As professional organizers we see a lot of “stuff” in people’s homes. When determining what we should keep, one of the areas we focus on is, quality. We spoke with Mary Brewster from American Flora about her collection as an antidote to disposable consumption.
For the busy person, what is American Flora?
When looking for a beautiful and unique gift, American Flora provides accessories that are Sustainable and Made in America. Our website is user friendly to make shopping very easy.
What is your origin story, how did you start the company?
I started the company because I wanted to sell a sustainable line of dance and yoga wear. I’m a ballet dancer who grew tired of purchasing Leotards etc that were not comfortable. Ones that were made with inferior fabrics.When I found out about REPREVE (the fabric I use), I was certain it would be perfect for my line. I was also determined sew the US and use a sustainable fabric. As you can read on my website, REPREVE is made from recycled plastic bottles.After a few years I decided to pivot and created the Wraps then the bags.
What is the Giving section of American Flora?
I designed the LOVE bag to bring awareness to my audience. Awareness about how necessary and easy it is to give/spread love.I decided to donate 15% of the profits from the sale of the LOVE bag to a foundation called Circle of Health International. The Giving page on my website explains the work COHI does. American Flora has always donated to a cause that helps women. It used to be Breast Care at Hartford Hospital. I was very moved by the passion and dedication of the midwives who work for COHI. They work globally. I chose a project in Puerto Rico, where they are still struggling after the damage caused by Hurricane Maria.
Can you explain more about sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion focuses on avoiding waste. Another term for it is Slow Fashion vs the Fast Fashion craze that has been going on for at least ten years.
Fast fashion gained momentum when the prices of some brands of clothes went way down, along with the quality. It also perpetuated the hiring of children in factories, an abundant waste of water, bad working conditions and message that clothes were “throw away”. Why bother keeping them if you could buy something else for cheap.
I chose to create my line using a fabric that is made from recycled plastic bottles, which otherwise would remain on beaches, and land as litter.
In addition, I chose American factories and suppliers that adhere to a sustainable practice.
What are some of your most popular pieces or ones you enjoy making the most?
The bags have become the most popular. Initially the Buddha bag was purchased more. When I started the campaign with the LOVE bag, that rose to the top.
That said, the Pink Cactus and Red Cactus Wraps are very popular. I took the images when visiting a Botanical Cactus Garden in Majorca Spain. Those are special for me, and the reason I designed the Black Clutch with a Red and Pink accent.