natural as possible. In fact, all of our fabric is sourced from natural materials and, excluding our silk and wool, all of our fabrics are plant-based. The fabrics we use are free from many of the synthetic materials and chemicals commonly used to treat apparel. If you didn’t know: polyester and nylon are both derivatives of petroleum. Synthetic fabrics are not only a product of the oil industry, but also require chemical-heavy processes to produce, and don’t break back down by natural means, just like any other plastic.

 Plant-based fabrics

Plant-based fibers are derived from renewable materials and, when free of chemical-heavy treatment, are able to decompose via organic processes to be returned to the soil, able to grow new plants. It is vital to our business model that in creating products, we are not contributing to the excessive consumption and waste of our society. The reason our clothing is different is because its durable enough for lifetimes, but not an eternity and when its usable lifetime has passed, it will slowly disappear to leave behind exactly what was intended: nothing.

The three main plant-based fabrics we use at Conscious Clothing are linen, cotton, and hemp. The production processes for these plants differs slightly. Cotton is probably the most familiar plant to people. It’s flowers form a bur, which is the soft, fluffy part that we extract the fibers from. This fuzzy ball contains the seeds, which are removed via the ginning process, and the fluff is then carded, combed, and spun into yarn for fabric.

An additional factor to cotton production is “organic” label. Organic cotton is just as water-intensive as regular cotton, but organic cotton is grown while avoiding chemical-heavy pesticides and genetically modified organisms. Using organic fertilizers and biological pest control methods can help keep the process of growing cotton from contributing to land and water pollution through chemical runoff.

 Our Denim Kimono Jacket uses organic cotton from Rawganique. Pictured in Indigo

Bast fibers like our linen and hemp aren’t so straightforward. While cotton fibers grow fruit-like, held out and prime for picking, bast fibers must be extracted from the stem or stalk of the plant. The stalks of the plants are either cut or pulled up from the ground to undergo a process called retting. Retting uses moisture to soften the tissue around the fiber, and then the stalks are threshed to separate the fibers from the rest of the plant material. The process of hackling combs the long fibers out before they are finally spun into yarn for fabric.

“Hemp and linen are also excellent bast fibers because they don’t require chemical fertilizers or pesticides, little energy and water, and all parts of the plant are used.”

Hemp and linen are also excellent bast fibers because they don’t require chemical fertilizers or pesticides, little energy and water, and all parts of the plant are used. Unlike cotton, the rest of the hemp and flax (linen) plants are used to make products like linseed oil, cattle feed, soap and fuel. The seeds are an incredible source of protein and are used in many human dietary supplements.

 Fabrics can be naturally colored instead of dyed to save the use of dyes, mordents, and chemicals

While cotton’s softness is unmatched, it is a very chemical- and water-intensive crop. Fabrics like hemp and linen can be “cottonized” or brushed to soften the fabric’s texture and cotton can be mixed with less resource heavy fibers like hemp to produce a more durable product that’s just as soft.

These plants allow us to find comfort and protection in the soft, warm shelter of our favorite garments. They offer us durable, sustainable alternatives to the synthetic-heavy fast-fashion machine and prevents us from contributing to the plastic waste problem. When we are conscious of the options placed before us, we can choose not only what is best for our needs, but the needs of future generations, and of the well-being of the planet. Plant-based products like our clothes are truly sustainable because they participate in the natural cycles of the Earth. Participate consciously.

Fall fabrics made to suit

by Joshua Newman

Fall is here. The end of Labor Day turns our attention to the leaves as we anticipate their brilliant show of color. Some of us scramble to squeeze last-minute outdoor adventures into the warm weather, and others are quick to reach for knits and mulled wine. While the battle of the seasons is never over, autumns arrival is inevitable and stunning. If you don’t live somewhere where the leaves change, taking a trip just to see it would be worth it. Yellows, reds, and oranges rise over rooftops in a display that’s as stunning as a sunset.

