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San Francisco

Amy Kuschel

Since 1999, we’ve been making beautiful clothes in San Francisco. We started with a collection of simple elegant wedding gowns – over 20 years ago. Since then, we’ve turned our attention to the growing need for sustainable everyday clothes. As makers and advocates for sustainable style, our vision is to inspire you to slow down your fashion and make peace with your wardrobe – and Mother Nature with a design philosophy that focuses on these key values:

1) iconic style
2) versatility
3) quality craftsmanship
4) natural ingredients
5) ethical production

We want our clothes to be the peace you’ll wear all the time.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we pivoted our business to make and donate cloth facemasks for frontliners. We consulted with doctors and nurses to design masks covers to protect and extend the use of the N95 masks. To date, we’ve donated over 5000 facemasks to those in need. With the CDC’s recommendation that everyone wear a facemask, we retooled our design to create a high quality, stylish mask for everyday use. We’re so grateful to be of service throughout the quarantine, and also to be able to keep our local factories busy making thoughtful, sustainable cloth masks.

SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

Materials & Ingredients
We use responsibly sourced textiles free of harmful chemicals and toxins so you can feel comfortable wearing them, washing them, and one day, composting them. Natural fibers like cotton, linen, hemp, tencel, and other plant based fibers that are breathable and biodegradable are our fabrics of choice. Organic ingredients are the ultimate – and we use them when available. For garments with closures, we’ve moved away from zippers that don’t biodegrade to natural buttons made of nuts and shells. Our clothes are designed to be good for you and Mother Nature, too.

Packaging & Delivery
Our packaging is minimal with simple, personalized touches. We wrap our pieces in natural kraft tissue instead of plastic with a fabric scrap tie and a handwritten note. We also include a sustainability guide to encourage clients to embrace a sustainable wardrobe. Our mailers and shoppers are made of undyed recycled paper with eco friendly printing.

Quality & Value
High quality and versatility are key elements in our design and production processes. Our goal is to create useful clothing that’s also high in style – so you want to wear them all the time – for years to come. We think it’s smarter to spend more for quality upfront and save big in the long run with cost per wear. CPW is lower on items we wear a lot versus trendy cheap thrills and poorly made goods that don’t get a lot of use. Instead of asking, “why is this so expensive?” ask, “why is this so cheap?” If the price is ridiculously low, someone is getting squeezed: the farmer, the seamstress, Mother Nature – or all three. Truth is, it’s not a good deal if you don’t get much use out of it.

Waste Reduction
We minimize waste by producing in small quantities, ideally only what is needed. We launch new ready to wear items as pre-orders so we know what our clients need before we go into production. We also work with our production team to maximize fabric usage – we’re getting more savvy with low waste designs. Our textile scraps are donated to local businesses that make small accessory items. Unwanted fabric waste is recycled through the city of San Francisco.

Local Supply Chains
All of our clothes are made locally in San Francisco – for over 20 years utilizing local factories and suppliers of workroom notions, tools, and machinery. It’s very challenging to source fabrics made in the USA due to limited supply, but we’re trying. We’re currently testing our latest design, the Earhart pant, in an organic cotton that’s grown in TX and woven in NC. We also buy some deadstock fabric that we source in SF and LA, but most of our textiles come from Europe and Japan.

Design
We place a really high value on an item’s style and usefulness. Our goal is to create iconic pieces that people LOVE. Wearing things you love elevates your mood and your sense of gratitude. Plus, you’re more likely to take good care of things you appreciate and keep them longer, consuming less, and sending less to landfill. If an item is useful, you’re more likely to wear it ALL THE TIME. You don’t need a lot of clothes when you invest in versatile pieces that play well with the other pieces in your closet. And, you’re less stressed when your wardrobe is easy to navigate, saving time and energy each morning. A healthy goal is to aim for 50 wears when you buy something new- as opposed to the fast fashion average of 5. According to Fashion Revolution Denmark, this reduces carbon emissions by 400% per item, per year. Our clothes are designed to be worn well beyond 50 wears.

Goals & Aspirations
Our goal is to move the needle on sustainability. Slowing down our fashion and making peace with our wardrobes – and Mother Nature – is a wonderful, sustainable way of life. Along the way we’re hoping to create a completely compostable closet full of organic ingredients.

Certification & Memberships
We’re members of the Sustainable Fashion Alliance.
We also have a certificate from the London College of Fashion for completing their FASHION AND SUSTAINABILITY course.
We’re learning more about C2C and B-Corp certifications…stay tuned!

ADDITIONAL READING LINKS

SF Chronicle/style
SF Chronicle/bayarea

Oakland

Timepieces

Bespoke Watch Projects

San Francisco

Shoes

Bryr Studio

San Francisco

Clothing

Camelia Skikos

Berkeley

Clothing

Harvest & Mill

Oakland

Furniture

Jason Lees Design

Berkeley

Art

Lutz Art Design

Oakland

Jewelry

Maral Rapp

Oakland

Jewelry

MGG Studio

Oakland

Garden

Orta Kitchen Garden

San Francisco

Jewelry

Stella Fluorescent

Berkeley

Furniture

The Long Confidence

Oakland

Body & Bath

Earth Tu Face

San Francisco

Furniture

Lahoma

San Francisco

Ceramics

Lisa Fleming Ceramics

San Francisco

Bags

Mafia Bags

Oakland

Furniture

Model No.

Oakland

Furniture

Munson Furniture

San Rafael

Clothing & Decor

Rough Linen

Marin

Ceramics

Skinny Ceramics

Napa

Clothing

Yolotli

Alameda

Malt

Admiral Maltings

Alameda

Concrete Design & Fabrication

Concreteworks

Oakland

Art, Décor, Lighting

Elliptic Designs

San Francisco

Garden Design & Fabrication

Habitat Horticulture

Sausalito

Art & Design

TKID

San Francisco

Clothing

Amy Kuschel

San Francisco

Body & Bath

Etta + Billie

San Francisco, Sausalito

Ceramics

Heath Ceramics

Oakland

Plant-Based Meat

Impossible Foods

Vallejo

Bags & Home Goods

Oxgut Hose Co.

San Francisco

Culinary Totes

Aplat

Marin

Dressings

Farmhouse Lab

San Francisco

Body & Bath

Heliotrope San Francisco

San Francisco

Totes & Housewares

Millie Lottie

San Francisco

Furniture

Fyrn

Oakland

Textile Goods

GDS Cloth Goods

Mountain View

Art & Textiles

Krupa Paranjape

Oakland

Clothing

Lacson Ravello

Oakland

Art & Design

Leora Lutz