Following the lead of NOHARM Footwear and Clothing, Earthchild Clothing is making an impact with Contemporary, Comfortable Clothing with a Conscience.
Aware of the fine quality of South African cotton, the partners of the Earthchild U.S. Flagship store in Westfield, N.J. sought a clothing store with South African roots. â€œOne look at Earthchild and we were hooked,â€ recalls Susan Markowitz, Westfield store manager, who credited the natural fabrics and relaxed designs for initially capturing their attention. That same natural, relaxed feel in the stores sealed the deal. To retain the brandâ€™s unique appeal in the U.S., it was hand built in Cape Town and shipped â€“ in 500 pieces â€“ via boat to be reconstructed.
Noted Markowitz, â€œStepping inside a store will immediately lift your spirit, calm your senses and transport you on a shopping experience unequalled in the hustle and bustle of today’s modern world.â€
Katz remains intimately involved with his satellite stores â€“ there are currently six stores in South Africa, one in Toronto and the Westfield store – via weekly conference calls, and regularly reviewing merchandising pictures. â€œEarthchildâ€™s distinctive, fresh look sets it apart from todayâ€™s mass market of childrenâ€™s clothing,â€ he said. â€œOur clothing truly reflects a love and passion for the Earth.â€ To that end, all cotton is grown in an environmentally responsible manner, and garments are designed and manufactured in South Africa by employing more than 100 local seamstresses. The result is 100 percent breathable cotton and hand-knitted items, some with hand-stitched details, for a one of a kind feeling that feels good to wear. The garments are age-appropriate, yet fashionable, for children age newborn to seven years old.
A Time to Give Back
â€œGive Backâ€ is not just an Earthchild company value; it is a way of life. A portion of each purchase benefits Earthchild Project, a dynamic and innovative non-profit organization that funds two underprivileged schools in South Africa.
â€œWe are working within the existing structure of schools to help create a new generation of confident, conscious and responsible young leaders,â€ said Markowitz, noting that inspirational facilitators are placed in the schools to instill a holistic and experiential education program. â€œThere are tangible results within just one year.â€ Among them: the schools have beautiful organic vegetable gardens; they are recycling; the school menu includes healthy food; and yoga, meditation and life skills lessons are part of the daily routine.
Everyone is Wearing It
Earthchild made an appearance at the Toronto Film Festival this year, and garnered some headlines all its own. Among the socially responsible, yet fashionable, stars it appealed to were Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon and Tim Robbins. For attracting the stars, Markowitz credits the Earthchild garmentsâ€™ â€œOrganic cotton appealâ€ that is very cool to look at and touch.