We've had a tendency to slow things down this year, to soak in all of the new changes that have been happening and we've learned to appreciate this special time in history. While our day to day routines and much of our plans have been uprooted, there have been some really wonderful things that have come out of 2020. Challenges often breed creativity if we can shift our focus just slightly, which is exactly what we've chosen to do this year.
Only through moments of deep reflection have we really gotten clarity on what Ashley Rose stands for as a brand and what we hope customers will come to know us as. We've made tremendous strides to move towards conscious and sustainable production and the way we interact with the environment, which is something that we've always prioritized.
With each new collection, we make decisions to do better for the planet. As a responsible clothing brand, Ashley Rose chooses to continually put people before profits and works continuously to craft garments that are worthy of wearing over and over again. Here are just a few of the steps we've taken this year that we're proud to share with you all as loyal customers.
1. 100% Garment Production in the USA
Over the past several decades, clothing production has slowly moved away from the United States and is largely done overseas to capitalize on low wages. We aim to bring it back a little closer to home (just down the street in fact) to reduce our carbon footprint and pay living wages to local community members.
This year we've moved production to San Antonio, TX where Ashley and her husband are currently stationed for the Army. Working closely with pattern makers, and seamstresses means more timely turn around and less pollutants emitted into the air as a result of long distance shipping. We're now able to pick up and drop off all supplies and finished products in just a 15 minute drive.
2. Sustainable Fabrics
Most recently, we've focused on selecting fabrics that are sustainable and gentler on the earth. We're excited to announce a brand new collection coming soon featuring hemp-based fabrics. Hemp fibers grow prolifically with 50% less water than cotton and require no harmful pesticides. This natural plant fiber is biodegradable, requires very little space to grow and produces significantly more fiber per acre than cotton.
Needless to say, we're excited to begin designing collections for you with this magnificent new fabric that comes right from the earth and is better for the planet.
3. Planting Trees
In June of this year (2020), we've teamed up with TREES for the Future. With every item purchased, Ashley Rose makes a contribution to plant two trees. So far, we've been able to plant over 3,000 trees and counting, all thanks to you!
You can read more about our efforts HERE.
4. Recyclable Packaging
Earlier this year, we worked closely with a designer to help create packaging that is 100% recyclable. We paid close attention to each piece and how it could be either repurposed, reused or recycled. Our goal was to avoid any single use plastics, and to create something beautiful that would inspire you to hold onto it for just a bit longer. We're proud of the end result and have heard wonderful feedback from you all so far.
5. Intentional Design
From the very beginning, designing long lasting garments has always been our top priority. When clothing can be worn longer or passed down, we achieve our goal of keeping Ashley Rose items in your closet and out of the landfill.
We've continued to hold ourselves to the highest standard by choosing quality fabrics that are durable, fade resistant and soft against delicate skin.
In addition, we know how quickly your little ones grow and we strive to make each design adjustable for maximum wear. Elastic at the ankles helps to keep oversized clothing from dragging, adjustable straps let the outfit grow with your little one and ties give you that extra little wiggle room, even through growth spurts.
6. Collaborations to support other local artists
Lastly, we've had the pleasure of working with local artists to design collaborative pieces. Some of our favorite collaborations include our Plant Dyed Frankie Rompers with Nicole from Tea House Cotton who used all natural botanical dyes including roses, onion skins and cutch. These earthy heirloom pieces were made from 100% organic cotton, produced in house and were truly one of a kind.
We also had the opportunity to work with Jamie from Tree House Daydreams who laid out intricate botanical foliage to create prints on our Frankie Rompers by practicing the traditional method of cyanotype or sun printing. Each romper came out beautifully crafted with a unique earthy touch.
With each new collection, we move closer and closer to our goals of sustainability and doing good by Mother Earth. While we recognize that there's much work to be done, we're making steps each day and embrace progress over perfection. Slow fashion to us means taking care of the people we work with and the environment we live in by slowing down the process and paying close attention to how our work affects those around us. We know that this isn't always the most convenient way of doing business, but it truly is the most conscious form of production.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love and support and we hope that you'll choose to continuously join us in our journey of clothing production reform.