Notes Eco Trade Show

The Eco Trade Show was off site, over at the Venetian. There were a few lines here, all DEs, some better than others with a couple of suppliers. Of them all, Howard Gabe “Mammie” is a card and a real jewel. His textile site is down right now (email, phone 626-376-8664) but he sells all kinds of organic fabrics, mostly larger quantities. [edited yet again after receiving one of the most hateful emails I’ve ever gotten]. By the way, Howard Gabe is the guy who put this show together. This first show was small -only twenty exhibitors- who by all accounts were very pleased with the response because 18 of them will be coming back for the Trade show in August. He mentions to contact him now if you think you’d be interested in showing your line there.

Speaking of fabric vendors, there’s one I wish I could tell you about, they look like they had interesting stuff but the reps were so busy talking to each other (and I waited a long time and came back again later) that they didn’t have time for customers. Okay, so I ‘m not a customer but I may as well be one considering how I can put the word out. This sort of behavior is not unusual by the way. If you are showing your line, your friends or the people from the booth next to you are never more important than anyone waiting to talk to you. Especially if they’re wearing a press badge. Another interesting vendor was Silk City. Mady says they have a new line of eco-cottons, silks and bamboo. Judging from what I found on the web, the company is a long established popular and reputable supplier of yarns. They can produce some yardage (no in stock program) to order, specializing in boutique lines and dare I say, boutique level quantities (!). They can also provide sourcing to knitting mills as needed. Sounds like people you may want to talk to, particularly if you want custom loomed goods that nobody else has.

Another vendor at the show was Guy Carpenter, just incredibly knowledgeable about the operations side of the business. His company, Cape Fear Apparel, “specializes in fiber forward fully finished package apparel programs made from sustainable and organic fibers” so you may want to contact him in you’re looking for a contractor. All his stuff is made in Africa (Uganda) where he was once in the Peace Corps. Guy is one of a kind, not flashy, not salesmany and you’ll never see him smile but I suspect he’s solid gold. As I’ve always said, you’re better off trusting people who aren’t trying to suck up to you.

Some of the lines being show at the Eco Tradeshow were Toggery by Kate D’arcy, Jonano, Sense Organics, Ecobaby Organics, Sharibe, Izzy Lane, Peoples Hemp, Bliss Clothing, Brahman, and Clothing of the American Mind.One of these vendors (a DE, all of them were DE lines) who shall remain nameless because she was exceedingly rude to me, has no problems whatsoever, none. With three years under her belt, she had another line that folded -heh- but she’s got it locked up now (she’s still naming her styles). I cheerfully suggested that maybe she could teach us a thing or two, however unintentionally :).

Not at this show (but over at the Rio) was Earth Creations. My, that company has grown. They’re another of my success stories. Joy and Martin went to the first Boot Camp Manufacturing seminar (three full days working in a sewing factory) I did in 1996. Or was it 1997? I don’t remember but anyway, I couldn’t see their line because shuttles from Magic weren’t going over to the Rio. Hopefully Earth Creations will have a booth at the Eco Tradeshow next time. By the way, if you think you’d like to show there in August (rates), better contact Howard now.

Related: this came off my feed, not the tradeshow. TreeHugger put out a dandy sourcing directory for sustainable fabrics with a surprising number of suppliers. I don’t know which of them are retail or wholesale but I’m sure you could track backwards.

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  1. Heather says:

    We almost did a booth there. I met Howard at the Green Festival in SF in October. We just weren’t ready production wise to hit such a show this early in the year.

    I am glad that it was a good show, I’m really hoping it takes off and becomes a regular event.

    That sucks that that DE was obnoxious.

  2. Danielle says:

    I was looking forward to this review. I expect the OCC will be at future Eco Shows, and maybe I will get to go too. I’d like to, it sounds interesting, and it would be even better if Kathleen came to my booth. I would talk to you for sure!

  3. Andrea says:

    Hi Kathleen:

    Thanks so much for doing the review on this leg of Magic. I had seen it out there and wondered what sales were like (or could be like)…the rates to show are reasonable enough and the participants are reputable. Your review revealed some new players and the stand-by’s for fabric sourcing. I am glad that this kind of awareness is becoming more mainstream. When I started in 2003 it took forever to find “green” suppliers. I want to give my endorsement to both Pickering and Envirotex.I have spent hours on the phone with Barbara from Envirotex discussing sustainability issues in fabric production and fiber farming. Both companies are really great to deal with and while they stick to their prices pretty closely, they really support small DE’s with smaller quantity orders. BTW…I am happy to announce that I have started development for a new collection…all green. I swore off fashion, but to no avail.

