Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

logoBlue Fish Clothing
Fairfield, IA

Inspired Clothing for Artisitc Souls

Blue Fish is a small company with a big heart and a genuine concern for people and the planet.  When you wear Blue Fish, you are supporting ethically made clothing that is imbued with love and creativity at every step.
We are honored to make natural and organic artisan clothing that allows you to creatively express yourself.

Our first step toward an ethical business was in 1986 when Blue Fish designer and owner Jennifer Barclay began making clothing in her parents’ garage.  Since then every one of the hundreds of thousands of Blue Fish garments has been made and printed by caring hands in the USA.

In 1995 we learned of the damaging global effect of traditionally grown cotton.  We took a giant leap toward ethical clothing manufacturing and changed our production habits immediately. We began to use organically grown cotton materials and other natural fabrics that do not use chemicals.  No chemicals are released into the air or water during the harvesting, cleaning, spinning, or knitting of our organic cotton.  Like our clothing, organic cotton is grown with hearts as well as hands.

In addition to using organic fibers, recycled cottons, and other natural fibers such as hemp, linen, bamboo and silk blends, many of our buttons are hand-made, vintage, or recycled.  One more step toward a people-and-planet-friendly style of clothing.

Blue Fish is a sweatshop-free alternative to traditional clothing manufacturing.  All of our clothing is made in the USA by talented sewers and artisans. At Blue Fish we believe that honoring the artisans who contribute to making our clothes and being mindful of the impact of our production on the environment, is an obligation; and we have never been able to imagine our manufacturing process any other way. Our clothes are designed in Iowa. Our clothing is sewn and garment-dyed in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey area by two small companies we have been working with for 25 years. The final stage of our manufacturing hardly looks like “manufacturing” -- our talented studio artists in Iowa hand-print designs onto the clothes from hand-carved lino blocks. Because our clothes are made in the USA from start to finish, less fuel is used in the transport of our products.

Blue Fish reduces, re-uses and recycles.  Our three retail locations recycle paper products, metal, and plastic and were all built using fascinating reclaimed items, like barn wood floors, arches from Pakistan, old car parts, sheet-metal siding and American clay walls. We also have installed eco-friendly features like sky-lights and low-flush toilets.  Blue Fish reduces the amount of paper we use by sending email receipts and marketing our styles on our web store and via email.

Blue Fish clothing lasts.  Different from the disposable clothing industry, customers are still wearing Blue Fish styles they purchased twenty years ago.  Our designs are evergreen, not following any trend or fad so customers wear them for years mixing and matching them into their wardrobe.  Our materials and our production are of exceptional quality, so they don't wear out. You won't find Blue Fish in landfills.

The next evolution for Blue Fish clothing involves producing botanical dyes from natural sources to create beautiful organic color on our natural fiber fabrics.  If Blue Fish is honored by winning this prize, we will create a dye studio in our Fairfield, Iowa location.

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