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Patty Grossman

O Ecotextiles is a Seattle-based company committed to producing luxurious, sensuous fabrics in ways that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable.

O Ecotextiles was conceived in 2004 when Leigh Anne Van Dusen decided to re-upholster her sofa. Leigh Anne found many fabrics that were sophisticated, but not environmentally friendly; or green (mostly recycled polyester), but not stylish. Even the “organic” fabrics were processed with chemicals that were harmful for people and the planet.

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Since she couldn’t find a company that was creating sophisticated, stylish fabrics using organic or sustainable methods, she decided to create her own. She enlisted her sister, Patty Grossman, an MBA from MIT who has expertise in corporate start-ups, and they formed O Ecotextiles. Their mission was to use modern technology to turn rare and revered old-world fibers into new and appealing high-end fabrics.

Immediately, they discovered that textile processing is chemically intensive; the industry is one of the world’s worst environmental polluters, and many of the residues left in finished textiles present health hazards. The sisters were determined to prove that it's possible to produce luxurious, sensuous fabrics in ways that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable.

O Ecotextiles began a world-wide search for manufacturing partners interested in a cradle-to-cradle process of creating no-impact, perfectly safe, incredibly luxurious fabrics. They located Romanian farmers who dew- or field-ret hemp stalks; a Japanese mill owner committed to “green” processes, even new methods such as using ozone to bleach fabric; a 100-year-old Italian mill that produces no wastewater; a Chilean mill shifting to entirely green processes; an Italian dye house that produces biodegradable, heavy-metal free textiles; and more.

The resulting fabrics are, as Leigh Anne and Patty envisioned, sophisticated, stylish and “green.” Now, O Ecotextiles is encouraging other manufacturers to follow its lead, and working to convince designers that the public wants these fabrics.

The collection boasts a broad range of simple yet distinctive designs for all uses : upholstery, drapery, sheers and wall covering fabrics, for residences and contract. Certain references have been conceived specifically for the contract market including fine wool, Rainier, good for 60.000 rubs (WZ) and qualified GreenShield FR™ and Yakima at 80.000 rubs (Martindale).