Conscious Clothing: A Family Run Business

We are proud that Conscious Clothing was born from our core values of family and sustainability over 15 years ago, and those are the two cornerstone values that hold true in our business today. Rose and Doug, husband and wife, and owners of Conscious Clothing, sat down with our marketing director to chat about running a family business, where it all began and how they grew from a mom making cloth diapers for her babies to a thriving small business clothing manufacturer. Local Grand Rapids photographer Leigh Ann Cobb photographed a typical day in the bustling studio which involves not only designing, cutting, sewing and shipping, but also includes visits from pups, toddlers and teenagers.

Conscious Clothing, a family run business

HOW DID YOU START THE BUSINESS?

ROSE: When my daughter Tigerlily was a baby, I started looking for organic cotton cloth diapers. My online search found very few options. This was 16 years ago! So I bought organic cotton fabric instead and made my own.

From there I decided to make kids clothing. Hemp pants and dresses. I set up a booth at a local market, the East Town Street Fair, and had such a wonderful response. Moms kept coming up to me and asking “Do you have this in my size?” So I decided to expand into women’s clothing.

I found a pants pattern and started making hemp pants, but at the time, the only hemp fabric you could get was natural white. So this led to my experimentation with dye! I remember being so excited about my first dye bath. It was indigo blue. It opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me.

Then one of my friends introduced me to the new (at the time) website Etsy. I opened an account on Etsy in 2006. I had my first sale right away and it was so encouraging that it just grew from there.

Etsy was a big propeller to Conscious Clothing becoming the business it is today. Back in 2006, there were only two or three companies out there that were making hemp and organic cotton clothing. There were very few of us doing that or at least doing it and putting it out there in a big way. The timing was perfect.

We were one of the first to market, but it takes people a long time to catch on. I did local art shows, then I started doing bigger music festivals. I remember talking to people at the shows and they were so confused by organic cotton. People had really only heard it in the context of food. Hemp was also a term that most people associated with marijuana, so there was a lot of educating as well.

DID YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB WHEN YOU STARTED CONSCIOUS CLOTHING?

ROSE: I was coaching gymnastics. I had been a gymnast and then a coach since high school. I really enjoyed it and it gave me an opportunity to bring my kids to work with me. I did that until I got too busy sewing that I didn’t have time to go to the gym anymore!

Conscious Clothing, a family business
Conscious Clothing, a family business
Conscious Clothing, a family business

HOW DID DOUG COME INTO THE PICTURE?

ROSE: I met Doug in 2010. He was a wood worker and had a side hustle selling mid-century furniture. He had a great photography set up at his house and we began working together. He was definitely way more of the business person and started making suggestions to improve the business side.

DOUG: I was selling the furniture and building custom furniture frames, in what is now the front area of our studio. I knew more about business and how to make fixtures and things we needed to make this business thrive. So I jumped in and saw what needed to be done, and began making the items we needed to make the clothing easier to produce.

ROSE: I taught him how to sew really quickly. It took him about 10 minutes to figure it out.

DOUG: I was already used to working with machines, so it was a natural transition. Before I knew it, we started making plans for the future and realized we needed a real space to expand.

ROSE: At that time I was living and working in my house in Rockford. We basically had a big family room that we converted into a studio. We started talking about what we needed in a studio space for Conscious Clothing and then came up with a two year plan to do it. We scheduled shows every single weekend to save. We ended up building the studio using money we had saved from all the shows. We used a lot of reclaimed materials that Doug had salvaged over the years: Windows from a gas station that had been torn down. Countertops and doors from a friend’s home that was demo’ed. Salvaged sinks for the kitchenette and bathroom and metal cabinets from an old doctors office.

Conscious Clothing, a family business
Conscious Clothing, a family business
Conscious Clothing, a Family Business

DOUG: While building the studio, I did a lot of the work myself. We were in the home stretch and I had an accident and shattered my foot. I was bedridden, and then in a wheelchair. At the same time we found out we were pregnant. Talk about everything all at once!

