Green fashion: How one woman is turning her passion into a sustainable business

Boutique owner designs clothing with sustainable materials.

Trinity Cross, a local resident of Oakland, California, has turned her love of designing clothes into her own boutique, which is part workshop and part a brick and mortar store. Field Day and Friends sells Cross’ own collection of women’s clothing, which uses reused and sustainable fabrics. Cross searches for a variety of different fabrics, which means many of her designs are one-of-a kind.

All of Cross’ dresses are handmade and designed to flatter all feminine shapes. In addition to featuring her own line, she also features clothing and jewelry from over 80 local art makers who sell handmade goods in her shop on 19th Street in Oakland. Field Day and Friends has been open in Oakland since 2012 but Cross has been designing her line for over 10 years.

Cross started sewing as a teenager because she couldn’t find anything to wear.

“It became a political move for me too. Being exposed to the suffering and inequality that comes from sweat shop labor. I would hunt for over-sized amazing fabrics from and make a-one-of-a-kind piece for myself that I felt at home in,” she said. Part of what fueled her to create her own boutique was the excessive waste in the garment industry.

Cross finds her fabrics by doing what she loves best: thrift shopping. “I hunt through a lot of different fabrics, which means that a lot of my stuff is very small batch; there's a lot of one-of-a-kind or very small runs. We also use only organic cotton that is grown and milled in the U.S.,” said Cross. She wanted to make timeless, impeccably crafted clothing from completely conscious materials. Her passion for living sustainably does not stop at clothing design either, she also chooses to live her live the same way.

“My neighbor and I bought our two houses and our yards connect and then we have two lots next to us. We didn’t buy the lots; one of them we’re squatting and the other we’re renting. We have chickens, fruit trees and some veggie beds. I also have a fish pond that I use to make compost to fertilize the garden. The fish poop is a good nitrogen-based fertilizer,” said Cross.

Cross is particularly also in favor of keeping all things local, which means keeping things in the community. She manufactures all of her clothes within the same neighborhood of Oakland as her store and really tries to give back her community whenever she can.

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