14.07.2014 § Leave a comment
For select fabrics in our Brentano Green line I designed a parchment paper tag to attach under our regular sample tag. It reads:
The practices used to produce this fabric are water conscious. By making this selection, you are helping Brentano conserve water.
The person who benefits the most from this tag is me. Whenever I catch myself wasting water, I feel ashamed and immediately correct myself. I ask myself, how could I champion a cause but act contrary to it? The water tag has turned into an alerting mechanism in my daily life; I am more alert when using water and am more conscientious. « Read the rest of this entry »
18.10.2013 § Leave a comment
Sustainability awareness has prevailed for the last decade. Although actual results are hard to see and many people are still indifferent to the movement, people in general are behaving more carefully and improvements are being made. Agriculture’s IPM systems are one example of the shift.
In our textile industry’s new eco standard, the Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric (NSF/ANSI 336), natural fibers grown using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems can earn extra points. « Read the rest of this entry »
02.05.2013 § Leave a comment
I don’t know when people stopped learning how to sew. I guess when ready-to-wear became a common thing, maybe after World War II? I wonder how many young people nowadays know how to do the simplest sewing?
During my childhood, when I visited my grandparents with my siblings and cousins, we would run around their house playing like wild kids. One time my grandmother held me down to show me how to sew up a split pair of pants. She showed me the step-back stitch, a stitch technique that would make a strong seam. I was fascinated and learned it with great interest. That was my only official sewing lesson, but I still use the technique whenever I need something firmly sewn.
The other day I was mumbling that I needed to buy another pair of winter trousers, the kind made of wool with a lining to keep me warm in the coldest winter. My husband went to my other closet and pulled out a whole bunch of trousers and asked me what I was planning to do with those. « Read the rest of this entry »
Linen as a Green Textile
01.10.2012 § Leave a comment
In 2010 I visited our San Francisco showroom. Since I had been aspiring to develop “green” products, I asked our salesperson, as I often do, what kind of green product they sell and how they sell it. The showroom salesperson showed me a pile of fabrics she had set aside to recommend when a client asked for a green product for her home. It was a pile of natural fiber material, heavy on the linen side, but very few samples had any writing or labels telling their green stories. I was actually puzzled by her selections until I realized that people respond more to the fiber than to any certification for the concept of “green.” That is why I set out to develop a third party certified eco-friendly linen for our Back to Basics collection. « Read the rest of this entry »
My Lunch Basket
05.09.2012 § Leave a comment
I bought a basket at Whole Foods market recently.
It has a tag that says:
Handmade Ghana Changing, the Blessing Basket project « Read the rest of this entry »
The Last Samurai
29.09.2011 § Leave a comment
The movie The Last Samurai staring Tom Cruise in 2003 was an idealistic, epic style portrayal of the samurai movie, though it did not touch me much. A Japanese film critic thought The Last Samurai gave a “storybook” portrayal of the samurai, saying, “Our image of samurai are that they were more corrupt.” To me, the epic was depicted in such a Hollywood style naiveté, such a glamorous way that it felt like a fairytale. I suppose neither the director nor the producer were interested in what really happened to the last samurai; it was just good material for them to use to develop an epic style movie. « Read the rest of this entry »
11.04.2011 § 2 Comments
Many people think that natural dye would be environmentally friendly and that “green” products should use natural dye. Let’s consider some facts about natural dyes.
Natural dyes have poor color power, meaning that a large amount of dye is needed to produce deep shades. Natural dyes have poor color fastness to laundering and sunlight too. Even indigo dye — which has a pretty good output — is not powerful enough to supply today’s demand. « Read the rest of this entry »