Conscious Clothing, a family run business
Conscious Clothing, a family run business
Conscious Clothing, a family business

WHEN DOUG CAME INTO THE BUSINESS WERE YOU PROTECTIVE?

ROSE: Yea, probably. Yes, actually. He would suggest all these changes, and I think I fought him on every single thing, the whole way. And a month later, I’d say “actually this is a good idea.” It’s still like that.

DOUG: There’s an artist and then there’s a business person.

ROSE: But in actuality, we had a solid relationship since we met, the whole trust thing wasn’t such an issue for us.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES?

ROSE: By natural strengths. I am the creative mind behind designing the clothing and styling the shoots, but if a machine breaks down or we need something engineered, Doug is the go to.

DOUG: We’ve brought on team members, because we’ve always dreamed of being able to hand things off. There’s no way to grow when you’re handling everything. You get to the point where you hit the ceiling. Now we’re starting to open up to be able to focus on the things we are best at. It feels great to be moving forward and we have a great team in place to get us there.


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO HAVE A FAMILY RUN BUSINESS?

ROSE: I think it means that we’re both involved in all of the decisions, and a lot of the time the decisions are based around our kid’s needs. The reason I started the business in the first place was so I could stay home to be with my kids and figure out a way I could still make money. I think all decisions are based around what’s best for everyone.

DOUG: I think the most defining thing is freedom. That we have the ability to take time for our family. As little of a thing as it is to be here when they get home from school, they can pop into the studio and say “hi” and let us know they are home and safe.

Conscious Clothing, a family business
Conscious Clothing, a family business
Conscious Clothing, a family business

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF RUNNING A BUSINESS FROM YOUR HOME?

ROSE: Having people in your space and in your children’s space can be difficult at times and you can’t really get away from it. It takes discipline to not always be working. Just having the studio closed and locked up keeps me from going over there after work hours. Our home is in such close proximity, that privacy is a concern.

DOUG: For me the biggest challenge is just making sure everything and everyone is safe and comfortable.


WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH YOUR PARTNER?

ROSE: I think the biggest challenge is to not talk about work when we are not at work!

DOUG: It’s true, it’s a big part of us, what we’re doing and what’s on our mind. I think we have a good balance of all of that actually.

ROSE: This summer Doug spent a lot of time away from the studio working on our house and it was a challenge. He does have a lot of responsibilities here. He does the books, but he also has a big role in production. Nothing can leave the studio unless Doug has coverstitched it or snapped it or something. I think he designed it that way! (laughs)

DOUG: Job security.

HOW HAS THE EXPERIENCE OF STARTING A BUSINESS LOOK DIFFERENT THAN YOU IMAGINED?

ROSE: I didn’t really have a picture of running a business when I started. Being a creative person, you don’t think too much about the business part. It took me a long time to realize that there were jobs that other people could do. I was doing everything; all the photos, making the clothes, making all the listings, answering emails, shipping, etc. Once I figured out it was okay to trust other people and delegate some of the responsibilities, it made not only the business run more smoothly, but me as a person run more smoothly.

DOUG: This year has been the biggest leap of faith, of trusting other people to execute our vision that is changing and evolving. It’s amazing the growth and the change that we’ve gone through this year, not only in delegating the work load, but in directing as well.

ROSE: I struggle with direction too. I have a vision but it can be challenging to express that vision to other people. I’m not as organized as leader as I would like to be. My focus is still mainly on production, so it’s tough to balance. I didn’t envision myself being the boss and taking on all the organizational responsibility or managing people. That’s a big piece I didn’t see when I started.

DOUG: Especially with the organization part. It’s so vast and there are so many different components, to go from doing everything yourself on this one level to breaking it up, handing it off and developing it along the way.  

Conscious Clothing, a family business
Conscious Clothing, a family business
Conscious Clothing, a Family Business
Conscious Clothing, a family business
Conscious Clothing, a family business
Conscious Clothing, a family business

ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE CONSIDERING STARTING A FAMILY BUSINESS?

