Anti T-shirt gardenia
As seen in Departures.
The first thing I learned while living in the mountains is that stretch fabric does not exist in nature. Who knew? That's because spandex is a man-made material made from fossil fuels.
At the time, I was writing the script for my TED animation, "The Lifecycle of a T-shirt," and discovered how polluting it is to make the average t-shirt. It left me depressed for weeks and inspired me to make its complete opposite.
So how can one design a t-shirt style without stretch, but still feel casual and comfortable? Alas, the open-back solution!
The fabric wraps around the shoulders, drapes dramatically in the back, and is held together by an adjustable neck tie. Perfect for a hot summer day when the warm breeze cools you from behind.
The cropped boxy cut is best worn with high-waisted pants, tucked slightly in the front for an effortless look.
Hand-embroidered contrast stitching sits atop hand-sewn french seams that follow the curves of the body.
Gardenia flower pods are foraged from the mountain forest in the summer to dye this vibrant sunshine hue.
The original prototype was made for a Smithsonian exhibition, took two years to perfect. It was the first style we made entirely by hand.
Fits true to size, take your normal size. For a looser fit, take the next size up.
Those with broad shoulders may take the next size up.
Model is 175 cm/5'9" and is wearing a size Small.
S = size 4 (US)
M = size 6 - 8 (US)
L = size 8 - 10 (US)
100% native seed cotton
We use natural off-white cotton that is grown by the village artisans using organic farming practices.
Native cotton seed can actually grow during a drought. Not to be confused with the water-thirsty GMO cotton seed invented 30 years ago that now makes up 99.4% of cotton production globally.
TIME REQUIRED TO MAKE EACH GARMENT:
Growing cotton: 4 months
Preparing cotton: 3 days
Hand-spinning: 5 days
Setting up loom: 1 weeks
Hand-weaving: 3 - 5 days
Finishing fabric: 3 days
Dyeing fabric: 2 - 14 days
Cutting fabric: 1 days
Sewing: 3 - 9 days
Washing: 2 days
TOTAL = 5 - 6 MONTHS
Seed-to-sewing in a 30-mile radius:
No fossil fuels
Artisans paid a living wage
Each piece was beaten with a wooden mallet to make the fabric extra soft and drapey. It will continue to get softer with each wash.
Don't be afraid of wearing off-white. Since no chemicals were used, the fabric retains the natural oils of the cotton plant. Dirt and stains easily roll off when washed, just like a white poodle after a doggie bath.
1) Hand-wash cold, line dry, or
2) Machine-wash in mesh bag, line dry
Natural dyes will fade and become more beautiful over time. It is similar to how dark blue jeans will lighten with each washing.
For a faded patina effect:
Hand-wash cold, line dry
To keep the original color:
Natural fibers will wrinkle. This shows that it is not blended with any synthetic fibers.
Our garments should be ironed using the highest setting (HOT) with steam.