When I first started writing about sustainable fashion, I scoured Etsy.com because I found that a lot of small, independent sustainable designers were using it as a retail outlet. That’s when I first discovered Brook There. I was immediately drawn to the use of color and the artistic lines of the clothing–a far cry from a lot of the earth toned knit simplicity I saw in other ‘green’ designers. Finally, last month I was able to contact designer Brook DeLorme for a phone interview to find out more about her line.
According to her website, her company name “was inspired by the idea that ‘there’ often represents a place we’d rather be, and that fashion is the vehicle that can transport you from fantasy to reality, or from here to there. The roots of the line are based in my early work during college creating one-of-a-kind clothing from ‘found’ fabrics with a very deconstructed, raw, but ultra-feminine style.”
During the past few months, Brook has been developing her company’s main site in order to sell directly to online shoppers. She also works with boutiques that carry her clothing and still keeps her Etsy store open as additional outlets for sales. She’s also just added a line of organic underwear that is both eco-friendly AND sexy.
Originally, Brook started out designing and selling clothing using exclusively recycled materials. I asked her what prompted her to go green as a designer and she told me that “It wasn’t a matter of choosing to go green. Sustainability is simply integrated in to my personal life in all areas. To use these fabrics just makes sense. I use the concept of eco-fashion in my marketing, but I don’t think of it as something out of the ordinary. It is just the way I live my life and that translates to my design work.” After a few years, she chose to switch from recycled materials to organic fabrics, which tend to be easier to come by and to maintain continuity.
In addition to using sustainable fabrics, Brook also uses U.S. based manufacturing. She hand makes her own samples and sources her bulk orders to a small local, family-owned factory.
So what kind of woman wears Brook There? According to Brook, “A lot of female designers design for themselves. Clothing I wear has to be comfortable but look neat and chic and practical. My clientele tends to be urban and in creative professions. They can (and do) wear unusual clothing. They are educated, well-read and care about organics and sustainable products.”
She went on, “I call my design aesthetic ‘thoughtful clothing’. I really take care that pieces are interesting both inside and out so that the wearer has an experience that the viewer might now. I design from an abstract place–a concept or emotional state–not from literal experience and this is how the pieces and each collection gets their name.”
From a small startup design company on Etsy, Brook There is a real success story–a totem for struggling young designers who are attempting to create their own lines without million-dollar marketing budgets. Visit her site and see what makes Brook There a true fashion destination.