DOUG: Just do it! More doing less talking.

ROSE: If you have a family and a business, the family has to come first. Your kids watch you and see what you’re doing. I think at this point, we are pretty positive role models for them because they see how hard we work. Giving them any role, no matter how small, makes them feel like they have been a part of this. They always have been. Just keep in mind the balance that comes with any endeavor!

DOUG: My biggest advice is to write down your goals, and then go back and check it off.

photos: Leigh Ann Cobb

10 Sustainable Instagram Accounts We Love

You guys loved our post about sustainable resolutions and we absolutely loved seeing you tag your #ConsciousWins over on Instagram. We want to keep the sustainability conversation going, so today we are sharing 10 sustainability accounts that inspire us!

Simply Living Well

This beautiful feed looks like it’s straight out of a magazine. Julia highlights how she “lives slow” and efforts to create very little waste. You will love following @simply.living.well

10 Sustainability Accounts We Love

Zero Waste Collective

@zero.waste.collective posts photos from their vast Instagram community showing how real life people are learning to live with less waste and less plastic.

10 Sustainability Accounts We Love

ZERO WASTE INSPO

Another great account sharing inspiration from their community is @zerowasteinspo. We love how bright and happy they make living a low-impact lifestyle look!

10 Sustainability Accounts We Love

WASTE FREE PLANET

This account is full of amazing tips and links to brilliant blog posts. @wastefreeplanet is a great one to follow!

10 Sustainability Accounts We Love

PLANTED IN THE WOODS

@plantedinthewoods is an honest account of a real couple living a conscious, plant-based lifestyle. She includes darling illustrations to inspire her followers.

10 Sustainability Accounts We Love

SIMPLE(ISH) LIVING

This hilarious account paints a picture of the dichotomy of indulgence vs sustainable living. She is honest about her failures and toots her own horn about her wins. We love following @simpleishliving’s conscious living adventure!

10 Sustainability Accounts We Love

SUSTAINABLE COLLECTIVE

This account is a minimalist’s dream. It’s clean and beautiful, yet full of inspiration and information. @sustainable.collective loves sharing bulk food and pantry inspiration, as well as cleaning and organizing ideas.

10 Sustainability Accounts We Love

SUSTAINABLE SABS

@sustainablesabs is a marketing director at The Wally Shop, a zero waste grocery service, and she documents her low impact, vegan lifestyle from her home in Brooklyn, New York.

10 Sustainability Accounts We Love

ZERO WASTE CHEF

Chef Anne-Marie Bonneau has been plastic free since 2011 and follows three rules in her cooking, no packaging, no trash and no processed food. @zerowastechef, we are impressed!

10 Sustainability Accounts We Love

LIVING ZERO WASTE

@livingzerowaste is not only a low-impact account, but they are traveling while reducing waste. We love seeing all the different products and sustainable methods used around the globe.

10 Sustainability Accounts We Love


Introducing Our New Yoga Collection!

We hope you are all sticking to your resolutions & goals and making it to your yoga class, or moving your body however you chose. We are excited to introduce you to our expanded yoga collection. Alongside our best-sellers, you will be ready for class in earth-friendly materials you can feel good about.


ELEMENT HEMP RACER BACK TANK

You all loved our bralette, we have taken our tried and true design and fabric and added a longer style to the assortment. Our Element Hemp Racer Back Tank is made with our super durable, stretchy hemp and organic cotton fabric. This is a fabric that can stand the test of time: it won't wear out, won't stretch out, doesn't pill wash after wash. It’s made of 53% hemp, 43% organic cotton and only 4% lycra for maximum sustainability and hand dyed with low impact dyes.

