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.