If you don't find answers to your questions here, feel free to contact us.
What is Slow Fashion
“It borrows many ideas from the slow-food movement, but it’s applied to the fashion world. Let me explain. Slow fashion is about consuming and creating fashion consciously and with integrity. It connects social and environmental awareness and responsibility with the pleasure of wearing beautiful, well-made, and lasting clothing (as compared to the immediate gratification of fast fashion)… Slow fashion is the intersection of ethical, eco, and lasting fashion.”
— Kat Collings, Editor in Chief at Who What Wear
What inspires your designs?
While I was designing our signature sleeveless shirt, I was watching Game of Thrones and Vikings and fell in love with the costumes and the women warriors who wore them. Plus, I was going through the tail end of a very challenging time in my life, so I wanted to instill my clothes with a warrior vibe to help remind me to feel strong and to get me through the day. The costume designer Adrian, who dressed the movie stars of the 30’s and 40’s, insisted on using real silks and pearls, even though you couldn’t tell the difference in black and white on the big screen. He said that the actors could tell the difference and that it helped them to be more genuine in playing their roles. I agree that clothes, and what they are made from, make a difference in how we feel.
So all of these elements go into my designs. I use fabrics like linen and hemp, because their fibers are durable and have been worn for thousands of years. I like wide shoulders, because they give an aura of strength. And topstitched seams for both a visual statement as well as the added durability they provide. I also design clothes that won’t hinder your movements. Clothes you could fight in (if you had to) or run after an errant toddler (more likely). These are my warrior elements. Perhaps they are all in my head. Or perhaps you see them too. Either way, I hope that they help you to hold your head just a little bit higher and to face your day with a bit more strength and courage, knowing that they were made with the intention to support you and all that you stand for in this thing called life.
What does custom fit or made-to-measure mean?It means means that we start with our own designs—our own patterns—and then customize them to fit your measurements. Depending on the style, you can also customize other parts of the garment such as neckline, sleeve length and hem length.
Do you have sizes?
No, we do not have sizes. We custom fit our patterns to your measurements. We do have some samples available at our workshop for people to try on. Those samples are “sized” by bust measurement, but since waist and hip measurements can vary, this is just a starting point.
What measurements do you need?
We start with the basics—bust, waist and hip—from there it depends on which style you choose and how you customize it. We may need additional measurements to determine sleeve length, hem length, and how high or low you want the neckline. It is also helpful to know how tall you are and your bra cup size.
What if I am differently abled and/or have special clothing needs?
We would love to customize our clothing to fit your needs. It is possible that our designs won't work for every person and every situation, but life is tough enough, finding clothing that fits well and makes you feel good shouldn't be so hard. Contact us for a free consultation and we'll talk about whether we can make our designs work for you.
What does “bias cut” mean?
Instead of cutting the pattern pieces from the straight grain of a woven fabric, the pattern pieces are laid diagonally (at a 45 degree angle). This changes the way the fabric drapes over the body and also allows the fabric to stretch a bit. If you want more of an explanation, Google it, or watch our videos.
Why don’t you use fabrics with Spandex?
Spandex can make fitting garments much easier, but our founder never seems to take the easy route. LOL. So we add stretch by cutting our garments on the bias. Also, Spandex is a petroleum based product, and while there are some newer more sustainable versions of Spandex, we’d rather just go without. Plus it’s hard to find clothing that doesn't contain Spandex these days, so we want to be an option for people who are looking for clothing made without synthetic fibers.
Tell me about hemp…
Hemp textiles are made from industrial ‘cannibus sativa’ fibers. Hemp plants grow very quickly, without the use of chemical herbicides or pesticides and produce high yield commercial crops which optimize both land use and available resources. Hemp also returns a significant amount of the nutrients it takes from the soil leaving it rich and ready for new crops. Exceptional tensile strength, naturally hypoallergenic, offering UV protection and with the ability to help with thermo-regulation, hemp textiles are multipurpose and multi-functional. (Source: Kendor Textiles Catalog)
If you want to know more about hemp and why it’s so awesome, just Google it or read the article "What is Hemp--And is it Sustainable." There are a lot of rabbit holes you can go down when researching hemp; many of them worthwhile.
Tell me about linen…
Linen fibers grow with little to no irrigation, and require far less chemical inputs than other natural fibers like cotton. This fiber is made from flax and is naturally one of the most environmentally friendly fibers. Linen is breathable, lightweight, slightly textured, and softens with time and wear. Linen can withstand high temperatures and absorbs moisture without holding bacteria. (Source: Kendor Textiles Catalog)
Tell me about organic cotton…
Starting from untreated, natural seeds, organic cotton is grown without synthetic fertilizers. Organic cotton crop rotation and composting maintain the health of naturally moist soil by creating a biodiverse, balance ecosystem. Organic cotton plants are more resistant to pests and disease, therefore eliminating the need for pesticide usage which are often carcinogenic or neurotoxic. As a result of the cleaner growing process, farm workers are afforded a healthier work environmental and the resulting uncontaminated plant waste can be used for other purposes - feed for livestock, oil production, etc. (Source: Kendor Textiles Catalog)
Where does your fabric come from? Is it organic? What about chemical sensitivities?
Our fabric currently comes from China. We are a small company, and do not have the resources to travel to China to see first hand how the fibers are grown and processing into textiles. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that our fabrics meet the requirements that we hope they do, such as ethical labor practices and true organic production and processing.