Conscious Clothing Element Hemp Racer Back Tank

ELEMENT HEMP BALI LEGGINGS

We have added a new fabric to our wildly popular sustainable leggings, Element Hemp Bali Legging. This subtle print is a tonal, slightly flocked texture in a traditional Balinese pattern. We previewed this fabric at our holiday pop-up shops last month and it was a runaway hit. We know you’ll love it! Like the tank, the leggings are made of 53% hemp/43% organic cotton/4% lycra. 

fullsizeoutput_4cc1.jpeg

SATURDAY TOP

Our new yoga styles pair perfectly with our best-selling hemp/jersey Saturday Pullover Top.

Conscious Clothing Saturday Pullover Top

Click to shop our entire yoga collection.

Five Ideas For Being More Mindful in the New Year

Mindfulness. Is there any more buzzed about word in the zeitgeist? For good reason: we are on the go, multi-tasking, multi-layered beings these days. We have to-do lists a mile long, messages popping up on phones constantly and social media integrated into our everyday. It’s hard to combat the distractions in the new reality we live in, and often hard to separate ourselves from the “busy”. Here are five ways we are practicing mindfulness in 2019.

5 Ideas to be more mindful

1. Put down the phone

  • iPhones now come with a default setting to report your screen time. It is eye opening to look at that number. Use your current number as your baseline and make a goal to lower from there

  • Consider putting your your phone on airplane mode or in a drawer for a few hours each evening.

2. Say “no”

  • Exercise your power to say “no.” Ask yourself it the invitation or job or extra cookie will make you happy or if it’s worth the trade off. If the answer is no, skip it. Instead do something that will lift you up.

3. Meditate

  • Find what works for you. If you haven’t tried an app. we suggest starting with Headspace, Insight Timer or the quarterly released free experiences with Deepak Chopra

  • If those are too advanced, start with pairing a breathing exercise with part of your daily routine. Perhaps you take three deep belly breaths before you walk out the door each morning, or set a two minute time to focus on breathing before you go to bed.

4. Journal

  • This may sound overwhelming, but the practice of writing down one sentence, or perhaps the high point of a day can go a long way. It forces you to savor those special moments a little longer, if you have an extra delicious latte, you may store that moment away to write it down as a high point in your day.

  • If calling it “journaling” isn’t for you, maybe a “thought download” is what you need. A thought download is the practice of writing down everything good and bad that’s swirling around in your brain in moments of anxiety or overwhelm. Acknowledge the thoughts and bring gratitude to the forefront.

5. Listen to Music

  • Podcasts are a wonderful way to entertain or inform ourselves while multi tasking, focusing on listening can be draining, especially if the topic is on the heavier side. Choose music that uplifts you and allows your brain to enter the flow state.

Do you have any favorite mindfulness practices?

Farewell Conscious Kids Clothing

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closing of our kid's line, Conscious Kids Clothing.

We are sad to close this chapter, but when we looked at our business, it wasn't the best or most effective place to focus our efforts. In order to be more intentional with our energy and the direction we want to grow the company we have to say "goodbye."

The good news is that there are big things coming in 2019 and that means that our entire Conscious Kids Clothing stock is on sale! Click to shop lots of darling styles.

Conscious Kids Comthing

10 Sustainability Resolutions to Make for the New Year

Between October’s IPCC report and the National Climate Assessment that dropped on Black Friday, it feels like 2018 has painted a bleak picture of just how ugly the future will be. While it all feels overwhelming, every little bit helps. We are vowing to make 2019 our greenest year yet, and we hope you’ll join us. Here are 10 easy sustainability resolutions to make in 2019.

10 Sustainability Resolutions to Make for the New Year
  1. Stop using plastic grocery bags

  2. Refill your reusable water bottle

    • Last year, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38.

  3. Think about your purchases and ask if there is a sustainable option

    • Chances are, with a little research you can find an alternative that is better for the Earth. The Package Free Shop is a great place to start.

  4. Start composting

    • Composting is easy and costs nothing after a small initial cost and the benefits are great. Here is a link to low cost DIY compost bins.

  5. Refuse straws

    • In the USA, we use 500 million straws every day (enough straws to circle around the Earth 2.5 times!) Thank goodness establishments are helping us out by not supplying.

