I was about eight years into my professional career when I started to reconsider my life aspirations. I began to think about leaving my corporate apparel design job to launch a sweater line. It was the beginning of an idea and it would be some time before my fully matured vision for Tempest + Bentley materialized.
It took me a few more years to leave my reliable job to explore new ambitions. It was during my stint in furniture restoration that I was surprised and side tracked by the first of two very different sources of inspiration. Both would allow me the time to develop my design and style vision and more importantly, both would ultimately influence the social, economic and environmental ethics of Tempest + Bentley.
The first opportunity to present itself was an unexpected offer to work in fashion technology. It was a chance to see for myself what this Silicon Valley start-up tech world was really about. It was also an opportunity to learn more about e-commerce and how technology was changing the way people shop. I researched and reviewed thousands of online lifestyle retail brands while I worked in tech and for some time it was fun to have a job where I was expected to window shop while I worked.
Four years into my tech education and new fashion technology career a second new source of inspiration came into my life. I was working at Google, when I fell in love with my now husband and stepson. Entertained by my work and preoccupied with my new family, I was now also constantly and more deeply being exposed to the world of ethical farming and the slow food movement. I had always considered myself to be a mindful shopper and eater, but there was a lot about food production I didn’t know. My husband’s work in sustainable farming and nature conservancy, made this world more directly accessible to me. On their farm and in their business, high-quality and ethical production practices outweighed quantity, cheap production and high margins.
During this time I started to think more about where everything I was buying was coming from and how it was made, outside of just food. Many of the brands and products I thought I needed and loved, didn’t seem as necessary or great as they had before. I started to read up on the facts around the ethics of the fashion industry and learned that apparel manufacturers are some of the biggest contributors to waste and water pollution in the world. Knowing where, why and how something is made became integral for me to stand behind a product.
Today I make buying decisions across all aspects of my and my family’s life with a more conscious approach. It is very challenging to find products and brands that are ethical and high quality and I’m not always successful in making sustainable purchases. However, when it came time to create the Tempest + Bentley sweater collection, I knew I couldn’t be a part of a new brand that wasn’t as responsible and sustainable as my personal ethics had become. Read about Tempest + Bentley’s commitment to sustainability here.
I’m happy and proud to share today, the news of the success of the efforts of many talented people in the launch of Tempest + Bentley. Thank you friends, family and supporters. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Tempest + Bentley and the sustainable fashion movement.