Tell us about yourself
My name is Da'Nette Bruton and I'm a dress maker and seamstress from Columbia MD. I have been doing this for three years and I really got involved with custom clothes because I wanted to wear clothes that people couldn't buy at the store. My dad would tell me in high school that I had an eclectic sense of fashion but it wasn't until I dated this guy, that he really pushed me towards designing and creating my own clothes.
Tell us about your clothing brand. What inspired you to start your business?
DB is an eco-friendly apparel brand that inspires its consumers to "Remain Classy, yet Live Carefree". Like I mentioned previously, I wanted to design my own clothes. I wanted to be different. I also wanted to leave my personal impression on the world. So what better way to do that than to create designs from the heart to share with the world. In doing this I have learned so much about the hobby that I now call my passion. I also am very green. I love and support anything and everything eco-friendly. The fashion industry is huge! And is quickly destroying our world, but no one knows this because fast fashion isn't publicized as harmful, it's publicized as trendy. Though it is in deed trendy, the fast production of ephemeral fast trends causes industrial textile industries to mass produce ridiculous amounts of textiles all in hopes to keep up with runway fashion. This, in turn, supports the unethical treatment of foreign labors and the pollution of the earth. So my clothes are 100 percent eco-friendly.
Explain what eco-friendly clothing means and why people should care more about it?
Eco-friendly encompasses a couple things;
1. Ethical Fashion - Ethical fashion concerns who make your clothes. Like I mentioned before a lot of the labors in textile mills are foreign and they get paid about 25 cents or the actual cost of the shirt they make. In the 1970's 75 percent of America's clothes were made in America. Now 2 percent of our clothes are made in America. This negative effects our economy too. I don't want to support that treatment of child labors, labors getting paid less than they deserve, long over worked hours, physical harassment, etc. So I hand make all garments.
2. Sustainability - how does your clothing affect the earth?! A lot of the dyes they use are harmful to the planet. 12.7 million tons of clothing are thrown away each year and it sits in landfills polluting the Earth. So we use bamboo cotton and hemp, natural dyes, up cycling, etc.
3. Slow fashion - How long do your clothes last. When you have many hands on one garment then there's bound to be errors which cause you to go out and buy a new shirt because the old one is cheap and it ripped. But if the design detail is given to individual clothing items, then this is less likely to happen.
People should care because the clothes they purchase affect more than just themselves. Usually, everyone says they are waiting for someone to make the chance but they need to realize that they are the change.
What's it like balancing a small business and life's responsibilities?
Managing a small business is hard. There are many facets to business and those things in compilation with my day job and motherhood and school are hard. There are a lot of long nights but it gratifying to see the support that I get and my skills continue to improve.
What advice would you give to young business owners starting out like yourself?
The best advice I can give is you should start a business for the money or the "fans" you should do this because this is what your heart is telling you to do. If you do it for the money you'll never make it but the passion will carry you if you do it for the love of your craft.
What makes you original?
There are many up and coming eco-friendly brands but not enough, especially not enough in the US. There are a lot in Australia but there are hardly any in the US. Not only do I make standard t- shirts and shirts for the public but I make custom clothes and do alterations. This is a on stop shop and it's American made so the money goes back into the economy.