100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
Ok, my husband is from detroit - affectionately referred to around our house as "D-Town". Therefore it follows that he is a hockey fan (Wing Nut). Yes, I have watched my fair share of Red Wings games over the last 18 years! This year wasn't their best . . . but regardless there was some GREAT news from the National Hockey League last week.
Stanley Cup Finals Ices Plastic Bags "The NHL is expecting to replace some 30,000 plastic bags normally used during the Stanley Cup Finals with reusable bags. The reusable bags will be a commemorative bag featuring the 2010 Stanley Cup Final logo."
It is with a heavy heart that I announce the closing of Organic Cotton Plus. OCP was the very first retailer to carry our fabrics. In fact, it was a conversation with Barbara Bush-Lamming back in November of 2004 that gave me the courage to start the journey of Harmony Art. When I told her what I wanted to do - create printed organic cotton fabrics designed for home sewers and small businesses, she was totally encouraging and promised to carry our fabrics - sight unseen. It would be almost a year before we shipped our first fabric to OCP in northern Texas but true to her word Barb carried almost all of our fabrics. The history of Harmony Art will forever be tied to Barbara and OCP. I personally wish them a wonderful new chapter. They will be missed.
I know this news will be a big blow to OCP's customer base. The good news is that there are other fabulous distributors to fill this gap. If you are having trouble finding what you are looking for, please don't hesitate to contact me.
(Please do keep in mind that our long term goal is to phase out knits so that we can make room and offer more woven fabrics.)
Until the end of May, all of our knit fabrics (wholesale purchases only) are on SALE -- 15-30% off. If you have been following Harmony Art for very long you know we don't have sales very often. If you are interested in getting prices and roll lengths, contact me. Please note that you will need to set up a wholesale account with us in order to take advantage of this limited time offer. You can download a wholesale application from our web site.
When the flood happened in Nashville earlier this month, I immediately thought of my friends who live in the area. Were they safe? Homes ok? Thankfully they were. Teresa (aka the Green Bag Lady) lives in Nashville and she sent me a link to this video. Watch it. Now.
I was in tears by the end. What could I do to help? Well, Teresa was feeling the same way and in true Green Bag Lady form, she decided to get involved - with bags! She contacted me and a few others to request a donation of fabric for a fund raiser for Nashville flood relief. Normally Teresa doesn't sell her bags she gives them away but for this emergency she is donating the bags in hopes of raising money to rebuild Nashville. Of course, my answer was YES! So I sent her a roll of our 100% organic light green twill and with the help of volunteers (including several other professors at Belmont University where Teresa works) 500 bags have been sewn and are available for purchase/donation from The Cool People Care site.
Teresa was featured yesterday on Fox channel 17 in Nashville. I am proud and honored to be a small part of the "cool people who care".
Lately there has been some interesting reports that if you haven't heard about already, I want to bring to your attention:
1. ADHD linked to pesticide exposure - yep, another example of short term problem (bugs on our plants) creating an even bigger, more complicated and widespread problem. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers led by Maryse Bouchard, a researcher in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Montreal, analyzed the levels of pesticide metabolites in the urine of 1,139 children and found children with above-average levels had roughly twice the odds of being diagnosed with ADHD. By eating only organic fruits and vegetables you can reduce your exposure to these toxins. The abstract of the paper published in the journal Pediatrics is accessible online.
2. Genetically modified cotton stops one bug but fosters another - yep... you guessed it. Our GMO cotton seeds have yet again created another problem to worry about. In this LA Times article the focus is on China. Although Bt cotton (genetically engineered) has reduced bollworms from the fields it has created a new pest called mirid bugs. Researches from Cornell University first noticed the problem in 2004 "when they surveyed 481 farmers in five Chinese provinces. They suspected something was amiss when they discovered that Bt cotton farmers were using more pesticides than farmers planting conventional cotton." Does anyone else think this is insanity?
3. Don't forget last week The President’s Cancer Panel Report: “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now,” was submitted to President Obama. What was the advice of this report by Dr. LaSalle Leffall, Jr., an oncologist and professor of surgery at Howard University, and Dr. Margaret L. Kripke, an immunologist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston? You guessed it - choose food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers , antibiotics, and growth hormones to help decrease exposure to environmental chemicals that can increase risk of contracting cancer. Organic products avoid the use of these chemicals. If you want to read the entire 240 page report you can down load it here.
Do you need any more reasons to support organic agriculture? I don't. Our CSA starts this Friday. I can't wait to see and taste what local, organic treats await! Yes, organic is more expensive in the short term but when you factor in ADHD, more pests and potentially cancer, I think the cost is actually very affordable!
As many of you know, I am a big fan and supporter of The Green Bag Lady and her mission to help rid the world of plastic bags. If you aren't yet a proud owner of a Green Bag Lady Bag, now is your chance. She is running a Take One Make One Giveaway in conjunction with Sew Mama Sew. The deadline is May 20th at midnight so don't delay. Good luck and Happy Sewing!
I have to say, having a 4 page article about Harmony Art be the lead story in the Spring issue of Surface Design Journal is pretty darn cool! It is a real trip to read about yourself but when it is in such a high caliber publication as the EcoVision issue of Surface Design Journal it truly could go to ones head or make one feel unworthy! (In my case, I think I am feeling a smidge of both.)
No, you can't run out and just buy a copy of this gorgeous publication at Barnes and Noble. It is a membership publication by the Surface Design Association. It's a great organization and a beautiful magazine. Big thanks to the author of the article Jo Ann Stabb, the editor Patricia Malacrcher, and the super talented art director, Dale Moyer.
I feel extraordinarily lucky, blessed and honored. Thank you.
While I am on the subject of very thoughtful textile groups.... I highly recommend checking out the Slow Cloth Facebook group. Elaine Lipson is a friend and co-founder. The quality and creativity of the artists is truly inspiring. Check it out!
I happen to believe that our collective buying power is one of the most incredible tools we have for cleaning up our environment. I know it is easy to blame multi-national, greedy corporations for the plight of the planet but the reality is that they are big because we feed them - that is we buy their products. So what can we do? Start making more thoughtful choices. Every time you opt for a healthier product you send a direct message to big companies. Believe me - they are watching!
Sounds easy, but who has the time to research every product? Not me! Buying organic products is probably the easiest change to make because of the NOP standards and seal for organics, but what about my laundry detergent, sunscreen, etc? Fret not, there is help on the way!
My friend Ann works with GoodGuide - a web site designed to help you make more educated choices about the products you buy. In fact, GoodGuide provides the world's largest and most reliable source of information on health, environmental and social impacts of the products in your home. But wait, there's more! They even have a FREE iPhone app so you can get the rating when you are at the store. The future of thoughtful shopping is here! Thanks Ann! Thanks GoodGuide. We need you. Now if I only owned an iPhone . . .
Yesterday I received the production sample for our newest run of Whispering Grass (aqua). After 5 years of being in the organic cotton manufacturing business, I understand that color shift happens. The last two times we produced Whispering Grass (aqua) the color kept getting darker. This time, to my pleasant surprise it got lighter! It actually looks more like the first run we did back in 2005! I hope you like it too. For some reason the photos are looking much more grey/drab than the fabric is in real life. If you would like me to send you a swatch of this new run, just ask!
As always, we dyed the background and then printed on half of the fabric so the solid pale aqua will be a perfect match to this batch. Amazingly the dyed shade is VERY close to our most recent run. Now that I have approved the fabric, it still has to make the long journey by boat and through customs. You can expect that we will have both fabrics back in stock this summer.
FYI Both fabrics are certified to the Global Organic Textile Standards by OneCert.
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.