Thursday, December 19, 2013
FaeriesDance.com just got their 400th review. I know Amazon has a few more than a zillion, but those reviews aren't focused on the best eco-fashions and organic lingerie in the country, so our 400 are certainly more useful!
I'd love to get to 500 reviews sitewide! Admittedly, it took a while to get to 400, but then we've never specifically asked for reviews before.
So here's the deal - Starting today (12/19/2013), write a review on our website on any product you've purchased from us, and we'll enter you into a drawing for a gift certificate worth $25 to FaeriesDance.com. When we hit 500 reviews, we'll pick 2 winners! The more products you review, the better your chances; though they must be products you've personally tried. Be honest and don't forget to mention your size if it will help. And remember, folks love reviews of products you've had for a while and had time to put through their paces.
From the Account page, you can access all of your previous orders.
Good luck and let the reviewing continue.
Friday, December 13, 2013
I've been seeing a lot of eco-fashions made from the new fabric, Modal, recently. Some of the designs are super cute, but I wanted a little more information before jumping in. I bet you do, too. Modal is yet another play on Rayon. It's got that fabulous rayon drape and soft, silky feel, but is it sustainable?
I was pleased to learn that Modal was developed by the Austrian company Lenzing, developer of the eco-fabric Tencel. Like Tencel, Modal has earned the European Union EcoLabel for having a reduced environmental impact throughout its life cycle.
Modal comes from Beechwood trees. Beechwoods are self-propagating which means no artificial irrigation or planting is required. More than half of the wood used by Lenzing comes locally from Austria and the remainder is from neighboring countries. All of the beechwood used for Modal comes from forests that follow sustainable harvesting methods.
Notably, Modal is the first fabric considered carbon neutral in its production process. This is possible due to the generation of excess energy during fabric production and the recovery of component parts of the wood. Even the pulp production is self-sufficient in terms of energy and is an important supplier of energy for the entire operation. Lenzing also boasts that up to 95% of the production materials are recovered and reused, which sounds very much like a closed-loop production system.
The key part of the production cycle is Lenzing's Edelweiss technology: oxygen-based chemistry that eliminates the need for harsh and/or toxic production chemicals.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
In the back of my head, I'd wanted to start my own organic clothing "brand" for some time now. But it took repeated loss of some of our best selling items for me to finally take the plunge. I have to say, my initial trepidation was not wholly unfounded. Designing and manufacturing are a completely different animal than retailing. There has been so much to learn, including a whole new vocabulary that I was completely unfamiliar with. Not unexpectedly, spending nearly 3 months focused on learning something entirely new and thus not spending that time on marketing, press releases, creative newsletters, web updates and other normal business tasks has had its effect on sales.
While it looks like my goal of having the first organic cotton panties for sale before the holidays is definitely not going to happen, we're now far enough along that I can provide some details of what's coming. Here's what we've got so far...
There are still some vagaries in the schedule that could cause even more delays, but if all goes well, the initial launch of our new brand, Green Tree Organic Clothing, will be in early 2014. The roll-out of products will be in 3 phases spanning the entire year.
Phase 1: Five panty designs derived from previous best-sellers and a little inspiration, launching in January or February 2014
Phase 2: The addition of panties with lace trims, probably a thong style and possibly our first sports bra and/or cami - some time in Summer
Phase 3: Men's underwear and whatever else on our list people have been asking for - maybe a simple unisex tee in more color options - hopefully in early Fall
Phases 2 and 3 are *very* vague still and could change. Phase 1 however, is really coming together. Here's what to expect.
|Hi Cut Brief|
|Printed Panty Body|
While I had hoped to find a US-based fabric manufacturer, I found that the minimum orders for each color were substantially higher in the USA. More importantly, even though they were knitting here, all of the certified organic cotton was coming from Turkey or India anyway. (The USA does not grow enough organic cotton to meet its own usage.) By having it knit at the source I was able to get original documentation of the GOTS certification, work directly with a family-owned fabric maker who also does herbal dyeing (a good resource for future projects), and have the fabric made at a reduced price with substantially lower minimum quantities. In the USA, only 2 colors would have been feasible on the same upfront investment.
So that's where we are so far. I hope some of you find this useful. I've heard a lot of suggestions already for Phases 2 and 3, but please keep them coming. The point is to design and manufacture what you are looking for, so please let us know.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
In the last few years, we have continued to lose best-selling panty styles. First the cheeky Eat Organic bikini creators moved on to other ventures. Then the whole line of PantyBoo bamboo underwear was discontinued. Perfectly Imperfect, with their adorable lace-trimmed organic cotton panties and cross-your-heart thongs, went out of business. Ecoland got mired in manufacturing issues and has not re-made their very popular hipster 2-pack in over a year. The Love Nature Alba Bikini gave way to the more expensive ribbed version. And finally, we've just lost our bgreen account.
After we'd been a wholesale client with bgreen for about 4 years, they decided to start selling retail. Sadly, a few years on and they've now decided they can earn more money and better control pricing along with how their brand is portrayed by ONLY selling retail. And alas, we can no longer restock any of their products including our #1 bestselling item in the entire store for the last 3 years running - the organic cotton Classic Bikini.
As a quick side note, I have a lot of respect for bgreen. They're a vertically-integrated, eco-manufacturer working entirely in the USA and that's really commendable. However, one of the reasons they have a solid brand that they are concerned about maintaining a good reputation for, is that small businesses like mine have been selling and promoting their products and brand for many years. So being cut out as it were, is very disheartening.
It will likely take more than a little while to bring in all the styles, fabrics and designs I've got in mind. But the patterns and specs for the first two panties are complete and fabric samples are now rolling in. Thank you all for your continued patronage. I hope you'll love the new panties and look forward to getting started on this new venture.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Peau-Ethique works primarily in Turkey, where the majority of certified organic cotton is grown. They have focused on lifting the lives of their manufacturing partners by:
- Paying workers 20% more than the local minimum wage,
- Partnering with a small factory that employs 90% women from poor neighborhoods,
- Pre-paying their entire order to keep the producers out of dept,
- Creating a long-term relationship to foster sustainable development,
- Paying for employee meals and shuttle service.
FaeriesDance.com)! Everything they make is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified, and early on they won accolades for innovation in organic cotton and peace silk lingerie. We're impressed that Cathy Abruzzo both had the vision to make this eco-lingerie line a reality and took the time and money to get it fully Fair Trade certified.
Our first 3 fair trade company spotlights include a US company manufacturing in Peru, a UK company manufacturing in India and now a French company manufacturing in Turkey. It's obvious that the fashion industry touches the entire world, and our clothing can make the world better or worse, as we choose.
Labels: Fair Trade