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Designers Leading Sustainable Fashion Globally: 3 WOMEN

0:00 foreign 0:05 we're never open but we're always here 0:08 and you're always welcome 0:10 she was saving for later 0:13 hey I'm Natalie Mumford and I'm Crystal 0:15 early and we're three women Crystal and 0:19 I met at a flea market probably about 0:21 five or six years ago we're both selling 0:23 vintage clothing we had our own shops 0:26 and eventually Crystal asked me to share 0:29 a booth with her at one of the flea 0:30 markets yeah I was self-employed for the 0:34 first time and working across the street 0:37 in the neighborhood that our shop is now 0:40 the East Village Arts District and I 0:43 noticed that this shop was available for 0:45 rent so I used my retirement from when I 0:49 worked at the federal government to fund 0:51 it and asked Natalie if she wanted to 0:54 join in three women three women started 0:57 as a vintage clothing shop and I would 0:59 say about six months in we decided to 1:02 make our first piece using one of 1:04 Crystal's family heirlooms yeah the 1:07 first piece that we made 1:08 um from vintage textiles was taken from 1:11 my family's Chinese frozen food business 1:13 in the 1950s it was called dragon foods 1:16 so we used a rice bag and we actually 1:19 have it here today but we used a rice 1:23 bag to make our first couple of jackets 1:25 I think that a lot of people gravitated 1:27 towards the concept we use a seamstress 1:30 who's still with us today and her small 1:31 team locally in Long Beach they're only 1:34 about 5-10 minutes away and just started 1:37 making pieces when we could when we 1:39 could afford to and had the shop selling 1:42 vintage as well and then that just 1:44 slowly Grew From there when other people 1:47 took interest and and started an aspect 1:50 of our business custom clothing which 1:53 was a good way to start as a small brand 1:56 designer without having 1:58 you know whole collection done selling 2:01 at the flea markets 2:03 um that is a strong community and that's 2:05 what makes it like easier for us to 2:07 Source we have our own experience but we 2:09 also have a network of people that have 2:11 been preserving vintage textiles 2:14 preserving antiques just from having 2:16 this space we've built many deep 2:18 relationships with customers too and I 2:20 think that's a really old school way of 2:22 doing business is having this custom 2:24 aspect when someone could come in and 2:27 work with Crystal to help select their 2:28 own fabric participate in the design 2:30 process and create a piece that you know 2:33 that's going to resonate with them 2:34 emotionally this is something that's 2:37 going to last forever it's made to 2:38 measure it's one of the most sustainable 2:40 ways to produce and because we've we 2:42 have this very intimate 2:44 experience with the customer it's like 2:47 it's build build all these relationships 2:49 that are long-standing and we don't just 2:51 do it in our space we do it virtually as 2:53 well and you could tell like when 2:56 someone has that interaction with a 2:59 piece of clothing that they're 3:00 purchasing it really inherently makes it 3:03 more sustainable long term they want to 3:05 take care of it they want to keep it 3:07 forever and that's you know doing our 3:10 part yeah sustainability really is about 3:12 just thoughtfulness 3:15 I mean we're not the first to do this 3:17 you know during the Depression many 3:19 women 3:22 made clothing and other household goods 3:26 out of textiles like they you know feed 3:28 sacks things that were carrying food 3:32 yeah they started repurposing that 3:34 because they had to have a resource for 3:36 me that kind of resourcefulness also 3:38 spawns a certain type of creativity 3:42 that I don't think would come unless you 3:44 were being resourceful you know when you 3:46 only have certain Fabrics to work with 3:50 then something like completely unique 3:53 it comes about so we love to make uh 3:57 halter tops for the summer seasons these 4:00 are our hanky halter tops they're made 4:02 with 1930s through 1950s cotton 4:05 handkerchiefs each one is one of a kind 4:08 they're all printed with different 4:10 imagery typically florals what's 4:13 incredible about these is that we've 4:15 never found two of the same so each one 4:18 is completely One of a Kind our first 4:22 pieces were made from 4:24 my family's heirloom which was a rice 4:27 bag from their Chinese frozen food 4:30 business in the 1950s in Windsor Ontario 4:33 called dragon foods this is the G Funk 4:37 button up 4:38 G-funk is a music 4:41 genre out of Long Beach California so 4:45 anyways it was a funk seed 4:48 Funk seeds sea bass seed bag 4:51 but we call it G Funk anyways okay the 