Places like Michigan require a keen knowledge of layers to build clothing ensembles that allow for the addition and removal of items, all while maintaining a uniform style. As autumn/winter fashion shows approach their dates on the calendar, many people are eager to grow their wardrobes with new styles and are excited to layer lush knits with stiff wool tweed. Although style, fads, and trends will be the focus of the major fashion shows to come, we at Conscious Clothing remember that durability and natural quality are as imperative to the fashion landscape as the trends.

Just in time for the fall fashion frenzy is our new autumn lineup which features natural minimalism that sews mindfulness and taste together. This week, we’re going to highlight a few of our favorite new items and  information about their production.

Our Denim Kimono Jacket wraps and ties to fit your unique body shape. The 100% organic cotton is a heavy denim weave for ultimate durability and a crisp drape. The fabric is produced by an amazing company called Rawganique without the use of pesticides, and is dyed naturally without chemical mordants or fixatives. The non-GMO cotton plants are raised in Europe and woven without the use of sweatshops and other forced human labor.

The Eclipse Parka is a more casual outerwear option for those looking to stay warm and dry this autumn. The waist tie not only keeps out those chilly drafts, but helps hug at the midline for your ideal fit. The shell is composed of a unique hemp/wool blend that combines the durability and breathability of hemp with the softness of cotton and the weight of wool. Available in navy and black, this jacket stays the chill without holding the damp, and hangs to the thigh to keep the draft away from your waistline.

The Selene Silk Wrap Dress uses a wrap and tie fixture to make sure all body types fit just the way they should. The Selene uses a simple design, but pairs it with luxurious raw silk for an elegantly adorable knee-length wrap dress. Raw silk is a much more sustainable alternative to regular silk that forgoes chemical refining process and embraces the beauty of nature’s imperfection. Silk is incredibly resistant to both pilling and static, unlike many synthetic fabric options, and is incredibly thin when compared to other natural fibers. Despite the thinness, this fabric is surprisingly well insulated for when those summer nights shift to autumn ones.

These light, breathable pants utilize a wrap and tie waistline that allow a customizable fit higher or lower at the wearer’s discretion. The textured cotton is both visually and tactually engaging, made of medium wight, ultra-soft cotton that has a light drape and moisture-wicking breathability.

The New Moon Tunic is the perfect layering staple that pairs seamlessly with your favorite slim leg or stands alone as a cute shirt dress. The lightweight tunic is the perfect base layer for your autumn lineup coming in a variety of colors and even two different fabrics. Available in our raw silk, this tunic sheens brilliantly and drapes with the breeze. As a new addition to our fabrics, the New Moon Tunic is also available in herb and fog Tencel. Tencel, known generically as Lyocell, is similar to rayon in the way it uses cellulose from plants to build a fiber. However, lyocell uses a different spinning technique that is much more sustainable to produce. In addition, Lyocell is lightweight, but more durable than other cellulosic fibers and is known for being soft and lustrous.

These garments were created with the intention of providing strong, stylish clothing at the smallest possible cost to the Earth. At Conscious Clothing, we take advantage of nature’s materials, and avoid polluting them with unnecessary chemical dyes or treatments because clothing has an intimate relationship to your skin. We want our clothes to fit many body types, and our new fall collection takes advantage of wrap-style garments to allow for the most customizable fit possible.

“These garments were created with the intention of providing strong, stylish clothing at the smallest possible cost to the Earth.”

Humans can never be better designers than nature, but we can take what nature’s given us and produce products that are conscious not just about what looks and feels good, but also of the costs to our planet as we use its resources. We strive to take advantage of renewable materials that will outlast the trends of fast fashion, and to mold nature’s materials into a variety of clothing options that you not only feel good in, but feel good about.

Aiming for Change

by Joshua Newman

Human interference with Earth’s cycles takes a toll that threatens survival for many of Earth’s organisms including humanity itself. Natural scientists and environmental enthusiasts around the world would agree that Earth’s biodiversity is one of it’s most beautiful features, but the endangered species list grows while our society actively threaten the habitats and food chains that sustain Earth’s delicate balance.

