Vendor Spotlight: Wax & Wane Fiber
“Vendor Spotlights” are a recurring blog theme, where we highlight different artists and businesses who will be attending Lightfoot Market, focusing on their background, connection to sustainability, and what products they will be bringing.
Wax & Wane Fiber
Ashton J. Page & Claire Fredrick
We create naturally dyed products in our studio made for the body and home. We also teach others the joys of natural dyes and how to dye their own fiber at home.
What are your environmental / social initiatives?
Not only are we using dyes that are naturally occurring and sustainable because they can be replenished through growing, but we are also constantly considering how to use less water. As dyers, water is such a huge part of the process and anytime that we can reuse our baths we do. We have also been looking into what kinds of fabrics we use. We recently added an organic cotton and a no-kill silk to our fabric stock.
When and why did you start your business?
We started our business officially last year. We wanted to make our love of natural dyes a viable business for ourselves and we loved the inherent ecological bent that this practice takes. You can't have a love of plants and not a love of Mother Earth, too. We also were so enamored with the artistry that is in natural dyes. There is such a great variability and joy in working with these dyes that we knew we could keep ourselves excited for years.
What does sustainability mean to you?
It means considering what your practice does to the world, your community, and ultimately you. It's also about not leaving too large of a footprint anywhere. One other component of sustainability we have played around with is sustaining local social justice organizations through our sales. We sell many of our products online with parts of the proceeds going back to Baltimore organizations that we believe in. This encourages our clients to buy our products more because they know part of the proceeds will go to a good cause. This then allows us to give more and more money back to the organizations. It's a beautiful cycle.
What were some of the challenges you faced incorporating sustainability into your business?
Cost! Sourcing organic, ethically raised, and sustainable products costs so much more. It's about finding that sweet spot of spending the little extra and also finding the cost you can sell it for to turn a profit and still have people want to buy your goods!
What is one thing readers can do to lighten their footprint?
Always consider what you are putting into the water. Especially as artists and artisans we have a lot of weird chemicals we work with. It's just about being cognizant to not put the wrong chemicals down the drain so we can keep our waterways happy and healthy.