We recently got wind of cmarchuska, a clothing line that is both stylish and eco-friendly, and we got in touch with Christine Marchuska, the brand’s co-founder.
First of all, how’s life in the sustainable fashion business compared to life on Wall Street? What pushed you to make the switch and how did you adjust, initially?
Life in the sustainable fashion business is very different from life on Wall Street. For one, I spend my days running around the city, primarily the garment district, versus sitting in front of a computer on a trading floor all day. But in general it is a great experience in terms of the amazing people I am meeting along with the incredible things I am learning about sustainability and fashion. I think the fashion industry is such an exciting and interesting area and I love being a part of it. Getting laid off in May ’08 was the push I needed to go after my dream job of starting an eco-friendly clothing line.
How and why did you specifically choose to get into sustainable fashion?
I chose to get involved in sustainable fashion because I care deeply about the environment and the world. I want future generations to be able to experience the beauty of this planet so preserving the Earth is very important to me. Less is more with eco-friendly and sustainability so I wanted to make sure the fabrics and processes used for my line are made with the least amount of waste with Earth-friendly methods. How? I focused on making contacts with different mills and contractors where I could feel comfortable with how fabrics and clothing were manufactured.
What sets cmarchuska apart from other eco-friendly clothing lines?
My line, cmarchuska, focuses on chic and sustainable clothing that is still affordable which I think is difficult to find with the current options in the eco-friendly clothing realm. I wanted to get away from the traditional stigmas attached to eco-friendly/green clothing by making my line stylish with an extremely flattering fit. Also, many of my items may appear to be basics, but they also work well with transitioning from day to night such as the christine dress which can be worn to the office with dress pants and then paired with tights for night.
How do you strive to make sure that cmarchuska is truly a green clothing line?
I am completely hands-on with my line to ensure that it truly is a green clothing line. I can be found daily at my manufacturer’s facility in New York City so I know exactly how things are being made. I get my fabrics from reputable mills which have been referred to me by showrooms and merchandisers that vouch for the mill. But I want to take my business a step further and hopefully become a corporation in the upcoming months.
What are the biggest challenges in having a green clothing line? Did you have to battle any stereotypes or negative attitudes regarding sustainable fashion?
The biggest challenges are finding fabrics that are eco-friendly yet reasonable to work with, ensuring that processes are in fact green and finding the resources needed to get the clothing made. The biggest stereotype/stigma attached to eco-friendly/sustainable clothing is that it is crunchy granola clothing and cannot be stylish. I think though that this stereotype is slowly dissipating as new stylish sustainable clothing such as cmarchuska enters the market.
Tomorrow: part 2 of our interview with Christine Marchuska! Don’t forget to check out cmarchuska to take a look at all their great clothes!