 Our Luna Wrap Dress in Curry, photo by Jeen Na

"It’s not just the one time you threw a wrapper on the ground, it’s the billions of people who did it one time that puts a billion plastic wrappers into the ground."

The longer environmental science is around, the more we are able to understand what activities and behaviors have a negative impact. Regardless of where you live, it’s becoming more important than ever to begin paying attention to the little things: the kinds of plants you put in your garden can help the dwindling bee population and the kind of soap you wash your car with can affect the organisms in your lawn.

Defensive logic such as “What is one person going to change?” or “It’s just this once” enable not just individuals, but society as whole to stall change. A major inconsistency with this frame of mind is that no-one is the only one. It’s never a single individual with this mindset, it’s millions. It’s not just the one time you threw a wrapper on the ground, it’s the billions of people who did it one time that puts a billion plastic wrappers into the ground. It’s both a collective and individual responsibility to maintain our natural world.

Environmental conservation groups such as The Nature Conservancy work to call for corporate responsibility and protect natural resources like water. However, since Trump entered the oval office, there has been significant backlash against environmental organizations and even the scientists and researchers studying our planet.

The power to drive change has shifted, more than ever, to individuals and consumers. The government is now rolling back endangered species protections, importing dangerous chemicals such as asbestos, and defunding government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency. We can’t rely on the government to change things for us, we have to do it ourselves.

As consumers, the kinds of products we spend our money on directly influences the kinds of products that are made. The demand for a product, and the money spent on it, drives its manufacture and availability. With governmental and private environmental groups weakened due to the current political climate, corporations are being freed of many responsibilities to society and the environment, leaving their only concern to be profit.

 We've designed our latest collection in durable, long-lasting fabrics and neutral colors to help your wardrobe stay in style and in your closet.

"The single-use lifestyle needs to be challenged and defeated by products and habits that work in tandem with our natural world..."

To encourage large businesses to produce sustainable products, there has to be a flow of money from consumers to sustainable businesses to demonstrate the viability of the market. Of course, our influence isn’t limited to our buying power, but also political and social involvement. You can vote for political candidates who support environmental conservation, or you can volunteer for groups like The Nature Conservancy to help out on the local level.

It’s important for us as consumers to understand the kinds of materials products are made of and what happens to our belongings once we dispose of them. The single-use lifestyle needs to be challenged and defeated by products and habits that work in tandem with our natural world, so that we can form a symbiotic relationship with our home, rather than a parasitic one.

There are a number of resources online such as this water use quiz and GoodGuide that can help you understand how your habits and products impact the people, places, and things around you. Take the initiative to learn about your favorite products and companies, the manufacturing processes behind them, and what the materials can be used for after disposal.

In fact, the first of this month marked another perilous milestone of the modern age: Earth Overshoot Day. Earth Overshoot Day is the day of the year that humans have used more resources than can be replenished in that year. As you can imagine, it annually gets closer and closer to January. Essentially, this means that after August 1, every resource being used is being pulled from future generations. This includes everything from water to food, to fiber for clothing.

The stem of the problem isn’t the production of these goods, but the consumption of them, and the rate at which these items go from being considered “goods” to being considered “waste.” Obviously resources like food are a one-time deal, they are automatically reduced to waste as our bodies process the nutrients out of them. However, with products like clothing, the conversion of them to trash has nothing to do with their functionality, but only our perception of them.

 Denim Kimono in Natural, photo by Jeen Na

"Earth Overshoot Day is the day of the year that humans have used more resources than can be replenished in that year."

Seeing as it’s the new moon, a time for new beginnings, perhaps you can take a look at your shopping lists and budgets for the rest of the month and consider what you plan to consume, what’s necessity, and what’s desire. Maybe the jacket you plan to replace can actually be repaired, or maybe the shirt that’s stained can be dyed or embroidered. It doesn’t take a sewing machine or technical know-how to come up with solutions. Internet communities like forums and databases such as YouTube can help teach you skills or give you ideas that you might actually enjoy implementing.

