Saturday, March 20, 2010

Echo Verde Spring is here!!!






We are so happy to introduce a new line to Chartreuse: Echo Verde!


When HTnaturals announced it was going out of business last year it was heart breaking. (They were my personal fav)

But a couple of the HT folks went and started up their own brand new company and the new spring line has arrived and we are in LOVE with it!


Here's a little bit on the new guys!


Echo Verde has two fabrics this season – a bamboo/organic cotton/spandex blended jersey and a soy/organic cotton/spandex jersey.

The Bamboo and Organic cotton are organically grown and certified. The factories that produce the fiber and yarns and knitting are also all certified by the Organic manufacturing association which means they have been inspected regularly to ensure the product is handled in a manner that keeps it organic. The mills are also both certified for wastewater treatment facilities and worker standards.


Bamboo has received some negative press over the past year, but it is important to keep in mind that, while the processing is not quite perfect, the fiber is very eco and organic and they are preventing tons of herbicide and pesticide use by using this fiber. It is super soft and supple as well and breathes so well in warm climates!!


Soy is made from the hulls of soy beans used in food production. Although it is not certified organic, soy beans do not require pesticides and require very little fertilizer to grow.


The fabrics in this line are dyed with non-azo dyes. These are considered “low impact” dyes because they are inert in nature – they do not bond with carbon life forms and therefore do not get absorbed into any fish or wildlife.


Notes from Echo Verde on their factories in China and negotiations:

All of our products are made in China. This is where bamboo and soy fibre is made and produced in an ecologically sound manner. While we looked at producing locally, as a smaller line it would have made our garments prohibitive in cost, and to be honest, we like our workers in China and have a great relationship after knowing them for seven years. Our two factories are privately and family owned and the workers are treated well. We visit the factories often and note that workers can get up and move around, go to the bathrooms and chat with each other freely. In the warmer months, the huge doors and windows are all open and the factory is bathed in natural light. The owner has built a meditative garden at one of our sites and he and workers have adopted several stray dogs from the area to prevent them from being picked up by authorities. The dogs freely roam the outside areas and are friendly and the workers seem to enjoy them. Most of the workers at our factories are women who come from the local area and are highly skilled. If it were not for our (and other) orders, they would have to travel and leave their families to find work. They are paid a fair wage and given benefits as well as a healthy food supply including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables – some of which they grow on the grounds. When we negotiate pricing with our factories, we accept the price given and do not try to negotiate an unreasonable cost. We understand that our relationship with the factory is beneficial to all involved and respect their skills.

As we grow, we plan to assist these smaller factories to achieve WRAP certification. Please visit http://www.wrapcompliance.org for more information. You will note that it is a minimum of $4,000 US to certify a factory which can be prohibitive for smaller factories like ours. As we grow, we will gain certification on behalf of our factories and ensure compliance. This process can take from six months to 1 year and we ask that you be patient with us while we grow. In future we plan to develop factories and

add products from impoverished countries and with disabled workers which will benefit further. All of this takes time and your support and we appreciate your support of us and our products. Even small steps… will eventually add up to a great leap forward!

2 comments:

Matchless Vision said...

I visited your shop in Milwaukee on Monday and I absolutely adored it!! I am so impressed with all of the eco friendly products and fashion. I can't wait to see where this shop goes. Your staff was extremely friendly too!! You bet that every time I come down to Milwaukee I will be visiting.

Sarah said...

Why thank you for the kind words and feedback!!