The seeds of Synergy were planted in 1993, by Kate Fisher, when she set off for Nepal and India with adventure in her eyes. In the midst of her extensive travels in Asia she started buying textiles and clothing that she sold upon her return home. A business was born. Synergy was created in the spirit of adventure and with the vision of being a synergy of both Eastern and Western design influences.
In time, after the birth of their first child in 2006, she partnered up with her husband Henry Schwab. Together they have integrated her interest in clothing and textile design, with his experience of having worked for GreenPeace and co-founding Phish’s touring division of The Waterwheel Foundation. With a shared vision of a sustainable business model, and with the help of many, they are creating a business that reflects their organic roots and adventurous spirits.
Synergy makes clothing that combines sustainability, with modern yet timeless design. We strive to make clothing that looks good, and is also gentle on the Earth. We predominantly work with organic cotton from India, that is dyed with low impact dyes. Our clothing is hand made in Nepal, according to fair trade practices, verified by our long-term relationships with our manufacturers and our frequent trips to Nepal.
Synergy looks to the world around in its approach to design, taking inspiration from both the natural and urban landscapes, in addition to modern and ancient cultural influences. We specialize in making clothing with touches of graphic details such as hand-stitched applique work and water-based screen prints. It is our goal to make women look and feel good when they wear our clothing, while feeling good about the way it was made. We want our clothing to be easy to wear, flatter a woman’s body, and to highlight the woman wearing our clothing.
Over the years our brand has grown and is sold in over 600 stores across the US, as well as internationally. Yet we have still hung onto our original roots, and take pride in our one on one service. We are a family operated business, and our staff is also like family to us. Our spirit of adventure is still quenched through our trips to Nepal, as well as along the festival circuit, where we got our start selling. We hope to see you all along the path of adventure and we thank you for being a part of Synergy.
-Kate and Henry
SYNERGY ORGANIC CLOTHING ENVIRONMENTAL/FAIR LABOR INFORMATION
100% Organic Cotton
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Growing organically takes more time, requires more knowledge and skill, and is more expensive than conventional growing. Purchasing organically grown products are safer for individuals and the planet as a whole. Plus, the cotton is so soft that it will feel good to wear. Synergy has been a proud member of Green America for many years and supports all the work they do to help protect our environment.
To read more on Green America visit their website.
A low-impact dye is a dye that has been classified by the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (an international certification process) as eco-friendly. Generally, low impact dyes do not contain toxic chemicals or mordants (which fix the dye to the fabric), require less rinsing and have a high absorption rate in the fabric (~70%). High absorption rates and a decreased use of rinse water create less waste-water and thus have a lower impact on our earth and its water supply. As we continue to deplete our planet’s natural resources, all aspects of conservation must remain in the forefront of our efforts. While conventional dyes not only contain toxic chemicals and cancer-causing heavy metals, excessive amounts of water are used to rinse these harmful substances from the fabric. In contrast, low-impact fiber reactive dyes are able to provide us with the same diverse palette of vibrant colors, yet create less toxic waste and use less heat, energy and water.
Along with the information on "low-impact dyes" mentioned above I contacted our supplier in India and this is what he said:
“All dyes and chemical used in dyeing and finishing processes meet basic requirements of GOTS in regard to toxicity and biodegradability. Critical inputs such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents and genetically modified organisms (GMO) are banned. GOTS prohibits the use of dyes and chemicals which are allergic to human bodies like Toloudine, benzedine, etc. The chemicals which have these substances are not used.”
Fair Labor Practices:
Synergy Organic Clothing follows the guidelines requested by fair trade organizations. Thus, we aim to help our producers in Nepal promote fair labor and sustainability. We advocate higher salaries for the employees, promote higher social and environmental standards, and do not hire child labor. The employees receive generous work breaks that include afternoon tea. Additionally, the women who sew our appliques have the option to work from home. They have also developed sewing circles where many women gather together to work.
Not only do we follow the Fair Labor practices, we take an extra step to ensure that our employees do not work with hazardous chemicals in our clothing. We have privately hired local liaisons to oversee the day-to-day business operations and ensure that fair labor practices are used. Throughout each year, the owners or upper management of Synergy Organic Clothing visit the facility to ensure high standard working conditions are being met. We are always striving to make improvements.