Of course, that’s not to say society should stop purchasing altogether. If that were the case, the economy would grind to a halt. Instead of making only inexpensive purchases, focus on quality and construction. It’s about getting your money’s worth, purchasing something that will outlast trend culture and express your unique taste for years to come. There’s never a better time to change spending habits, because change is never going to be convenient. If we can join forces as a community to change our habits and protect our natural environment, maybe we can avoid Earth Overshoot Day altogether.

Linen beats the heat

by Joshua Newman

Summer is a favorite season for many people. It’s easy to see why, especially for those with a proclivity to the outdoors. Summer provides a boom in nature’s activity and also in our involvement with nature. For us in temperate climates, summer is the only season for hiking to a secret camping spot, or lazing a day away at the beach.

 Our linen Ranch Dress at the Silver Lake Dunes

Our linen Ranch Dress at the Silver Lake Dunes

"A common theme of more recent summers all around the world has been record-setting heat..."

The summer heat also comes with its downsides, and downsides are slowly increasing as a result of global warming, threatening the stability of nature’s systems. A common theme of more recent summers all around the world has been record-setting heat, and while we’ve known about global warming for years, the rise in temperature is just the tip of an iceberg of consequences.

Not all of these natural consequences are set into motion, but only our actions in the present can determine the future, and it’s hopeful that there is a steady rise in sustainable life choices. As many of us in the sustainable market know, the sustainable answer isn’t always the most effective answer, and it usually takes a bit of research to find a product that fits your need without chipping away at the environment.

In weather like this, heat waves can cause us to seek practicality and function over long-term impact. Products like Dri-FIT polyester sports shirts and other synthetic sportswear become very attractive because of their ability to dry quickly in sweaty times like these. However, just because a material is dominating the market doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option.

If you haven’t seen on our social media, Conscious Clothing has released a men’s shirt that is a great example of products that are both functional and sustainable. The new shirt is a long-sleeve with forward point collar and brass snaps. The most exciting part is it’s made of all-natural lightweight linen.

 Our Men's Shirt in Sage

Our Men's Shirt in Sage

"... linen wicks moisture away from your skin and into the air, similar to how Dri-FIT fabrics work, without the plastic..."

Linen is a fabric made from the flax fiber. Flax plants are much easier to grow than typical plant-based fibers like cotton because they are naturally insect resistant and don’t require water-intensive irrigation. The plants can be treated through chemical-free processes to produce a soft, durable fabric.

 A detail of our Men's Shirt in Truffle

A detail of our Men's Shirt in Truffle

This warm weather is perfect for linen garments because linen is hygroscopic, absorbing up to 20% of its weight in moisture to release into the air around you. In short, linen wicks moisture away from your skin and into the air, similar to how Dri-FIT fabrics work, without the plastic. Linen doesn’t trap air or moisture, providing cooling airflow through the garment. Linen is also lint-free, doesn’t pill, and releases stains easier than cotton. If you’re worried about durability, linen is three times stronger than cotton, perfect for your roughest outdoor hobbies.

 A flax field in late summer

A flax field in late summer

"Flax plants are much easier to grow than typical plant-based fibers like cotton because they are naturally insect resistant and don’t require water-intensive irrigation..."

If you’re excited about linen fabric, check out our full women’s line which includes a number of linen choices to help you feel fresh during the heat and humidity of this summer.

Here are some of our favorite linen picks for the summer:

https://www.consciousclothing.net/shop/the-mens-shirt

https://www.consciousclothing.net/shop/organic-linen-fresco-dress

https://www.consciousclothing.net/shop/origami-dress

Weekly Wear: From Yoga to Lunch

We're finally in the dog days of summer -- early mornings and late nights, the days are so long! And boy is it hot and humid here in Michigan... get away with staying cool and looking great by mixing some of our yoga line with our cooling spring linen line!

Conscious Clothing creates sustainable handmade clothing, using eco friendly and low impact materials.

