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Inspiring Conversations with Jennifer Jeremiah of The Conscious Cloth and Lifecycle Apparel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Jeremiah.  

Hi Jennifer, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started The Conscious Cloth in 2019 with a commitment to replace disposable and synthetically-made household items with ethically-made and sourced renewable fibers that can be reused again and again! After owning and operating my own clothing line for almost a decade, I learned the inner workings of the textile community, including the devastating reality it can have on farmers and those in the production process. As a gatekeeper for better textile industry, I decided there was no other option than to choose natural and sustainable fibers. I rebranded my clothing shop–departing from the polyester bases that were the norm to get from the fashion district in L.A.–and committed to solely utilizing organic and eco-dyed cotton and other sustainable materials like hemp. At the same time, I launched my reusables shop, offering reusable coffee filters, nursing pads, soft velour washcloths, cotton rounds, and more–all made with GOTS certified organic materials. 

My desire to sew clothing began on my first trip to India in 2008. It was the first time I witnessed, and experienced, clothing being made directly for individual bodies and accessible to all. Standing on a rooftop, and having my arms outstretched, with a tape measure caressing my curves, I knew I had to bring this back to the United States. Growing up, I thought custom clothing was only for the wealthy. That day in South India, that perception was shattered. During a subsequent trip to India, I had my soon-to-be Father-in-Law (lo and behold, I married an Indian) teach me to hem his dhoti. He had been a tailor in his younger years, and he was overjoyed that I had this passion. He was so happy, in fact, that he let me destroy his dhoti with my wobbly first attempt at a hem. 

When I found out I was pregnant, my desire to sew only grew. I started by making bibs and burp cloths. And then my husband kept asking the “what if” questions. 

– “What if you tried making their clothes?” 

– “Oh goodness–I don’t think I could do that.” 

– “What if you make your own clothes?” 

– “Oh my!–I can picture them coming apart and falling right off of me!” 

But those “What if” seeds planted and grew, and I kept digging into inspiration found all across the online community. I tested garments for pattern companies before they were released to the public, and I became a promoter for fabric companies. I was a seamstress blogger. I was even a pattern designer for a short while. And throughout it all, I was an English instructor and traveling Digital Faculty Consultant. And then what began as a hobby, became my business. And then two businesses. And now, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. 

Life is filled with choices. I choose chemical-free organics. I choose health…and our bodies…and your bodies…and farmers’ bodies…and the earth’s body. 

I now wholesale my organic reusables all across the country, and some internationally. My products are in refill shops, spas, birthing centers, and other eco-conscious stores across the United States. And consumers can also buy them directly from The Conscious Cloth on Etsy or by catching me at the Eastern Ingham Farmer’s Market on warm summer days. I’m so thankful that more consumers are becoming aware that making small switches can create a multitude of changes. This has become more than a business to me; it’s a way that I can leave this world slightly more beautiful than I found it. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’m not sure that I’d say owning a small business is ever a completely smooth road. As a very work-centered woman from a young age, working from home can easily have isolation and organizational challenges. There have been moments when I questioned if this was enough–enough money, enough interaction. But I’ve joined and created incredible communities, both online and in-person to keep the momentum going. After being featured several times a year by Etsy among 4.4 million sellers, I decided to utilize my knowledge to help other small businesses. I’m now an Etsy SEO and Photography coach, which allows me to spend time with other small business owners and help them alongside their journeys. Community over competition is definitely a motto I embrace. 

I also don’t get days off like a traditional business. I work Monday through Sunday, but creating an intentional work-life balance is my priority. You’ll often find me cutting out my next orders on my living room floor so that I can spend every moment possible with my girls. They love helping me put shipping labels on packages, and I hope to see them become an integral part of this business someday! So, my struggles have led me to some of my most gratifying realizations… that this is something worth continuing. That this business isn’t just a betterment for sustainability efforts of our planet, but it’s also an opportunity to instill a business mindset in my own girls and allow them to see that you can do something you’re passionate about AND obtain financial freedom. 

As you know, we’re big fans of (1) The Conscious Cloth and (2) Lifecycle Apparel. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
(1) At The Conscious Cloth, I create “organic cloths for organic moments.” Our reusables are meant to enhance your daily lives and adventures. People usually are stunned when I tell them they can rinse and reuse the same organic coffee filter for years. Just rinse, dry, and reuse. Or–if life is too busy, just rinse and reuse wet! Our organic velour washcloths and reusable nursing pads are two more of our top sellers. We want customers to feel good about their daily routines and about what they’re putting against their skin. 

(2) Lifecycle Apparel is known for creating “organic clothing for extraordinary humans.” With a minimalist, sustainable aesthetic, each garment is sewn from American-Milled organic cotton in my Williamston, MI home studio. Our organic biker shorts, yoga leggings, and dresses for both kids and adults are among our most popular sellers. I pride myself in creating top-quality clothing. I use what’s called a “triple stitch” with every garment. In fast fashion, most clothes are just serged for quick production. But I triple stitch every seam and then serge the edges for a professional finish. I also iron between every step of the sewing process. These little details make a huge difference in the quality, usability, and finish of the garment. Yoga stretches? Weightlifting? No seams will be popping on my watch. 

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Many of my wholesale products are shipped out to eco-conscious pockets of The United States: all across California, Oregon, Utah, etc. I’d love to see more Michigan eco-conscious stores, coffee shops, and spas carrying The Conscious Cloth products to make them more accessible to Michiganders. Interested shops, please reach out to theconsciouscloth@gmail.com for a Wholesale price list. 

Customers can shop The Conscious Cloth at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/theconsciouscloth and Lifecycle Apparel at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/lifecycleapparel 

*Use code MICHIGANMADE made for 10% off your purchase for shopping in The Mitten! 

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Image Credits

Jennifer Jeremiah
Tori Garfield

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