Fashionably Conscious of the Environment: Juniperous Clothing Line Considers Nature First
One of the greatest beauties of art is learning from it. While it’s a business and an art form, Juniperous also teaches the public about creating clothes sustainably and naturally.
Starting her business in Montana and making her way to Jacksonville, Mattie Morton has been studying and practicing using natural ingredients from the earth to sustainably create clothing.
“I’m an herbalist and I do herbal consultations around connecting with earth,” she says. In Montana she worked at a friend’s apothecary as an herbalist, until she decided to change gears and move toward clothing. “I started to synthesize my role as an herbalist and as a seamstress,” she explains. “I started making natural clothing and natural dyes from harvest plants. All of my dyes are either made with sustainably harvest wild plants or ethically cultivated [botanicals].”
Since she had already been making her own clothes naturally, many requests from friends for more clothing encouraged her to create a business in a natural clothing line. “It’s challenging in a number of ways. Creating a clothing line requires a lot of participation in industry and fabric production in parts of the world that don’t feel so much in alignment.”
Through her business, Morton offers classes to teach others how to naturally dye and create clothing, while also educating human’s relationship with the earth. “I teach classes oriented around building that relationship up, creative arts, medicine, gardening, mediation, and time spent. I teach classes about natural dyeing, but those classes are even more oriented around process and extracting colors from natural fibers.”
Morton makes mostly women’s clothing, like dresses, skirts, and tops, but she also makes some clothing for men. All of them are made out of hemp and organic cotton and wool and she doesn’t use any synthetic fibers, such as plastic or toxic dyes.
When it comes to the goal behind Juniperous, Morton says, “I would really like to see my clothing line influence people make more earth conscious clothing choices. I also really want to utilize my business as an example as one way to take a deep caring for the earth, and apply a creative medium.” She also hopes to inspire younger people to educate themselves about where their clothing comes and how they can make more environmentally conscious decisions when it comes to that.
While Juniperous doesn’t have a permanent store location at the moment, all of her products are available on her website (http://www.juniperous.com), where one can also sign up for classes. Her merchandise can also be found in the Lithia Artisan Market in Ashland.