If full transparency in the growing, processing and weaving of fabric is necessary for you, due to chemical sensitivities or personal practices, we totally get that. Full transparency is our goal too, we’re just not there…yet.
Sustainability is a process. There is no perfect. We are working on it. We have begun with the commitments to not use any synthetic fibers (although we’re exploring the idea of upcycling, so that may be an exception), to use fabrics made from linen, hemp and organic cotton, and to not use any plastic packaging. We continually strive to improve the quality of our materials. The best fabrics with true transparency are either out of the reach of small clothing designers or are so expensive that our prices would be in the luxury market range.
Ideally, we would like to source our fabrics closer to home, but the majority of fabric is produced overseas. We really like hemp, but for a long time it was banned in the US, so it is difficult to find in fabrics (and colors) that we want to work with that are also affordable. China never banned the growing of hemp, so they’re way ahead of the US in terms of hemp growing, processing and production. Hemp and linen are grown and milled in smaller quantities in Europe, however it is currently about twice the cost for us. Hemp is now being grown in the US, though it will take many years for US grown and milled fabrics to be readily available.
We are always on the lookout for good fabric suppliers. If you know of one we might like, please let us know.
Lastly, we are open to working with fabrics that you provide, as long as they align with our design principles and manufacturing capabilities.
Where do you source your materials from?
How do I care for my Tangle Syx garment?
Will my garment shrink?
No, or at least not more than 1-2%. We machine wash and dry the fabric before we cut it out, and then we wash and dry the completed garment to settle everything out before we send it to you. So shrinkage should be minimal.
Why are the inside seam edges left raw?
The Inside seam edges are left intentionally raw, because we found that to be the best method for letting your bias-cut garment move, stretch and relax with you. We could have serged the edges with thread (as seen on the inside of most t-shirts), but that uses more thread (materials) and more time (labor), and since the raw edges are on the bias, they won’t unravel, so serging seems both wasteful and unnecessary. So leaving them exposed is the best solution on many levels. Plus, if you have an appreciation for how garments have been made for centuries (as I do), they didn’t have sergers to enclose the raw edges, and in most cases left them alone. We did try various methods of encasing them in fabric, as was also done on more refined garments throughout history, but every attempt worked against the bias grain, and made the garment less comfortable and relaxed. That said, I do confess that I used to cringe at the sight of raw edges, but I’ve since gained an appreciation for them.
Where are Tangle Syx clothes made?
All of our clothing is made right here in our workshop in Blue Hill, Maine by Alyssa and Jess. We are located in a lovely office space with lots of light that inspires us to do good work. We love to spend time there, when we’re not hanging out with our families or whatever else in life needs doing.
Why does it take 2-3 weeks to receive my order?
We are a very small company. There are only two of us and we have full lives outside of work. However, starting a clothing company is a lot of fun too, so we do our best to not make you wait too long.
What is your return policy?
We want you to love your Tangle Syx clothing, so if it isn’t right, you can send it back within 30 days from the date of receipt and we will either refund your money or try again. However, it’s possible that our designs won’t work for everybody or every body. So if after three tries, it’s still not right, we will refund your money and go our separate ways. No hard feelings.
If you need to return an item, contact us for instructions or just send it back to us at: Tangle Syx, PO Box 385, Blue Hill, ME 04614
What do you do with returned garments?
We sell them locally at periodic sample sales out of our workshop, or keep them as samples for people to try on when they come to our workshop.
Tell me about your free repairs.
Umm…they’re free. What more do you need to know? But seriously, we are a young company, product testing is ongoing and sewing mistakes can happen. We use organic cotton thread (instead of the standard polyester thread) because we believe it is a good step toward sustainability, but we have not tested the longevity of that thread in our garments past several months of washes and wears. So if a seam ever rips out or the threads pop, no worries. We'll take care of it. We don’t have a set turnaround time on repairs, but it will probably take a few weeks to get it back to you. We’ll even fix other tears and damage, just because we want to cultivate a more sustainable mindset about repairing clothes instead of throwing them out. It might be visibly mended or it might not. It depends on the nature of the damage. However, for stubborn stains you’re on your own. If a stain just won't budge, you could try Googling “visible mending” for ideas and cover it with something decorative. If you do, send us a photo or tag us in a social media post. We'd love to see it.
For free repairs, mail it back to us at: Tangle Syx, PO Box 385, Blue Hill, ME 04614
Tell me about your affordable alterations.
In the interest of keeping your Tangle Syx clothes in circulation, we can alter them for a reasonable fee. So whether that means taking in a shirt due to weight loss or shortening a dress because you are handing it down to a friend, we’re on it. Keep in mind that we can only work with what’s there, we cannot make a shirt larger or lengthen a dress, because both of those require adding fabric, which is more complicated and would likely change the nature of the garment, so in that case it would be better to pass it on to someone else or send it back to us for recycling. Contact us to discuss the nature of the alteration and to get a quote.
What do you do with your fabric scraps?
We’re still figuring that out. Many of the larger scraps are cut into bias strips and used in edge finishing. The smaller scraps are cut into 4” squares and sent to customers as swatch samples. That still leaves a bunch of odds and ends, which for now we’re saving for future projects of some sort.
What is your shipping policy? Do you ship outside the USA?
We offer free shipping anywhere in the USA, including any US territory, and also to Canada. We do not yet ship to other countries besides Canada.