If you’re new here (or even if you’ve been here a while), you might be wondering what exactly is slow fashion. What does slow fashion even mean? We want to do a better job of sharing and educating on what we do and how we do it. As a small business committed to creating ethical, sustainable clothing, we want to give you a peek into our process and show you how we create our handmade clothes.
One of our favorite items and landmark pieces from the FW21 Collection is the Lizzie Dress, made with organic linen fabric. She is made in Michigan in our Grand Rapids home studio.
Before Lizzie arrives on your doorstep, she goes through an average of seven to eight pairs of hands and different processes. Before everything else, we take two to three hours to wash, dry, iron, and re-roll every yard of fabric. This removes starches or excess dyes from raw fabric and ensures the garments won’t shrink.
The pattern for the Lizzie Dress has 15 separate pieces for just one dress! We lay out our patterns on the linen Tetris-style to avoid as much fabric waste as possible. Usable scraps are set aside for our Maker’s Boxes so they can be used for mending or patchwork projects.
Did you know? All of our fabrics are biodegradable!
A run of 8 - 12 dresses takes over two hours to lay out, cut, and bundle for our sewists. The sewist will then piece the dress together, surge, and gather - the gathering is particularly time-consuming for this linen dress. You can see these details at the sleeve, below the bodice, and at the second tier of the skirt. All of these details mean the sewing time for the Lizzie Dress takes around two hours.
Once the dress is sewn, she makes her way to the snap press, where the ring snaps are carefully measured, pressed, and tested. Each dress takes around fifteen minutes.
Lizzie now must pass through quality control before shipping. We check the seam, remove sneaky threads, double-check the size, and make sure there aren’t any fabric flaws missed in production. Once we’re sure she’s perfect, our lovely linen dress gets carefully folded, bundled, and packaged into our recyclable bags. In addition to eco-friendly packaging, we neutralize our carbon footprint through tree planting. Once weighed and stickered, she’s all ready for her cross-country (or international) trip! The quality control and packaging stage averages between 20 - 30 minutes.
Our graphic (below) helps illustrate all of the steps that go into creating just one organic linen fabric dress.
Even though we have this kind of routine down pat, there’s a tremendous amount of labor (and love!) that goes into every garment. We hope that this helps you understand our processes and the time it takes our team to do what we do.
For us, it’s about more than making clothes; it’s about bringing value back to a crowded, wasteful industry by taking care of both our human and natural resources through ethical, sustainable clothes. When you buy from us or other slow fashion small businesses, remember that every garment you purchase is made by human hands - humans who make liveable wages and who love what they do.
Slow fashion. Made in Michigan.