Browsing Tag

babysuits

Maker Stories

Made (Green) in the USA

May 3, 2012

Our friends at Green 3, Jim and Sandy Martin, have helped us add some fantastic uncommon goods to our assortment. From adorable babywear like the gnome babysuit and hat and matching blanket, to the perfect-for-a-breezy-spring-day reclaimed t-shirt scarves, to the summer-friendly update on the popular recycled sweater skirt, the recycled bridesmaid dress skirt, the Martins know eco-friendly fashion.

Sandy and Jim. photo via Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce

Jim works closely with our product development team to create unique clothing and accessories exclusive to UncommonGoods, like the bridesmaid dress skirt and the comfy, casual recycled dress shirt robe. We love that these products come from recycled materials, and many are even created with the help of organizations working with disabled adults.

“My wife Sandy started the company,” he told us. “She grew up on a farm in Michigan and saw firsthand the negative implications on the farmer’s health when they are exposed to chemical pesticides on a daily basis. She felt strongly that her company would focus on sustainable fibers that caused the least damage possible to the environment.”

Causing less damage to the environment means using organic cotton, like that in Green 3’s babysuits, and reusing materials when possible.

Sometimes those materials, like the sweaters used to make recycled sweater scarves, come from thrift stores. Others are leftovers from apparel manufacturers. “We actually look at what types of fabrics are available to us, and then design into the fabric,” Jim explained. “Certain fabrics lend themselves to specific applications and steer us into new product categories.”

Clockwise from top left: A Green 3 Artist hand-drawing a graphic / Green 3’s warehouse storing reclaimed and excess fabrics / Tina, an in-house sewer at Green 3 headquarters.

Once the fabric is in hand each piece is inspected individually to insure it meets aesthetic and quality standards. Thrift store items are washed before being deconstructed and prepared for cutting and sewing, so even though the garment created may be made from secondhand materials, it’s as good as new.

The processes of selecting, inspecting, and preparing fabrics and creating the final products are all done in the United States. “Sandy and I had both been in the corporate apparel industry for over 20 years. During that time we watched a steady flow of jobs going overseas,” said Jim. “We just felt strongly that we could do it here and bring a few jobs back. What we’re finding is that we’re not the only ones that feel this way. More and more like minded companies are partnering, and quickly it is becoming more than just a few jobs. In our community alone we employ 20 people. But our network of partners employs thousands.”

One partner helping Green three create handmade upcycled products for uncommon goods is Aspiro, a non-profit organization offering job training and career options to cognitively disabled adults in Green Bay, Wisc. “We contacted Aspiro after learning of them through a news report,” Jim said. “Their facility has been doing cut and sew work for years and they have a highly skilled labor force. When we toured the facility and saw the pride and passion of the workers, and how this opportunity for independence positively impacted their lives, we knew wanted to support the initiative any way we could.”

Reclaimed T-shirt Scarf / Dress Shirt Robe / Recycled Sweater Scarf / Recycled Bridesmaid Dress Skirt / Gnome Babysuit(TM) & Hat / Gnome Blanket

By partnering with Green 3 and other apparel manufactures, the skilled sewers at Aspiro earn fair wages and are given opportunities for independent living.

Thanks to these dedicated workers, secondhand and leftover fabrics, and the imaginations of Jim, Sandy, and the talented designers at Green 3, we’re always seeing updated products and trendy upcycled fashions. Which Green 3 design do you love most?

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Baby Carrier Cover

February 8, 2012

Alina Maturu, age 4 months, on assignment for UncommonGoods
As told to Swati Parikh

Gift Lab: Baby Carrier Cover

Background Research:

My mommy and I love to go for walks in our neighborhood. Every day she dresses me in a bunch of layers to keep me warm, straps me into a carrier and we set off on our daily adventure. I love going for walks and falling asleep while we’re out. The problem is that I hate putting on that winter bearsuit

– even though I’m super cute in it, it makes me all hot and sweaty and my mom gets sweaty too. So I whine and cry every time she puts it on me and we struggle to get out the door. And my mommy can’t zip up her coat around me, so she’s cold once we get outside too.

Hypothesis:
A carrier cover is just what we need. It will keep me and my mommy nice and warm and we’ll get to avoid the hassle of putting on a bunch of layers before leaving the house.

Experiment:
It’s been a fairly warm winter this year, but I finally got to see my first real snow storm in January. It was the perfect day to test out the carrier cover. We first watched this little video to figure out how to put it on:

Once we had it in place, with the proper strings pulled tight, we set off for an adventure in the snow to see how warm we would be in the cover.

Results:
It works! As my mom likes to say, the carrier keeps me “snug as a bug in a rug.” All I have to wear is this cute little onesie, pants and a sweater. No bearsuit. No crying. Once we get inside my mommy easily slips it off and I stay asleep the whole time.

My mommy also feels much warmer with the cover and feels like she was wearing another layer but not overheating. Her neck and chest are still exposed to the cold air, but she solves this problem by wearing a scarf with it. The cover is a little bulky, but once she puts her coat on over it we look like a cute cozy pair.

And daddy likes it too. Did I mention he has the coolest job in the world? He works at UncommonGoods.

Alina’s Wardrobe: I Love My Microscope Onesie, $25.

Alina’s Baby Carrier Cover: $69 at UncommonGoods.

Gift Guides

Best Dressed Baby

July 21, 2011

We love our new Have-A-Ball Babysuits™ so much, we started thinking about some of the other fun baby goods in our lineup. From old favorites, like the Worth the Wait Set, to new community approved items, like the Baby Fortune Cookie Booties, we have little ones covered from head to toe, whether you’re looking for an adorable outfit for your own bundle of joy or a great baby shower or new baby gift.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.
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