When we come home to caring for ourselves and the earth, we are all transformed.
At Ethel Studio we bring careful intention into every decision we make. We are committed to being a part of the solution that seeks to reverse the catastrophic impacts of textile waste on our environment and living beings by using environmentally responsible practices at every stage of production.
Made from rescued fabrics, our zero-waste meditation cushions are carefully crafted to be an integral support for your personal transformation.
For those who choose to embrace a mindfulness practice, the first step you will often hear is to set an intention. It is that intentionality and honest inquiry that acts as the taproot for your meditation practice, anchoring you to purpose.
So when it comes to creating the support for your seat—quite literally the foundation upon which you sit as you deepen into that relationship to self in meditation—we want to ensure that the same level of intentionality is brought forth in everything we do.
We are disrupting the status quo of the textile industry by being active participants in the circular economy, in which all materials are kept in circulation at their highest value at every step while minimizing energy usage. Through every stage of our production process, our intention guides us to see what more we can do to lessen our impact on our world. All of our products are made in Minnesota via decentralized manufacturing to support our vision for the world where we can have more regional centers of manufacturing to support local economies.
We believe that the energy and care we put into making each cushion is transmuted into a felt sense that you can carry into your own meditation practice. Together, we can be a part of the positive transformation our world so desperately needs. The ripple begins with us. One choice, one day, one sit at a time.
How it all began…
While working as a textile designer in the New York fashion industry, our founder became overwhelmed with the amount of textile waste the industry produces every year. She witnessed first-hand during factory visits the immense amount of fabric cut away during the garment production process destined for landfill or incineration. She couldn’t keep adding to the problem, so she chose to devote her life to using only rescued fabrics in her designs and inspiring others to do the same. At the same time, she didn't want to continue creating products without longevity or purpose, so she looked to her meditation practice for inspiration. After much soul-searching and then lots of prototyping, Ethel Studio was born!
We’re on a mission to address the global textile waste crisis. We rescue fabrics from local production facilities with scraps that would have otherwise gone to landfills or incinerators just to pollute our communities. Compared to the massive global textile waste problem, the amount of textiles we're diverting from waste is small, but we strive to prove that designers of any size are a vital part of the circular economy where no materials are wasted. The fashion + textile industry’s environmental and social impacts disproportionately affect people of color, and we work to counteract this in all that we do. Sustainability is not just for a few: it needs to be for everyone.
LOCALIZATION + TRANSPARENCY
For environmental and economic reasons, we source our scraps from local designers in the Twin Cities area. Our sewing is a collaboration between our studio in Saint Paul and contract stitchers nearby. Collaborating with and supporting our local manufacturing community is essential to creating a sustainable, transparent system of localized manufacturing. Plus it helps reduce transportation impacts and helps ensure less fabrics are going to waste in our area.
ABUNDANCE + VARIETY
Sustainability doesn't have to be boring — Our vision of a sustainable future is one of abundance and variety. Just like snowflakes and thumbprints, no two of our meditation cushions are the same. Since we work with a variety of fabric scraps from a variety of sources, our designs each have their own unique combination of colors, textures, and geometry. Each of our one-of-a-kind products stands up against the rampant uniformity of mass production of most consumer goods.
Amidst the throw-away culture in which we live, we design products with intention and purpose, not just “things” to be discarded. Our meditation cushions and other textile products look amazing and can really shift a room, but what's even more important is how you use them. We believe in the benefits of meditation, mindfulness, or any kind of inward-connecting practice, and our designs serve as supportive tools to support you on your inner journey of rest + transformation.
Being owned by a white woman of privilege, we engage in the practice of paying reparations. We give a percentage of our online sales each month to rotating BIPOC organizations and organizations serving BIPOC communities as one way to work towards economic justice. We acknowledge our contributions are small compared to what has been taken from BIPOC and other oppressed groups in our country.
Making things by hand takes time, and we are okay with it. We slowly transform textile scraps into products in our zero-waste process, and as a result we are capturing the highest possible value of the raw material. Just as we wish to support you in your own rest and transformation, we as a company also seek to find slowness in our work as a way to counteract the exploitative capitalist systems in which we live. We work hard to keep our shelves well-stocked, but we often run out of colors, and it can take us many months to restock, while some colors may never return within this lifetime.
Maggie Dimmick is an artist and textile designer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She earned a B.S. in Apparel Design from Cornell University, after which she worked in textile design & research and color management for New York fashion brands including Eileen Fisher and Elie Tahari. She is passionate about eliminating global textile waste and promoting positive well-being through purposeful art and design. She has a serious fabric scrap obsession and is convinced that patchwork will be the new plaid (or stripe). She is equally passionate about inspiring others to incorporate textile waste-eliminating measures in their designs as well.