  6. Try to find a new home for unwanted items

    • It’s never been easier to sell items online to people looking to buy at a good price. Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Craigslist, and Poshmark are a great place to start, but there are countless apps that require almost no work to sell your old stuff.

  7. Shop local. Buy from the farmer’s market

    • Local foods and goods support local families. They use less fossil fuels and energy to transport. Local foods have less preservatives, which benefit the environment and wildlife. Plus the farmers market is a lovely weekend activity.

  8. Bring your own lunch, and pack it in a reusable non-plastic container

    • Just like number 7, when you’re making your own lunch you know exactly what is in your food.

  9. Find a few items to buy in bulk and refill your reusable containers

    • Depending on your grocery store, buying in bulk can be tricky. We are challenging you to pick a few items to buy in bulk because every little bit helps.

  10. Share your sustainable wins

    • Encourage the movement! Tell your friends and your community how you are being sustainable. Lead by example and be the change that you want to see in the world.





Happy Holidays From Conscious Clothing

We just wanted to take a moment from this busy time to thank you, our amazing customers. There are so many places to choose to invest this time of year. We are doing our best to be conscious humans, taking care of our earth, our team and our customers. And we could not be more grateful that you have joined us on this slow fashion journey. Wishing you and your family a warm and happy holiday season full of peace and love.

Happy Holidays From Conscious Clothing!

How to Wear Linen For Winter

It’s common misconception that linen is a summer fabric. True, our signature fabric is breathable and cool when it’s warm out, but the strong flax fibers make it durable and winter ready. The natural fabric has rich texture that adds dimension to any outfit. One of our favorite things about our collection is it’s evergreen, meaning you can wear it year-round, season after season. We styled up some of our favorite linen pieces for the colder weather to inspire fresh outfits using pieces you may have pigeonholed into a specific season.


REVOLUTION DRESS

Our Revolution Dress, originally introduced as a spring style, looks completely season appropriate when layered over a turtleneck and a pair of our yoga leggings. Your favorite boots are the perfect shoe to wear with this snap-front number. And we topped it with a hat for a fashionable flair.

How To Wear Linen for Winter
How To Wear Linen for Winter

CARMEN TOP

One of our best sellers, The Carmen Top, gets a seasonal make-over when layered over a long sleeved striped tee and worn with our High-Tide trousers. This outfit is classic and modern all at the same time. We paired it with statement making white booties, but an understated flat or even a sneaker would look equally adorable with this look. Finally we finished the outfit with a necklace by a fellow local West Michigan maker, Mad Ropes.

How To Wear Linen for Winter
How To Wear Linen for Winter
How To Wear Linen for Winter

LINEN MARKET OVERALLS

Our Market Overalls look casual and cute when worn over a tee, and they look just as good when layered over a soft sweater. You’ll look cozy in this perfect weekend outfit.

How To Wear Linen for Winter
How To Wear Linen for Winter

SHOP THE STORY


Welcome Gemini Handmade

We are thrilled to announce that the new local boutique, Gemini Handmade will be carrying a selection of our collection! Gemini Handmade is a lovely boutique and workspace on Cherry Street in Grand Rapids. Owners Jake and Elyse are leather makers that began as competitors and are now partners, married in real life and married their two leather brands, Little Wings and Harbinger Leather. They use the back of the space as a studio and turned the front into a shop of curated local artisans, including Conscious Clothing!

Gemini Handmade
Gemini Handmade

While we have a selection of goods at Gemini Handmade on the daily, we will be having one last pop-up of the season at the shop on Saturday, December 22. We will be bringing an extended collection, including accessories. If you are local, please stop by and say “hi” and feel our luxurious fabrics in person.

Gemini Pop Up (1).jpg

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.

WOODLAND-JUMPSUIT.jpg

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.

IMG_2081.jpg
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!


SHOP THE POST


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.

ROSE-GIFT-GUIDE-tag.jpg

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

SHOP THE POST


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

SHOP THE LOOKS


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!