Whether you are looking for a special outfit for an upcoming event or the perfect skirt to wear to the office, there’s a sense of pride that comes with supporting a woman-owned business that makes eco-friendly clothing. (To go with your minimalist eco-friendly jewelry, of course!)
Brittani Bumb is here to tell you about her clothing company, Untitled Thoughts, which makes limited edition women’s clothing from sustainable and vintage fabrics. Her line includes pieces to dress you from head to toe, from adorable dresses down to your underwear. Not only does Brittani design beautiful clothing with sustainability in mind, but she is on a mission to create a company that is eco-friendly at all levels.
In addition to sharing with you more about Untitled Thoughts, Brittani offers some fantastic tips on what you can do to live more sustainably!
Photography by Eryn Price-Ormsby
Tell us about your company
Launched in 2015, we design and manufacture all of our limited edition pieces right here in the USA: Georgia to be more exact. All of our garments are handcrafted by a small team of seamstresses using sustainable fabrics and vintage/ thrifted garments. We incorporate as many sustainable practices throughout our supply chain as possible while always researching new ways to improve and keep our carbon footprint low.
What makes your company sustainable/eco-friendly? What inspired you to create this type of business?
We use sustainable materials and business practices throughout our supply chain. This includes using thrifted, upcycled, deadstock, and organic fabrics and notions. We also strive to be zero-waste. We utilize our scraps in the creation of cover buttons, bias tape, mini- clutches, etc. Anything we are unable to use, we donate to a local weaving house, Re:loom, so that they can use our scraps in the production of products!
I have always been an environmentalist so the idea to create a sustainable business came about organically. After working in the garment district in NYC, and seeing the amount of waste being produced and the terrible treatment of workers, I knew I wanted to make a difference through the creation of my own clothing line.
What tips or advice would you offer to someone who is trying to live a more eco-friendly / sustainable lifestyle?
Here are my top 4 favorite ways to become a more ethical consumer. These are geared towards navigating through fashion more sustainably, but I believe they can be applied to the way you shop for most goods!
1) The best (and cheapest way) to start your journey into ethical fashion is by participating in a year of no-spending on clothing goods! I have done this challenge as have many of my clients and it is a truly eye-opening experience. It is really challenging, especially in the beginning, but absolutely necessary if you want to become a more ethical consumer. When you force yourself to stop spending, you begin to see the value behind the things you ALREADY own. And once the challenge is complete, you will gain a better understanding and appreciation for the purchases you do go forward with in the future. Use your time NOT buying to research brand policies, fabrics, and different approaches to sustainability.
[Tweet “When you force yourself to stop spending, you see the value behind the things you ALREADY own”]
2) Save up for your purchases + Buy Quality vs. Quantity. When you look to a lot of sustainable designers, I know that there can be a bit of a sticker shock factor. When you are accustomed to purchasing fast fashion at rock-bottom prices, spending anything over $30 on a dress can seem like a waste of money. But it’s not! When you have researched a brand and you can see where each of your dollars are going (whether to the sustainable materials or the seamstresses in the brand’s community) you can feel confident that your money is having a real impact on the lives of those you send it to! Plus, when you stop yourself from impulse buying and you start to SAVE for a more expensive item, you give yourself time to ask yourself if the item is something you REALLY want. If, by the end of your saving, it is something you just have to have, then you can feel extra confident that you are making the best purchase decision!
3) If you really must shop inexpensive, shop vintage or thrifted. I think shopping at vintage and thrift stores is the most fun thing you could ever do! There are so many amazing finds that are just waiting to be unearthed! Plus, by purchasing what is already out there (and has been out there for a good amount of time) you are helping to keep any additional strain off of the environment to produce more items for consumption! I recommend shopping at local thrift and vintage shops as often as possible, that way you are helping to stimulate your local economy.
4) BONUS: Mend and Alter things whenever you can! Don’t just throw out your favorite blouse if it gets a hole in the sleeve. Instead, why not stop by your local alterations house and see if there is any way they can repair it or make it into something completely new! Or, if you are handy with a machine, why not experiment with altering the item yourself? Even if you aren’t a master seamstress, there are plenty of youtube tutorials and online classes you can join to help get you to a high enough level to take on some basic alterations!
Favorite sustainable/eco-friendly company (other than yours!)
Hi, I’m Brittani! I absolutely love everything about nature- if I could live entirely outside, I probably would! Ever since I was young, clothing seemed to be an outlet for expressing my true personality, and when I learned how to sew, nothing could slow my roll! To me, clothing represents a form of freedom and expression of confidence, all of which I want other women to feel when they wear one of my pieces. I strive to put an eco-green stamp of approval on as many practices here at Untitled Thoughts as I can. Each day, I try to bring new ideas on how to be more environmentally conscious among the fast fashion giants threatening to forever shape the earth in a negative way.
Check out Linkouture’s interviews with other eco-friendly brands.