Frequently asked questions
Do you do custom design?
I am happy to customize any items in my catalog (longer, shorter, etc...) but I do not offer one-off custom clothing making services.
Do you make plus sizes?
My current size range is XS-1X.
Since I am only one person I have to keep things manageable so at the present time these are the limitations of what I am able to offer.
Whereas the majority of my stock is premade in small batches, in some cases I may require a Zoom fitting prior to making a 1X to ensure it will fit you properly.
Are your fabrics sustainably sourced?
This is a very big question. Here is the truth, with no marketing BS:
Unlike the word "organic", the word "sustainable" does not have a clear set of requirements to meet the definition. *ANY* fabric made from renewable materials can legitimately be described as "sustainable".
Pretty much every fabric available today makes some kind of claim about being "sustainable", just go to the websites of my suppliers and you'll see (Kendor, Gordon Fabrics, Telio, Zinman Textiles, Fabtrends). In my opinion, this is all marketing BS. I am extremely skeptical about whether anyone can really know where the fibres came from, how they were processed, what may or may not have been dumped in the local water supply, or how many/which pesticides were used. Almost all fabrics are developed in countries with little or no environmental oversight and where bribery is a normal part of life.
Moreover, whether something is "sustainble" is primarily determined by how it is consumed by the end user - true sustainability only happens when a garment is well cared for and worn for years before being replaced (thus reducing consumption). Thus very little of the "sustainability" equation is related to how fibres are sourced/processed, and why my focus in choosing fabrics for the HCC is on performance, not the who-what-when-where-why of the fibre.
This is my opinion after 16 years on the inside. Outside the industry, you're accustomed to seeing the face fashion wants to present to the world: "you should buy LOTS of this cause it's so
"Buy lots!" marketing is the easiest way to spot greenwashing BS. If we are truly concerned about the ability of humans to continue to live on this planet, our number one concern should be to reduce.
In my situation where I'm basically a gnat on the nose of the industry and have no power to change how fabrics are made, my main concern vis-a-vis reducing is with how many times a garment can be worn before it needs to be replaced. Using that definition, yes I source my fabrics sustainably.
I always prioritize natural fibres made from renewable resources (plants). But to be completely honest, my primary motivation here is not "sustainability", I just find these fabrics the most comfortable and aesthetically appealing.
I do use some fabrics which include a small polyester component: this can help make a fabric more durable and colourfast, meaning it will outlive its 100% cotton counterpart by a lot, usually double+ . I also use polyester if it is a "dead stock" fabric, meaning it was left over from a larger company's production and it's being saved from landfill :).
Most of my fabrics include a small amount of spandex beacuse it's just so much more comfortable - spandex is not sustainable (it's made from oil). If we aim to reduce our clothing consumption, our clothes must fit well and feel good so we
want to keep wearing them. The genie is out of the bottle on this one - no one is going back to our non-stretchy-clothing days. Spandex also helps fabric keep its shape - after being stretched, it's the spandex that brings it back to where it started.
I will continue to look for well-performing eco-friendlier fabrics. I have tried and tried to love Tencel but every time I sample it it looks terrible by the third wash. I recently tried Lenzing's new ultra-sustainable fabric Eco Vero and after the sixth wash there were holes in five different places in the seams! I recently got a swatch of 100% recycled cotton/poly/wool fleece that was supposedly intended for sweatshirts and it felt like a felt hat, not something you'd want your hoodie made of. Organic cotton is widely available, but it's very hard to find a good one
with spandex (spandex is a petroleum product).
So the point is I'm doing the best I can with what is available. I sample twice as many fabrics as I end up using, but the fabrics coming out using these new more environmentally-friendly processes just aren't there in terms of quality. And quality is #1!
If you have further questions or have discovered something in your own research which contradicts what I've written here I'd love to hear from you! I'm always learning :)
Why don't you make anything in white?
Unfortunately sewing white is a whole hullabaloo. Firstly, it has to be cut separately because the fuzz from layers in other colours gets all over it. Second, my machines would have to be entirely disassembled and cleaned before it can be sewn without the same fuzz problems - in a normal factory setting (with more than one worker, ha!) there is a separate assembly line just for white/ivory. Plus then I would have to bag it in plastic if I were going to take it to outdoor markets or whatever. And then there's the fact that I'm just a klutzy messy gal...! White is just not in my DNA :D