Blog

Slow Food, Slow Fashion

Full Circle Farm took on the sustainable farming philosophy before it was cool to go organic. We explore how they grew the Slow Food movement, and how Slow Fashion is related and on the horizon.

Full Circle Farms was founded in 1996 when Andrew Stout and a few of his friends, then in their 20s, decided to lease some farmland in North Bend in Eastern Washington. They worked long hours through trial and error, launching a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, which were growing in popularity at the time. All the while they focused on produce that was free of herbicides and pesticides, and sustainably farmed to preserve the earth and environment.

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Designer Bio: Avant Toi

Founded in Italy in 1994 by creative director Mirko Ghignone, Avant Toi offers luxury cashmere and silk garments constructed using artistic techniques and innovative textile manipulation. Ghignone learned the knitwear trade from his mother, who ran her own line Liapull Cashmere, founded in 1947.

Avant Toi pulls from Ghignone's artistic background with a unique dye bath technique, air-brushed coloring, and sometimes grung-y distressing.

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Hello, Helen Gurley Brown

We remember the controversial feminist icon and reflect on how far we've come...and how far we've yet to go.

Helen Gurley Brown famously said, “Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere.”

Originally from Arkansas, Brown moved to Los Angeles with her mother and sister in the late 1930s. HGB (as she’d go on to pen) worked her way through the ranks as a single woman living in California, taking 17 different secretary jobs before proving herself as a highly adept writer. In total Mad Men fashion, by the early 1960s she was the West Coast’s most sought-after and highest-paid female advertising copywriter.

In 1959 Helen Gurley became Helen Gurley Brown when she married film producer David Brown (Driving Miss Daisy, Jaws). David encouraged her as a writer, culminating in her best-selling book Sex and the Single Girl. A handbook of sorts for young women seeking sexual freedom and personal independence, HGB documented her exploits as a bachelorette and provided both sex and lifestyle advice to a voracious audience. She was certainly one of the first to suggest, “Perhaps you will reconsider the idea that sex without marriage is dirty.”

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Designer Bio: Evam Eva

Known for its men’s and women’s knitwear and cozy cashmere, Japan’s Evam Eva offers luxury basics in relaxed fits. The brand focuses on sustainable manufacturing, using natural dyes and organic fibers whenever possible. Overall, the collections embody a minimalist, comfortable style emblematic of Japan.

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You Inspire Us, Second Edition: Progressivism in Bogotá, Colombia

Welcome to our new monthly series You Inspire Us, where we highlight and honor the people, brands, and ideas pushing us to think and do better as individuals, as a brand, and as a human collective.

There’s something about Colombia that elicits a cringe in certain unknowing people if you tell them you’re headed there. A squirm then a comment about the danger, the drug trade, kidnappings. “Well, stay safe. Watch out. Are you sure?” 

In truth, Colombia has come an incredibly far way in a surprisingly short time to shed much of its crime-ridden past and become a vibrant cultural gem (and one of tourism’s best-kept secrets). The change comes, at least in part, from our two You Inspire Us stories for February:

  • How sustainable urban design brought peace and equality to Bogotá
  • How an advertising campaign helped quell rebel guerilla forces
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Designer Bio: A Détacher

Image via adetacher.com

Mona Kowalska is one of the greatest slow fashion adherents on the design scene today. With a tiny team and small, thoughtful runs, the Polish-born designer grew up in Baltimore before attending college in Chicago, followed by a stint studying fashion design in Italy and working in Paris. A Détacher was eventually born in 1998, with its headquarters in New York City. Since then, Kowalska sends her petit collections to a select number of stockists worldwide.

