With the growing popularity of organic, sustainable and local foods, conscious consumers have more options than ever to align their diets with their values.
And just as the “slow food” movement has raised awareness about where food comes from and the importance of making ethical dining decisions, “slow fashion” has likewise given consumers an alternative to synthetic, mass-produced garments.
Whether using organic materials, responsible manufacturing practices or sustainable farming, here’s a look at five New England companies producing or distributing sustainable clothing:
- Arrowhead Clothing: Based in Yarmouth, Maine, Arrowhead Clothing uses sustainable fabrics such as hemp, bamboo rayon, silk and organic fabrics in its line of simple, timeless pieces that are handmade in owner Suzanne MacFadyen’s home studio. MacFadyen has launched several fashion lines, and began her fashion career as designer for Rhode Island’s India Imports line.
- Rambler’s Way: Launched by the founders of Tom’s of Maine, Rambler’s Way sells worsted wool garments using wool from its 75-acre sheep farm in Kennebunk, Maine. Rambler’s Way Farm uses sustainable, organic and humane farming techniques, including bringing the farm’s 50 ewes in every night and housing them in the barn to protect them from predators. The company also uses green energy including geothermal heating systems and solar energy.
- Hatched: This children’s clothing and toy boutique is located in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts and specializes in natural and organic products from responsible companies (none of its products are made in China). The shop strives for Zero-Waste and is painted with low- and no- VOC paint. Products include organic cotton onesies, merino wool booties handknit in Peru and organic French terry swaddle blankets.
- Brook There: Maine College of Art grad Brook DeLorme launched this clothing and lingerie line in 2007. Brooke There uses local sewers in greater Portland, Maine and uses ethical fabrics such as US-milled organic cotton, organic wool, silk and bamboo rayon. Some pieces are vegan, without any silk or wool materials. The brand features pieces ranging from lingerie and T-shirts to accessories like arm warmers and eye masks.
- Molly Miller: Boston College junior Danielle Dalton started Molly Miller, her eco-friendly clothing and accessories line, after raising over $4,000 on Indiegogo earlier this year. Her vision was to launch a fashion line that allows women to be their authentic selves instead of presenting idealized, Photoshopped images. All items are produced in socially responsible factories based in the United States, and 7 percent of profits are donated to the National Eating Disorder Association.