Tonic & Cloth: Sustainable, Ethical, Empowering - and super fabulous
Sometimes putting on clothes is a chore, other times, it’s an absolute privilege. Adorning my Tonic & Cloth jumpsuit is always an honour. I think I could live in it. Let me tell you why…
Tonic & Cloth are a start up clothing brand, based in New Zealand, with the mission of empowering both the women who make the clothes, and the women who wear them. On top of manufacturing in New Zealand, Jodie, founder and maker of Tonic & Cloth, has teamed up with Ana of Holi Boli to spread their impact across the globe. Holi Boli are a production house founded and led by pioneering kiwi girl, Ana. Ana brings ongoing opportunity for female identity and empowerment in the male dominated society of rural India.
The collections produced by this team of strong women in New Zealand and India, are made from organic cotton, linen, silk, and viscose.
“I want women to feel beautiful and strong in the clothes they wear, no-matter what they face each day.”- Jodie, Tonic & Cloth.
Tonic & Cloth makes Monday clothes that feel like Sunday.
When people comment on my jumpsuit (and they do… frequently), not only do I tell them it’s made from herbal dyed indigo organic cotton sateen, I also proudly tell them the story of the maker; Sangahamitra.
The first time I read this story, my heart creeped up to my throat, and I had a wee cry of happiness. Sangahamitra’ story, and many others, is the reason for my everyday fight for an ethical and sustainable fashion future.
Tissues at the ready, I’m privileged to share this with you:
Told by Ana, founder of Holi Boli.
Married and with a toddler, Sangahamitra suddenly became a widow. The shock and grief was multiplied when her in-laws sent her back to her own parents house to live. Rejected by those she had vowed to spend her life with, and forced to forge a new self sufficient future in this male dominated society, Sangahamitra made a desperate plea to the one and only lady seamstress in her village. "Teach me to sew" was only met with more rejection.
Then she heard about Holi Boli classes and wanted to sign up. Already fully booked, she went on the reserve list. A no-show led to her moment of acceptance, and she came running. Every day she arrived half an hour early. Every night she sewed at home. Ladies in her village started bringing fabric to her and asking her to make cool dresses for them like the new ones she had designed and wore with pride. Her business started before she graduated.
She's a survivor. She's a sweetie. She's hurting. But she got up again. Legend. Respect.
The lady seamstress has now approached her and asked for lessons.
To get the full story behind my jumpsuit, and share some insider’s knowledge, I asked Jodie a few questions so we can all have a sneak peak into the daily life of Tonic & Cloth.
1. What inspired the name 'Tonic & Cloth?'
I wanted the clothes to feel like a tonic to the body, and I wanted their production values to be a tonic to the planet and the people producing them. The idea was that the clothes would be a tonic made from cloth. Hence: Tonic & Cloth.
2. What does a usual day-in-the-life-of Jodie look like?
My day starts with cuddles with the kids, then that mad morning rush to get them out the door to school on time. Next, I’m out to the caravan with cup of coffee in tow, and orders get sorted and on to the courier before 9am.
My day differs depending on what’s happening! Let’s focus on what Mondays look like right now…
First thing, I’ll meet with my amazing content manager. Gosh that sounds fancy! That basically means me and Amber meet up, sometimes with kids in tow, to talk about what we want to share with everyone for the week. What’s new, events, that sort of thing.
Next, emails, emails, and more emails!
‘Paperwork’ done, I then turn to design, fabric, and pattern making. At the moment I’m working on a swing coat for winter. It’s time to test the pattern! I’ll be sewing away in my caravan for the next couple of hours.
Mid-afternoon, I’ll have a production meeting/video chat with Ana. India are about 7 hours behind us at present. We generally work through a bunch of things that are too complicated to deal with in an email. Creative ideas, problem solving- that kind of thing. Plus, it’s nice to have a catch up! Love Ana!
Early evening after the kiddos are in bed, I’ll reply to India based emails. They’re starting their working day about the time I am picking up the kids from school, so I really need to check in and reply to emails before I go to bed- otherwise issues are left yet another day before being resolved. At the moment I am organising a shipment of organic denim, so that the ladies can get started on our first denim collection (whoop!!!!).
3. The absolute top seller garment?
The Jumpsuit! I think because it epitomises what we are all searching for in our wardrobes. Clothes that look incredible and feel incredible too! It looks polished, but it feels like pyjamas. The ultimate in Monday Clothes that Feel Like Sunday. And it feels good to know you’re sowing positive change into another women’s life just by purchasing it.
Is it possible for a jumpsuit to give me super powers? Because I feel like freaking wonder women when it’s on. I’m empowered when I wear it, and it brings me great joy to know the woman who made it was empowered too.
Check out Tonic & Cloth’s Summer Collection Here.
As a rule, I only work with brands I love, use, and can whole heartedly back. This is a sponsored blog (I can't pay my electricity bill with free products), but 100% my own words, photos, and opinion.