We love the color blocking effect of our Yoga Bralette in Wine paired with the Kahlo Pants in Clay. Such a warm, summery combo! If cool tones are more your thing, wear the same styles in Shibori and in Sky! Pair with Yoga Shorts underneath and take this outfit all the way through your coffee shop stop, morning yoga class, to the lunch plans you've made for afterwards. The days are hot and sunny enough to get away with it! Not that you need an excuse to wear ethical ;)

The Deeper Issue of Plastic

by Joshua Newman

Plastic is one of our favorite materials. Since its inception, we’ve tried making almost everything we have out of it. We’ve used plastic to make houses, cars, clothes, furniture, and even jewelry. Plastic has proven to be an extremely useful material for a number of reasons. First, it’s cheap to produce. Second, it can be molded into almost any shape or structure. It can be extruded into fiber, or molded into an object. Plastic can be used as an insulator and is also good for waterproofing. Plastics can be developed for a range of strength and durability. It sounds like plastic would be an ideal material for everything, but there’s a major issue facing its use.

 image via EcoWatch

Due in large part to it’s cheap production costs, plastic is used rather carelessly for any number of products we need A LOT of. Things like straws and containers are a huge consideration in the problem facing plastic use because the material is far more durable than the lifetime of the products it composes. The convenience and cheap costs of polymers have overshadowed the logic and reason behind manufacture and considerations like service life vs product life aren’t taken into consideration because it’s more expensive to make products that are biodegradable.

What truly counts as cost? Is it just money? Is loss of biodiversity a cost? What about the water that can no longer be drunk? Does the air quality count as a cost when it’s no longer breathable? The immediate cost to you as consumer is money, of course, but an informed, conscious consumer is aware of the other costs that wasteful behavior affords us.

Beyond the issue of plastic objects left behind after use, there is another category of plastic pollution that’s gaining traction: microplastics. Microplastic is a rather new term that began to gain attention after the use of plastic microbeads in many face and body washes. The beads were added for exfoliation, but a problem was brought into view when it was realized that the beads would not be caught by filtration systems and washed into the ocean. With World Oceans Day on June 8 of very year, there’s not a better time to pull everyone’s attention to such an important environmental issue.

"an informed, conscious consumer is aware of the other costs that wasteful behavior affords us"

 image via verdict.co.uk

In the textile and apparel industry, we face a different microplastic issue stemming from the fibers of garments themselves. It is well known that fibers and fabrics degrade over time, and everyone has experienced some kind of lint during their washing responsibilities. However, lint never presented much of an issue because as far as we’re concerned, the fabric is breaking down and the lint will continue to do so and go away.

In part this is true, but only for natural fibers that decompose. In the case of man-made fibers like nylon and polyester, the lint is produced by small pieces of fiber that are broken off from the larger strand. This can occur simply out of use and maintenance (washing) of the garment as fibers are weakened. These synthetic fibers are ultimately the material we modern Earth-dwellers have come to use in everything: plastic.

"The plastic straws your grandparents used at the soda fountain are likely floating somewhere in the ocean, under the sand, or have been consumed by sea life"

These tiny little plastic fibers are not capable of the natural process of decomposition and continue to exist, even though they may break further into smaller pieces of fiber, they will still take as long as say, a water bottle, to completely degrade naturally. This process takes 500-1000 years. That’s not a typo. The plastic straws your grandparents used at the soda fountain are likely floating somewhere in the ocean, under the sand, or have been consumed by sea life.

 image via montereybayaquarium.org

In the case of microfibers, however, the pieces of plastic are so small that they’re accidentally ingested and inhaled by sea creatures, often ending up in seafood products we serve back to humans. The plastic pollution isn’t just bad for the environment and the animals, it’s bad for us too, and it’s making its way back to our plates.

