What exactly is a ‘Healthy Wardrobe’? Well, it starts with pure ingredients like organic cotton and natural, botanical dyes using no petrol ingredients or harmful pesticides. Just as we strive to eat healthier food and put good, pure ingredients in our bodies, why would we want to put toxic chemicals on our skin?
CALIFORNIA CLOTH FOUNDRY, a sustainable, clean brand, is committed to creating beautiful, fresh clothing that is good enough to eat! Just kidding – don’t eat it! But this ‘Farm to Fashion’ brand is leading the way to good sustainable ‘slow’ fashion that we admire and hope to see more of in the industry.
Lydia Wendt, the Founder of CALIFORNIA CLOTH FOUNDRY, wanted to create a brand that “positively changes the industry one bolt of fabric and garment at a time, for the health of the planet and the future of her two daughters.” Lydia Wendt’s past work in the fashion industry inspired her to address the issues of fast fashion, ethics, environment and quality to create her brand.
CALIFORNIA CLOTH FOUNDRY uses dyes from natural ingredients that are sustainable, cleaner and safer alternatives to what are used currently in the industry which are petroleum based and toxic. Fabrics used are certified sustainable and clean such as American Organic Cotton and Lenzing Modal. All these clean ingredients also make the clothing compostable! All packaging is biodegradable using vegetable-based dyes. CALIFORNIA CLOTH FOUNDRY takes every opportunity to reduce waste in the production process. Their local production vendors in the U.S. make certain that their workers get paid a living wage far exceeding the minimum requirements from the federal government.
Their clothes are designed to last using quality fabrics and classic designs. CALIFORNIA CLOTH FOUNDRY doesn’t follow certain ‘trends’ that make the clothing obsolete after one season as is with most companies in the fashion industry. These are beautiful, comfy classics that feel good when you put them on your body knowing everything that goes into making them. From ‘Farm to Fashion’, there should be no compromise when it comes to your clothes.
I sat down ‘virtually’ with the brand’s Founder and Design Director, Lydia Wendt, to discuss sustainability and fashion.
What are the challenges your company faces as a sustainable brand?
The true cost of our products have been de-valued by an unsustainable industry. We must educate the consumer and maintain superior quality above its toxic somewhat-twin. Our apparel in person looks & feels much more luxurious than the other but in photos and descriptions, the toxic similar versions can say and photoshop what they want to. Also scaling up: this work we do requires a long lead time of investment all the way down the supply chain and the customer only wants to pay at time of sale/receipt.
What changes would you like to see in the fashion industry?
Everyone doing what we are doing in their own style and marketplace! (of course that is, after we gain a bit more traction first 😊)
What do you value?
We value empathy, integrity, collaboration, honesty (even when painful). We value the delivery what is claimed and not ‘spinning’ tales of misleading green promises when the product, process and/or ethics are still toxic.
(Non-toxic dyes means NO petrochemicals. Crude oil is toxic in so many ways and all conventional dyes are crude oil based. Many companies claim that they are using non-toxic dyes on their labels because they are GOTS certified dyes. This doesn’t mean they are non-toxic, it means that they are less toxic in some way or another. They may be less toxic because the majority of the dye’s toxic waste is captured at the dye house, which is still not equal to non-toxic. This is where we/CCF differentiate from the pack and need to educate the consumer out of the green washing going on).
Make sure to visit California Cloth Foundry at www.clothfoundry.com and follow them at @caclothfoundry to explore their timeless, sustainable fashion.
Stay Stylish & Sustainable,
Xoxo Chara, A Sustainable Love 💚