Puzzle Apparel: ‘sustainable, responsible’ custom clothing with Maine materials and artisans

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 6.04.27 PM From the front page of Puzzle Apparel’s blog

Woman with Maine ties makes mark on fashion industry with ‘sustainable, responsible’ custom clothing

By Nell Gluckman, of the Bangor Daily News An article excerpt:

As a student at George Stevens Academy, Marisol Trowbridge learned something that shocked her and would set her on a winding but determined path to the launch of a new business.

She was in Guatemala for two weeks for an independent project and she became friendly with her host sister, a 13-year-old girl who worked part-time in a garment factory. Trowbridge was horrified that a young girl might be forgoing school to make clothes that she herself could one day be wearing.

“That was my first sort of eye opening experience into how clothes are made,” Trowbridge said at a cafe in Blue Hill on Friday.

“I guess I was particularly struck by her case because I was interested in fashion,” she added. “It was interesting to find out that some of my clothes might be made by 13-year-olds in Guatemala. That really bothered me.”

After earning an undergraduate degree in economics, a graduate degree in international development and working in the fashion industry for seven years in New York, Ethiopia and the Netherlands, Trowbridge has now started her own company, called Puzzle Apparel, that will champion what she calls “sustainable, responsible fashion.”

Shoppers will be able to select an item that she designed from her website, then choose a patterned fabric to embellish the item. The fabrics are all handmade by artists in the U.S., many of whom come from Maine.

Her blog.

Trowbridge now has about 30 artists. For the full article please go here.

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