  4. Dawn Pickering says:

    We are NOT Howard Gabe’s dealer by any means. I don’t know where he got that idea. We sell a lot of eco and organic textiles, not just mainly hemp. Check our website at We have been doing this for 15 years and sell both small and large quantity, more than Howard Gabe has ever sold. I’m sure Enviro textiles is NOT Howard Gabe’s dealer either.

  5. gmt says:

    Im an eco-designer, active in many of the eco-based events and I was asked to join this show less than 2 weeks prior? hmm. I was also given a list of other reputable eco-designers who where ‘supposedly’ part of this show but as it turns out were NOT involved. hmm. From the previous post, it sounds like I wasn’t the only one wondering.. and with the green/eco phenomnenon, we just have to be careful.

  6. Kathleen says:

    We are NOT Howard Gabe’s dealer by any means. I don’t know where he got that idea. We sell a lot of eco and organic textiles, not just mainly hemp. Check our website at We have been doing this for 15 years and sell both small and large quantity, more than Howard Gabe has ever sold. I’m sure Enviro textiles is NOT Howard Gabe’s dealer either.

    I’m a little surprised at your tone; we are all friends here. The telephone conversation with Howard was challenging (bad connection, he was ill) and it is entirely possible I was the one who made the error rather than he but I’ll be happy to correct it in the short term by removing your link and mention of your company in my post.

  7. Thanks Kathleen for mentioning the Eco Trade Show. It is very much appreciated! I am so sorry to have missed seeing you; that week was a crazy (but all in a good way!) week as I had to oversee and organize the Eco Fashion Show that took place the first night of the trade show, and we kept getting last minute vendors adding their items into the show. My students from IADT-Las Vegas were FABULOUS as they worked for weeks, not to mention the 10+ hour day-of, as stylists, hair stylists and make-up artists in getting the show together. It was a long show, and with some technical glitches here and there, but we were able to pull it off.

    The show was a combination of the Eco-friendly and Organics, and the students’ designs were the Cruelty-Free aspect (no real leathers or furs) that they had created for the Faux Rocks fashion show back in November. I know not everyone agrees with the faux fabrics (which were donated to the students from Sommers, Inc. and which are of the highest quality I have seen) because of issues with petroleum and so forth, but in my opinion, the whole thing of being environmentally friendly is to also be compassionate towards ALL living creatures(it’s their Earth, too!), so it is another side to this whole movement, in my opinion. Just a take a look at the website for Izzy Lane and what designer Isobel Davies has been able to accomplish with her rescued sheep and goats!

    I have a couple photos posted on the website for the fashion show at and hiope to add more as I get them from various photographers.

    This trade show has been Howard’s dream and I am so glad that overall, it was a great week. I think the next one will be August 24-27, 2007 at the Venetian Hotel, so if anyone is interested in exhibiting, please contact Howard. I have been asked to organize another fashion show, so check back on the above website or email me if you are interested and once I have the details, I will get them to you. This time around, I will be sticking to a deadline of accepting submissions ;-)

  8. Anna Herman says:

    Wow I can get into this conversation. You tell them Dawn. Howies shows are over priced . Acouple years ago He sent me an email saying he was organiizing a trip to China to meet suppliers well I got that emal it was from the chinese goverment not Howie ( this my opinion) I have to buy hemp from china but I make the clothes here in the states. I don’t what to go off shore. I’m never doing Magic they can kiss it. I am having my own show because I can’t stand the way the garment biz is being run . How much longer do I have wait for some decent terms and products, can you though alittle poly into that ? I went ot Go Green in LA (Jan) my space was 995.00 and I made 355.00 , but everyone wanted to sell to me . My show is I’ll put out a fashion call I’m going to blast it all over the net. If you want to join me send me $50.00 and I’ll even mail your clothes back.
    Julia you are not my friend It took you 6 months to send back my clothes after the fashion show you had in Vegas and you put the dress on the model backwards. There’s a reason I’m the designer and your the teacher
    Yah customer service is important to me . I might even say thank you .
    Hermans ECO INC.
    Fashion Designer Anna Herman

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