This month, we had a chance to sit down and interview Morgan from Morganic Handmade. She an incredible vendor from Etsy who was kind enough to donate masks to our conference participants last year. We hope you enjoy the interview!
To check out Morgan’s incredible products, click on the following link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MorganicHandmade
French in DC: How long have you been selling on Etsy?
Morgan: I’ve been selling stuff on Etsy since 2016- my boyfriend and I used to screen print designs onto cheap clothing and make stickers. In 2018, I started selling handmade hemp clothing.
French in DC: What made you want to start selling clothes?
Morgan: I started making/selling clothing after I tore my ACL and had full reconstructive surgery in 2018. I started sewing clothes to stay busy mentally while I healed my physical body.
French in DC: Can you tell us about the dyeing process?
Morgan: I use all natural plant dyes to color all of my fabric. Natural dyeing is an ancient art that involves cooking down raw plants and extracts to extract their natural color. Natural dyes take multiple dye baths and colors take from days to weeks to achieve full palette potential.
French in DC: What makes organic clothes more durable / better for the planet than non-organic clothes?
Morgan: Because my garments are made of natural fibers (hemp/organic cotton/merino fabric blends) they are biodegradable! Plastic (polyester) clothing that will eventually go into a landfill will never break down, because it’s a synthetic material. Hemp can also be grown without the use of harmful pesticides, takes far less water to grow in comparison to cotton, produces twice the amount of fiber to acre in comparison to cotton, it is the most durable natural fiber – four times stronger than cotton – naturally antimicrobial, naturally anti-fungal and naturally UV protective.
French in DC: What do you like most about creating and selling clothes?
Morgan: I enjoy having a creative outlet to express myself. I never really cared about clothes growing up but love how we can express ourselves simply from the color and textures we choose to wear.
French in DC: Have you been able to pass on your love of fabrics and organic clothes to others? If so, how?
Morgan: Yes! I am always advocating for natural fibers and teaching my friends/family about how good natural fibers are for our body and Earth.
French in DC: Where do you get your inspiration for making your clothes?
Morgan: I am inspired by the outdoors – mountains, trails, trees and rivers are where I draw most of my inspiration from.
French in DC: Tell us about Hood River. Is that where you harvest the materials to make your clothes? Does being outdoors inspire you?
Morgan: I don’t locally harvest all of my dye stuff, only a small portion for special projects – but do love foraging for dye mushrooms, lichen, oak galls and leaves for eco-printing! “The Gorge” is the ultimate outdoor playground nestled along the Columbia River. It’s a magical region that offers access to world class mountain biking, kite boarding, wind surfing, kayaking, hiking, skiing and snowboarding. Everyone in the Gorge gets after it! I am certainly inspired by the outdoors and all the Columbia River Gorge has to offer.
French in DC: What are your favorite products to make?
Morgan: I love making hoodies and hats most..probably because I wear these things the most.
French in DC: If someone is looking to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, what tips would you give them? How can they make incremental changes?
Morgan: Say no to single use plastics! Say no to fast fashion! Anything that goes in a plastic bag can easily go in a mason jar or tupperware. You can even reuse old plastic zip loc bags just by washing them and hanging them to dry. If you like to drink from straws, get some glass straws.
French in DC: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Morgan: More love, more life!
Thank you for reading!