Fair Fashion

Lina Rennell's Personal Textile Creations Transform Clothes into Casual Wearable Art


Designer Lina Rennell combines beautiful, handprinted fabrics with ethical textiles, creating uniquely lovely clothes which find inspiration in everyday objects; her Fall/Winter collection takes off from a lampshade that the designer loves. Her Spring/Summer 2012 collection, shown here, called “Marble Ballet” delves into the “…imagery of visual mishaps of nature, the beauty of evolution and mutation reframed into engaging pirouettes,” says Lina.


“I primarily do screen printing, by hand with large screens done in San Francisco. The line is textile art driven, and I start my process in a very personal way, what I’m drawn to at the moment, or what I’m struggling with. That’s in the textiles themselves, and then once I have a body of fabrics and prints, I do the fashion thing,” says Lina.


The designer lives as green as she can, shopping at the local farmer’s market and working near home so there’s no commute. “The eco thing is just second nature to me. I grew up in health food stores and walking around all day in the hills with my animal friends. So organic clothing was just an obvious choice for me. I loved the quality of it first and foremost; how is it so much like the vintage textiles, with its well made integrity, and unique hand,” says Lina.


Lina prefers using older sewing techniques; calling her creations “light couture.” Enclosed seams, or French seams mean that her pieces often look as beautiful inside-out as they do right way forward.


“I’m inspired by color, and animals and contrasts. I love modern but I always have a eye on tribal, hand done craft. I grew up reading Vogue, though I was mostly a tomboy. My mother on the other hand was always in pumps with red lipstick, always decked out to the nines, and then there was me with my big bushy messy hair,” says Lina.


Lina Rennell is a family-run local business, and sewing and printing all takes place in California by other small businesses. Organic cotton and hemp silk blends are favorite fabrics and Lina says, “We also recycle lots of our fabric in small piece production and gifting to schools and other designers.”


Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.