ETHEL STUDIO creates products from rescued + responsible materials to inspire sustainability + empowerment
After working several years in the New York fashion industry, I became overwhelmed by the negative impact of the industry on the environment and the total lack of awareness, much less responsibility, most brands had for their actions.
I set out to devote myself through my personal art and designs to using only rescued fabric scraps - I thought if I could focus on just ONE aspect of the industry's issues, I could make an impact even in my own small way.
At the same time I didn't want to add to the problem by designing products or clothes that people didn't need or to just contribute to a passing throw-away trend. I looked to my meditation practice, something that helped me survive my transition leaving New York and enabled me to locate and stay on my path towards self-realization. Thus, Ethel Studio was created as a place for me to eliminate the global textile waste while creating products to empower people to improve their own lives and the lives of others.
—Maggie Dimmick, founder
We are committed to eliminating global textile waste. We start by rescuing fabrics from fashion company offices and production facilities as well as from damaged garments which would otherwise go to landfill or incinerators.
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. By being zero-waste, we are preventing even more materials from being wasted.
We create one-of-a-kind meditation cushions from rescued fabric scraps. No two of our products are exactly 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. Sustainability doesn't have to be boring —
Our first collection was released in October 2018 with 12 colors based on the availability of fabric colors we have received. Some colors we produced have as little as one unit, with the most of one color being 6 units. Most designers start with a color vision and create their line from there. We do things the other way around: we start with what we receive, then Maggie uses her color intuition based on market trends to curate the collection color lineup.
We believe in keeping things local. We source our scraps mostly from small local designers in the Twin Cities area. Our sewing is a collaboration between our studio and local Hmong-American contract stitchers. The buckwheat hulls which fill our cushions are sourced from neighboring North Dakota.
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. You might find her on her bike, on her yoga mat, or at her sewing machine. Check out her art here.
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