Two sisters on a mission
2004 – in our fast-living fashion world this year is an age ago. At that time Leigh Anne Van Dusen wanted to recover her sofa but found no environmentally friendly upholstery fabrics. She began to search for information – which made the matter no better: the more Leigh-Anne looked into the subject, the more she learned about environmentally harmful chemicals, inhuman production conditions and disillusioning circumstances.
But instead of doing what most people would probably have done in her place – give up and buy a new sofa – Leigh Anne decided to take a different path. Without more ado, she turned to her sister Patty Grossman, a recognised expert on start-up businesses and, with an MBA from MIT as a reference, perfectly equipped for the coming mission. Jointly Leigh Ann and Patty founded O Ecotextiles and from then on devoted themselves through their company to a particular question: how, using old and now rare fibres, and through the application of technological achievements, to manufacture attractive, contemporary high-end fabrics, produced as far as possible in an environmentally friendly way.
The two sisters started to write about their experiences in their blog. About the chemical intensity of textile processing and the alternatives which they found or developed. About the environmentally harmful effects of conventional production, and about the residues which remain from the chemicals used in the end products. Over the years the two sisters have developed into true and highly regarded experts on sustainable textile production.
Leigh Anne and Patty are still engaged on their mission: to change the way in which textiles are manufactured, by demonstrating that it is possible to manufacture luxurious, sensual fabrics in a non-poisonous, ethical and sustainable way, while allowing others to share their experiences and hoping that their example will inspire many to follow them. That the two sisters are on a course promising great success can be seen, by no means least, in the presence of numerous readers who now look forward with true excitement to their blog entries.