Today on the podcast I’m talking with the co-founders of Cloud9 Fabrics, Michelle Engel Bencsko and Gina Pantastico.

Established in 2009, Cloud9 is a leading source for organic cotton fabrics for home sewists. The base cloths of their fabrics is made from 100% certified organic cotton which is then printed with eco-friendly low impact dies. In addition, Cloud9 works closely with the mills that produce the fabric to ensure that they are run in an ethical way that is respectful of the rights of the people they employ.

In this conversation, Gina and Michelle trace the path that eventually led to the founding of Cloud9. We discuss the working conditions Gina saw in the mills and cut-and-sew factories she visited while working in a previous job at a men’s loungewear company. We talk about Michelle’s experience as Design Director at that same company and her introduction to the quilting world via licensing her own designs to Henry Glass & Co. Gina and Michelle explain how they became business partners and why they decided to focus on organic fabrics.

In addition, we discuss:

  • their effort to make organic affordable
  • what Michelle looks for in a Cloud9 designer
  • Michelle’s hands-on design process with new designers
  • how they choose new substrates
  • and what’s next for Cloud9 (hint: knits!)

And, of course, I ask Michelle and Gina to recommend great stuff they’re loving right now.

Michelle recommends:

  • shopping on eBay for discontinued Doc Marten styles
  • taking archery lessons

Gina recommends:

Visit Cloud9 Fabrics to look at their fabric collections, and be sure to check out the “where to buy” page to find a retailer that works for you. You can also connect with Cloud9 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Listen to the show by clicking on the arrow below, or subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher so that you never miss an episode. If you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it! Thank you so much.

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