Even though most plastics can be recycled, the way they’re produced and made into a product can heavily impact their ability to be recycled. In the fashion industry, we make it nearly impossible to recycle synthetic fibers because of the way we mix different fibers together. Cotton and polyester are an excellent example of this practice because almost all t-shirts, socks, and underwear are some kind of polyblend. This practice allows garments to have the soft, luscious feel of cotton with the strength and cost-effectiveness of polyester.

In effect, it’s like using polyester as an adulterant to “water down” the cotton and to make the garment cheaper to produce. However, because of the way the fibers are mixed, we haven’t yet come up with a viable solution for separating them into two separate recyclable materials. Often times, this results in garments ending up in landfills. This is hardly a solution to the problem, of course, because the polyester in the clothing can’t break down naturally in the soil and will remain in place for millennia.

At Conscious Clothing, we’re dedicated to relying almost exclusively on natural fibers. In fact, only our yoga line contains synthetic fiber and at a measly 4% of fiber content. 96% of our yoga line, and 100% of the rest of our clothing can be broken down by natural processes and returned to a raw state for reintegration into the soil.
 

 In addition to our commitment to natural fibers, we also make an effort to reduce plastic waste by using 100% recyclable packaging materials.

"The most important way to reduce your impact is to watch what plastic you bring into your household and where it goes"

In addition to your conscious apparel choices, there are a number of things you can do to help reduce plastic’s impact on the ocean and it doesn’t stop with ditching plastic straws and washing synthetic fabrics less. Organizations like 4Ocean, Surfrider Foundation, 5 Gyres, and Oceana can be supported through volunteering and donations. 4Oceans even sells beaded bracelet made from plastic taken out of the ocean.

The most important way to reduce your impact is to watch what plastic you bring into your household and where it goes. Maybe you can buy a product that’s packaged in paper, or ditch plastic water bottles for one that refills. Grow a collection of adorable totes that you can take to the grocery store to avoid plastic grocery bags. The current era is one of transition, and while change is never easy, it’s trendsetters like you who show those around you just how simple (and glamorous) it is to be green.

Sources:

https://4ocean.com/products
https://www.surfrider.org
https://www.5gyres.org
https://oceana.org

Weekly Wear: Beach Weekend

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!! It's the unofficial start of summer and weekends at the beach. We wanted to put together a little beach style inspiration this week. We're so excited to dig our swimsuits out of storage!

 Revolution Dress in Concrete, Petoskey Pants in Stripe, and our canvas tote!

We love the look of the Revolution Dress when it isn't snapped closed! It makes a great, quick-drying layering piece to wear before or after a swim. Pair it with the nautical Petoskey Pants in stripe for a put together look that's perfect for a restaurant patio or an ice cream parlor. Of course we love the whole outfit, but wearing the Revolution Dress on its own, or the Petoskey Pants just with your one-piece, are great looks by themselves too! Throw anything you're not wearing, plus your sunglasses and sunscreen and beach reads, into a big canvas tote. Call us biased, but we like the one with our signature scissors on them the best!

Shop now:

Revolution Dress
from 160.00

Weekly Wear: Spring Transitions

The middle of May is always a tricky part of the season. The mornings are still cool but the afternoons are hotter than ever! It can be tough figuring out what to wear these days. How can you stay comfortable all day when there is such a range in the weather?

We love our Backyard Tunic for its versatility!

 Backyard Jumpsuit in Sage, Dropcloth Shawl in Charcoal

In the morning, pair your jeans with the Backyard Tunic and add a scarf, like our Dropcloth Shawl! It's just the right amount of cozy and comfortable for a cool spring morning. We paired it all with mules to complete the look. Cute and casual, but put together.

 Backyard Tunic in Sage, styled with mules and a sunhat

In the afternoon when the sun gets stronger, simply take off your jeans and wear the Backyard Tunic as a dress! Keep the mules, ditch the scarf, roll up the sleeves a bit, and add a sunhat! Your look has transformed, you won't overheat, and you can even wear it through the rest of the afternoon and into the evening for a dinner date (but maybe keep your scarf around when the sun goes down!)

Shop Now:

Backyard Tunic
from 150.00