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My love of natural fibers began at an early age. As a gift, my mother bought me a miniature sewing machine and as a result, I spent hours near her as she worked. Some of my early 'toys' were often boxes of buttons, spools of wooden thread and of course her drawer of beautiful fabrics.
My mother sewed beautifully and taught me to sew. She had wonderful clothes made of natural fibers; wool coats, cashmere sweaters, silk and cotton dresses and lovely garments made out of Viyella (cotton and wool blend). I learned early to appreciate the feel of the quality fabric.
My appreciation for natural fibers continues to this day. 99% of my designs are executed in natural fibers like bamboo.
Natural for the Planet
With so many brands made from polyester, especially in the plus sizes, I prefer to be the alternative. Part of the allure of polyester is its inexpensive cost, which brings down the price of the garment. While the polyester fabric may be affordable to purchase, the cost to our planet is high. Did you know that Polyester and indeed most synthetic fibers are derived from crude oil drilled right out of the earth? Polyester is a polymer, or a long chain of repeating molecular units, which is a plastic derived from crude oil.
What about the cost to our bodies as well? I personally can't stand the feel of polyester on my body and immediately begin to perspire. I far prefer the feeling of soft natural fibers against my skin and the breathability and comfort that these fibers afford me. Like the food I put in my body, the clothes I wear I want to be in a natural state or as close to nature as possible.
New arrivals made from softest bamboo can be found in our online shop here. Or visit us at our studio for one of our shopping weekends. We're open for shopping Oct 4 from 2-7 and Oct 5 from 11-5 @ 1635 Powell Street, Vancouver B.C.
If there's one thing that Diane Kennedy customers love about our garments, it's how effortless they are. Effortless to wear and care for, that is! Our signature bamboo fabrics are not only incredibly soft and comfortable, but they are also just as easy-breezy to maintain.
Washing / Drying
We recommend machine washing our bamboo garments in cold water using a mild eco-friendly soap. After washing, we suggest laying flat or hanging to dry. It's ok to put them in the dryer for a few minutes to get some of the moisture out, but please be sure to hang them up right away afterwards. Our bamboo fabric can hold quite a bit of moisture due to its unique cellular properties. It's ok to hang tops and 'shorter items', but longer items like pants might need to be laid flat to dry to ensure no stretching occurs. For longer tunics and bottoms, draping over a rack best preserves the shape of our garments.
Packing for Travel
You may already know that our garments travel exceptionally well. Our pieces fold so nicely & efficiently that it makes packing very easy; whether you're getting ready to take Diane Kennedy on a trip, or just switching over your closet's seasons. To minimize wrinkles, lay your garment flat, folding in the sleeves and hem (vertically, from top to bottom) into a rectangle, then simply roll up your garments starting from the neck. When you get to your destination, shake them out and hang them up, no ironing needed! Any wrinkles will fall out shortly.
Do you know who made your clothes? Much of the global fashion industry desperately needs change. We're suggesting becoming more aware of how your spending habits affect people and our planet.
In this day and age with our delicate global climate, there are 3 questions we should all be asking about the clothing we buy. We are not afraid to answer these questions and hope it will make you feel good about the purchases you make with us.
1. Who Made Your Clothes?
Diane Kennedy clothing employs Canadians at every step of the manufacturing process. Designs and patterns are all developed at our Diane Kennedy Studio and manufactured close by in Vancouver B.C. We regularly visit our factories and have a personal, face to face relationship with them. Diane can attest to the fact that the garment workers have safe work conditions to high Canadian standards and are paid fair wages.
*Worldwide 1 in 6 people works in the apparel industry. Over 80% of these people are women; 98% do not receive a living wage.
2. Where Are Your Clothes Made?
Canadian Made and proud of it! The factories we use for production are all local to us, some just steps from our door in Vancouver B.C. Canada.
We're also able to produce in small batches, which means producing to demand, and a more sustainable business model. Our carbon footprint is lower because everything is made in Canada and shipped within North America. No containers on ships crossing the Pacific needed.
*In 1989 70% of clothing worn in Canada was made in Canada, today it's less than 5%. Trade barriers introduced in 2003 have moved much of the manufacturing of apparel overseas.
3. What Are Your Clothes Made Of?
Diane Kennedy's super soft knit is made from Certified Organic bamboo fibers. Without assistance from man, bamboo is grown 100% naturally. A highly sustainable crop, bamboo does not require the use of pesticides and herbicides for crop production. Plantations can easily be kept organic as a result. Did you know bamboo produces 35% more oxygen than trees per the same amount of space? Additionally, as the plant is flood and drought resistant, water irrigation is not necessary for production. Bamboo is easily biodegradable and decomposes very rapidly back into the soil.
*The percentage of Polyester clothing being manufactured overseas has far surpassed clothing made with any natural fibers since 2009. Made from fossil fuels, polyester is extremely energy intensive to produce. It creates microplastics in our oceans and does not degrade or break down. Likewise, every piece of polyester clothing ever made is still around.
When you make a choice to purchase from us it means so much more. You are supporting a company that cares about people. You are choosing to consider the people who made your clothes. Furthermore, you are choosing a quality garment that is easy on the environment and will last for many years.
Thanks for being our customer!
Published May 03 2019 in bamboo, design, eco, eco friendly, environmentally friendly, ethical, ethical fashion, fabric, green living, local, Made in Canada, natural, nature, slow fashion, spring, sustainable
There's always a story about the latest thing we shouldn't eat or product not to use. But as conscious consumers, we can't help but want to make the best choices. Now that microbeads (found in our toothpaste and beauty products) have been listed as a toxic substance (and already banned in the US), they've found an even more pervasive problem— fibers shedding from synthetic clothing. These microfibers get released in the clothes washer and make their way into our oceans. Washing just one synthetic fleece garment can release approximately 1.7 grams of microfibers with each wash. So choosing organic, sustainable and biodegradable fibers may be even more important than previously thought.
New studies indicate that synthetics like polyester could be poisoning our lakes and oceans and therefore our food supply on a massive scale. Synthetic fibers have been found in the gastrointestinal tracts of fish! These tiny threads shed from fabrics could ultimately be of huge concern as they enter the food chain and have the potential to accumulate in the bodies of larger mammals. We, at the top of the food chain, are, of course, eating these fibers when we consume the fish.
Tiny fibers emitted from synthetic clothing when washed are entering our oceans and waterways at an alarming rate.
While this is a problem without an easy solution, if you're already a consumer of natural fibers, you're obviously doing the right thing. Aside from the many other obvious advantages of bamboo, it's 100% biodegradable. So once it's no longer wearable, in as little as a year, it will have decomposed back into the soil or ocean without the production of any pollutants.
While very few fabrics and methods of dying fabrics can get a 100% clean bill of health, bamboo has many impressive ecological credentials. By nature bamboo as a plant is fast growing and requires no pesticides or additional fertilizers. Another key benefit of bamboo is that it requires one-third of the amount of water required to grow cotton. One of the other benefits is that, in comparison to an equivalent area of trees, bamboo takes in five times as much carbon dioxide and releases 35% more oxygen. One of the drawbacks of bamboo processing has been the chemicals used, but new mechanical methods of processing have been devised in where the crushed bamboo is treated with biological enzymes. This breaks the bamboo into a mushy mass and individual fibers are then combed out. Although expensive, this process is eco-friendly.
While not the ultimate solution, every step helps. We're suggesting that you keep choosing the most natural products possible for inside and outside your body.