When we asked Kate Fisher, the designer of Synergy Organic Clothing, to describe her brand in three words, she said, "Organic, comfortable, and flattering." We say, what could be better than that?! ♥ Continue reading to find out more about the organic clothing brand and how Kate promotes an eco-friendly lifestyle and fair trade practices.
Tell us about the inspiration behind the brand.
Synergy was originally inspired by my love of travel and adventure. When I was 21, I bought a one-way plane ticket to Kathmandu, Nepal and during my first week there, I bought some clothing and textiles that I sent to friends in in the US. I loved the appeal of bringing back clothing and textiles from Nepal and India to share with people in the US. It reminded me of the silk route traders from long ago, but with a modern day twist. Since then, the brand has evolved, and my inspirations are a synergy of everything from my connection to an organic lifestyle (which includes eating organic foods and practicing yoga), to my love of expressing oneself through fashion (which developed while growing up in New York City), to rock 'n roll music (as I first sold Synergy at Grateful Dead shows and still find music to be a source of inspiration), and to my love of travel and deep connection to Nepal.
How is the clothing produced?
As the designer for Synergy, I work with a local pattern maker in San Francisco who helps me develop new styles of clothing. We then have the entire line produced and sewed in Kathmandu, Nepal. They are hand stitched by Nepalese women, giving them a fair wage. I have been making clothing there for just about 20 years, since December of 1993, and I have a close connection to the people and the factory we work with.
What is the importance of being organic and eco-friendly?
I believe in right livelihood: making a living in a way that is conscious to the planet and its people and hopefully contributing positively to the planet. That includes making as small a footprint as possible. In clothing production, we can do by working exclusively with organic fabrics and low impact dyes, creating as little waste as possible in the production and distributing process, making well-made products that will last over time and become long time staples in a closet, and by paying fair living wages that benefit many people.
shop: peacock dress
What is it like to work for Synergy?
Synergy is an evolving company that has been growing significantly every year for the past seven years, and as a work environment, I would say it is becoming more and more exciting to work for. There are a lot of very talented, dynamic, fun, nice people working for our company. It feels like everyone is able to contribute to the growth and direction of the company and we are like a family in many ways. I think our employees appreciate working for a locally owned family business. We are not a corporation, we value everyone involved, and as we grow there are more and more opportunities.
How would you describe your personal style? Do you have any favorite Synergy pieces from your collection?
Urban bohemian with a classic twist! I would not say I have a favorite piece in any collection, but for Spring and Summer 2013, I really like our tank paneled dress and the pocket dress. Both are easy-to-wear pieces that are flattering.
shop: pocket dress
Lastly, we adore love stories, so we have to ask about your husband, Henry. What's your story?
Henry and I met at a Phish concert in Ventura, CA in 1997. He worked for the band’s non profit foundation and I was a fan of the band. We got together again at a Phish concert festival in Maine, which is the state where I was born. It was my 25th birthday and the stars were aligned and we have been together ever since (and now have two children). I was actually selling my clothing at the festival and Henry seemed to find what I did pretty interesting and mentioned that he would love to be apart of it. I still think back at his foretelling remark as here we are 16 years later working on Synergy together and synergizing our strengths and interests together to put into our company. It has been a beautiful journey together and I still enjoy seeing how it is all unfolding.
-- Kate Fisher