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#WeRemember at Baby & Company

At Baby & Company we stand on a foundation of equality. Having been originally established by a Jewish family that was directly impacted by World War II, and now with Jill Donnelly, also Jewish, at the helm, we are keenly aware of how persecution of a group of people can have lasting and cataclysmic consequences.
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Designer Bio: Aleksandr Manamïs

Image via Rakuten Japan

Aleksandr Manamïs is shrouded in a certain level of mystery. The Copenhagen-based brand aims to remain anonymous, not disclosing whether the name belongs to the designer or is just a generalist homage. The goal being to let the men’s and women’s clothing collections shine without being overshadowed by a name, a story, or any star power. 

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Slow Fashion 101

If there’s anything we really uphold here at Baby & Company, it’s slow fashion. The movement, in its simplest terms, aims to call attention to the origins of how garments are made: where materials come from, how they’re constructed, who is constructing them, and what the overall impact is on the environment and humanity.

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Baby Does Paris

As our own Jill Donnelly hits the streets of Paris for men's fashion week, she's keeping an eye out for the latest upcoming trends from the fashion capitol.

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Laundry Lesson: Our Tips for Keeping Whites Extra Bright

Just like fresh snow in this city, our white garments don't always stay white for too long. Is there a way to restore them to their former glory, or are we destined to embrace the grey tinge that was once so gleaming?

Never fear! We're here to help with a Laundry Lesson of our favorite tested tips on refreshing those whites to make them white once more. 

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Happy 40th Birthday, Baby!

Born in 1976 at the hands of Baby and Uri Burnstyn, Baby & Company proudly celebrated its 40th year supplying Seattle with exclusive designers and their relaxed, yet meticulously styled European spirit.

What began as the forging of a pioneering aesthetic within a neighborhood that embraced the same longing has evolved into a sophisticated boutique mirroring its cosmopolitan, world-famous Pike Place district.

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Reviving the Age-Olds: Why Loungewear Is the Evening Look for Holiday

As a 1931 issue of Vogue once declared “A woman may and does wear pajamas to quite formal dinners in her own house, to other people’s dinners in town or country if you know them well, and the younger and more iconoclastic members of the female sex even wear them to the theater.”

There’s something acutely charming about donning a luxe pair of tailored loungewear to a fête; a sense of insouciance and ease in reinterpreting the ubiquitous party frock. Apart from the obvious sartorial inclinations, this trend ultimately lends itself to idle, versatile wearability.  Dress yourself comfortably for party prep, spend the night out and return home to wind down all in the same bellwether ensemble.

Image courtesy of Laura Urbinati.

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Host Easy

A relaxed host is a great host, so how do we stay calm and deliver an excellent fête? Take some cues from a discussion with our own skillful/master entertainer, Jill Donnelly, on what makes a bash sing (hint: it has to do with rhythm and imbibing the five senses).

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Disco Daze

Looking back, Baby & Company owner and buyer Jill Donnelly recounts her beginnings saying, "forty years ago, the store introduced me to a world of fashion I had never seen before--my view of clothing would be changed forever more. Each season my friends and I could not wait to see what crazy fashion Baby would bring into the store. And then there were the displays! Sand covered floors with canvas tents and changing rooms and paper mâché sea creatures with portholes painted on the display windows. Suddenly, other clothing stores felt boring." 

Always the explorer, exposure to worldly brands like Castelbajac, Chevignon and Fiorucci shaped Jill’s curiosity for international fashion, sparking her to continually invite her tribe to ‘expect the unexpected’. Today we remain explorers of emerging designers and apparel brought to us each season to discover, and are invited to share the rosy lens that Baby first peered through on a sleepy corner of Seattle back in 1976. On it’s 40th birthday Baby & Company invites us to stay imaginative, open and curious for whatever comes our way.

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R13: The reinvention of grunge.

R13 Deconstructed Bomber

Emerging from the realms of anonymity, R13’s designer Chris Leba takes credit for putting the brand’s urban-grunge aesthetic on the street-chic map. Launched in 2009, the label leaves their storyline to be defined by their cool-girl denim styles rather than the reputation of their once-Senior VP of Ralf Lauren (an elusive trick used in the past by industry giant Margiela, pre-Galliano).

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