A lovely quality of natural fibers is that they do not hold onto scents and will stay smelling fresh longer! That being said, we recommend spot cleaning whenever possible.
The majority of our textiles have been pre-washed and shrunk prior to becoming yours, so they should do just fine in infrequent, gentle and cold machine washes with a mild detergent. Please hang to dry or dry flat and do keep in mind that frequent washing will degrade the fabric over time.
Our fabrics and materials come from a variety of sources. We shop local and domestic first, and then look to other ethical options. Some of our very favorite pieces are made with The Oriole Mill jacquard fabrics, woven entirely from natural fibers in Hendersonville, North Carolina, just 20 miles south of Asheville. The eclectic Jhane Barnes jacquard textiles that have accented our more recent collections were salvaged from a closing local textile mill, but originally woven in Japan. The cotton canvas and twills are from Mount Vernon Mills in South Carolina and Georgia. Our jersey knits are from SC and CA.
Ruth and Danièle!! We currently have two full-time sewers working on Rite of Passage production at all times. Our in-house production company, Sew Co., manufactures for other independent, values-aligned brands as well. So our cutters, Cindy and Amar, are an essential part of our process, and the entire team at Sew Co. is invested in the operations of Rite of Passage.
Giovanni Daina-Palermo is our head designer. He designs and makes all the patterns for our collections.
Giovanni made his way to Asheville after an extensive career in the fashion industry, working for designers including Carolina Herrera, Monse, and Oscar de la Renta.
Giovanni and Sew Co. founder, Libby O’Bryan, met while working in NYC for Gary Graham. The two launched Rite of Passage in 2018.
Sew Co. is our in-house production facility. For over a decade, Sew Co. has been a reliable and quality-driven product development and production partner for independent designers valuing domestic production. Our clients range from famous illustrators to cult-followed fashion brands who appreciate Sew Co.’s attention to detail and commitment to ethical manufacturing practices. Our mission is to preserve the skill of sewing through a transparent and creative business model. Rite of Passage and Sew Co. share a roof in a factory in Asheville, NC’s River Arts District.
We work hard to make timeless pieces that transcend the trends (and seasons) of fast fashion! In keeping with this, each year we produce two lines of garments: a Fall/Winter collection and a Spring/Summer collection, simply to consolidate the expense of photography and sampling. We also are consciously designing clothing that is versatile and potentially suitable for all seasons, regardless of the collection.
Potentially! We may have run out of the textile for that specific colorway. Send us an inquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org telling us what pieces you are missing, and we will let you know what is possible!
Unfortunately, no. As much as we wish we could make all your dreams come true, currently, we're focused on developing new collections and growing our brand.
If you'd like to see an existing design in a different material or colorway, or if you're interested in one of the designs in our Archive, reach out--we'll see what we can do!
While the patterns for our specific Rite of Passage garments are not for sale, we have a sister company called Open Studio Patterns! Open Studio is another offshoot of Sew Co., just like Rite of Passage. With an industrial perspective, from our factory floor to your sew room, we’re sharing our patterns, our techniques and our belief that making can make change.
As a team, our staff practices the Great Game of Business, a model that takes open-book management to the next level. Weekly, our entire team gathers to analyze our financials, make collective decisions, and strategize for the future. We believe that radical financial transparency promotes a culture of collective problem solving, ownership and trust.
In all we do, our priority is to cultivate the skill of sewing through providing good manufacturing jobs with high quality construction techniques and training.
- We believe in low waste: We save every scrap in the production process and piece them together for patched or one-of-a-kind garments you can only find in pour retail shop. Any small bit of fabrics that can not be reused, we recycle with our local circular economy innovators at Material Return. They are grinding down our LOCAL textile waste and spinning it into a new yarn. We hope to soon be making clothing from the recycled textiles they are developing (!!!).
- We believe in cooperation: We are part of a thriving textile community in Western North Carolina and beyond. As founding partners with the Carolina Textile District, we are banding together with our so-called competitors to lift up the local textile and slow fashion movements. Together, we have developed an industrial sewer training program, responded to PPE production needs, and in general, support each other's growth.
- We believe in transparency: We strive for transparency between our role as manufacturers and you, the consumer, as well as within our team of employees.
- We believe in quality over quantity: We honor the labor and resources that have been given to raw materials we work with. Therefore, we put quality over speed in order to carefully manipulate and celebrate these raw material investments.