When did you open your first store? Has the message remained the same?
I first opened the original Joshua Tree clothing store in 2000, which was opened in Towson, MD until 2006. My second store was in Portland, Oregon from 2007 to 2010. Yes, the message has remained the same with the focus on eco-friendly clothing and new technologies to better improve on the overall process from production and material organic fibers.
Explain eco-friendly and fair trade.
Eco-friendly ultimately means how a garment is being produced and under what conditions that garment is being produced. Also, utilizing the least amount of harsh chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. Whether fair trade in Peru, sweatshop free in areas of the planet like China, or supporting made in USA clothing whether in Los Angeles, Virginia, and or the supporting of local companies, which produce garments made in Baltimore.
Fair trade is about supporting and preserving fair trade wages and artisan cooperatives, investing in natural and organic fibers and environmentally friendly dyes, and spreading the beauty of handmade, eco fashion for a start. Fair trade is really about being held accountable to make choices that honor both people and the planet and respecting culture and traditions of artisans from around the world with fair trade practices.
What inspired you?
Back in 1999, I was selling and sharing a line of hemp/organic cotton clothing out of my car for a year. No one wanted to carry the line, but some of the [local store] owners and employees wanted to buy the clothing for themselves, which was very cool, but a little frustrating because no one wanted it for their shops. The only way to go was to open a store of my own.
Describe who shops at your store.
Some people come into the shop who are all about the ecological aspect of it all, and the style is secondary. Some customers come into the shop who are all about the style and fashion of the designs.
Has Baltimore been receptive?
Yes. [There’s] a growing community in Baltimore who is looking for alternative opportunities to enjoy clothing designed without the traditional sweatshop, harsh chemical label attached to it.
What local lines do you carry?
3Clothing, which is produced in Hampden. I also carry locally made jewelry from By the Hill designs, aromatherapy products from AromaChi, Richard Crafton products, and Becca and Mars.
What changes do you hope to make for the store in the future?
I just really want to build the shop to its ultimate and optimal experience meaning, stocked with clothing and accessory lines in full. Sort of like an eco-clothing and accessory depot for the Baltimore and overall Maryland community at large.