4:54 story of this shirt and how everything 4:57 comes full circle is that this shirt 5:03 was recently found 5:06 at the Rose Bowl Flea Market where 5:08 Natalie and I sell monthly 5:10 but it's one of our first pieces that 5:13 we've ever made so 5:15 um 5:17 when we were working at the Rose Bowl 5:19 Flea Market I looked over at the next 5:20 booth and I saw this hanging there and 5:23 so I I asked Nat I'm like is that one of 5:26 our first pieces and she said yes so I 5:29 went over to the vendor and I said 5:33 um 5:34 where did you find this and he said oh 5:36 at the Goodwill thrift store 5:40 which actually is a great thing you know 5:42 someone bought it then they donated it 5:44 then this vendor uh buys it to sell at 5:47 the Roseville Flea Market and we're in 5:49 the next booth so it's back with us and 5:53 I wear it all the time I absolutely love 5:55 it it's such a cool rice bag Tycoon rice 5:58 like the colors are amazing 6:01 the pieces from my Personal Collection 6:03 that we've made over the years 6:06 um 6:07 this one is probably one of my favorites 6:10 uh I love old textiles and this one's 6:13 very special it's a 1920s 6:17 hand embroidered hand crocheted lace 6:20 edging tablecloth and hand tinted I love 6:24 that they're not like the greatest at 6:27 embroidery 6:28 um 6:29 and that I think really speaks to me 6:32 because you could see all the variations 6:34 of artwork you know in these old pieces 6:37 and then this is also a 1920s Boudoir 6:42 pillow 6:43 for the back and 6:46 yeah this is a 6:48 kind of one of my favorites to wear 6:52 this is cool because we were able to 6:54 make three so Crystal has a matching 6:56 jacket this is reversible and it's the 7:00 original quilt what's interesting is 7:02 that this is a 1930s 7:05 um 7:06 quilt with like vintage 30s 40s feed 7:09 sack but then someone finished the quilt 7:11 at another point right like this is 7:13 probably 1960s or 70s but that's the 7:16 original backing and this is completely 7:18 reversible and there's three of them 7:21 this is an example of just like 7:23 patchworking we've done in the past is 7:25 like a 1970s top had a lot of stains on 7:29 it so patch a rice bag I like that it's 7:31 black and white that's kind of rare to 7:33 find it's cool because you could see the 7:35 you know like the date and the history 7:38 of every piece of rice bag or fabric 7:41 because of certain things that happened 7:42 right like a barcode wouldn't have 7:45 existed until later so this is like one 7:47 of the last cloth rice bags that were 7:50 made you know most of them I'd say 7:53 99.9 of them are now in like woven 7:56 plastic or or cardboard boxes so 8:00 um you could see the transition of like 8:02 okay we're not going to use cloth bags 8:03 anymore and this is one of the last of 8:05 it we've been come to known for using 8:08 vintage rice bags for our collection and 8:12 we have some 8:14 over here here's the cowrose rice bag in 8:18 yellow 8:21 yeah these have become pretty hard to 8:24 find and they're all rare and because of 8:27 that we've created our own sack the 8:30 worldwide sack and that 8:35 is right here 8:36 it's I'm wearing the world wide sock 8:44 worldwide three women we come to love 8:47 yeah this is printed on Vintage dead 8:50 stock fabric so because these pieces are 8:53 so hard to find we want to start 8:56 incorporating our own print design 8:58 into our one-of-a-kind pieces and also 9:01 small runs like the pullover crystals 9:03 wearing 9:04 um 9:05 and not sacrifice our values by being 9:08 you know sustainable so it's all still 9:10 on Vintage dead sock fabric printed 9:13 locally and then sewn locally as well 9:17 yeah I think our mission statement our 9:19 values are based on community and people 9:22 and experiences we think that 9:25 you know the textiles and the garments 9:27 that we make hold a lot of value 9:29 themselves but the connections we've 9:31 built around them is the most meaningful 9:35 um long term right and the way that 9:38 we've brought people uh to three women 9:40 because of these Fabrics that have 9:42 really resonated so strongly you know uh 9:45 either there's a Nostalgia that's evoked 9:47 or a sentimentality and it has brought a 9:51 lot of people like way more than I could 9:53 have ever imagined into three women and 9:56 it's all comes from a rice sack you know 9:59 yeah 10:00 foreign

Get inspired to follow your passion while contributing to global society’s well-being. 1+1=3 when founders Crystal Early and Natalie Mumford launched their sustainable fashion brand in Long Beach, CA’s arts district a few years ago. Watch these extraordinary creatives detail the inspo and the heart of their journey building this emerging brand.


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