At ekologic, we design and manufacture quality products out of recycled cashmere clothing. We hunt for treasures and dismantle each garment by hand; taking time to recognize its unique character and individual beauty. The material is then transformed by joining it with other pieces — separate elements finding harmony together. There is a little magic and a lot of love in each piece we construct.
Due to the random nature of the clothing we recycle, our items are all unique. We cannot request our palette. We use what we find. We deliberate over each coloration and custom-create a diverse collection of clothing and accessories.
What was once discarded is now the source of warmth, comfort and individual expression.
Meet Kathleen—The Visionary and Founder of ekologic
We craft beautiful, functional and comfortable clothing upon a foundation of environmental responsibility, purpose and values. Each piece is a unique work of inspired design—clothing that transforms our customers, respects our natural world and challenges the traditional tenets of consumptive fashion.
Back in 1996, while living in Portland, OR, I found that the local government had officially classified single-owner used clothing as nothing but landfill. Wasteful consumerism was at a peak and—as an artist/designer with deep-seated values and a conscience—I questioned the sustainability of disposable fashion.
I soon found my passion in a pile of used sweaters—determined to prove that recycled products could not only be more beautiful in their second life but also be an instrument of change by activating customer awareness. What started as an exploration in reuse became ekologic, a sustainable company that strives to be transformative through circularity. Since 1996, our design studio has rescued and reused more than 16 tons of pre-owned material.
We carefully hand-select cashmere sweaters for quality and durability. We then wash and deconstruct the materials to create fabric. Elements such as cuffs, rib knits and embellishments are organized and stored for future use.
My approach to design is unique as I utilize small pieces of fabric to create each garment or accessory. No two ekologic items are exactly the same; every item made is hand cut and harmoniously integrated like a painting. Every bit of scrap waste is identified, resorted and manipulated to develop future products.
Our work takes time, but it is this very intention that resonates throughout the ekologic designs. Diversity and individual expression are infused in everything we do. It is our belief that being able to express your individual voice through our one-of-a-kind recycled products gives strength to a more inclusive compassionate society.
If I send you my cashmere sweaters will you make me something?
Our process is a little challenging to replicate with people’s personal sweaters. It takes months to prepare the fabrics that we use to create our products. While we love the idea, our process is not easily transferred to the random sweaters people send. Who knows, one day we may figure it out. We’ll definitely let you know. Join our email list to stay connected.
Where does the material come from?
Our raw material comes from the New York City area. We buy garments from used clothing dealers before they get sold to an international buyer and begin traveling the world.
What kind of animal does cashmere come from?
Cashmere comes from the cashmere goat who lives in the Himalayan mountain region. Go to our ReVision + ReSources for more detailed information about cashmere.
Is cashmere difficult to care for?
No!! It’s an amazing fiber that will give you years of wear with the proper care. We call it an heirloom fiber because it often gets passed down in families. Check out ReVision + ReSources to learn more.
Do you do repairs?
Yes, if it’s an ekologic product. We are quite adept at stitching up that random hole. We may tell you that it is beyond our hand repair and suggest a panel replacement. If it is too far gone, we’ll let you know. Here is a link to our Repair section. You may want to check out our ReVision + ReSources area for cashmere care instructions and preventative measures.
Do you offer alterations? I purchased an ekologic sweater but I need the sleeve shortened.
Absolutely. We want it to fit just right. We do one adjustment for free with a sweater purchase. Petite’s generally need a 2” arm length reduction. While you can roll it up without seeing any unsightly stiches, you may want it to be perfect in length. Send in your request, no matter what it is, and we’ll see what we can do. Please note, once an alteration is made, the item is not eligible for return.
Can I return a custom order? Unfortunately, no. Once we make something to your specifications it is truly yours.
I lost one of my mittens, now what? Send us a picture and we will make 1/2 a pair creating the best miss match as possible. While we can’t guarantee it will be exactly the same, we will do our best to produce an artful match.
Can you make me an ekologic sweater I saw in a different size? Magic happens in the ekologic studio. If we have the fabric, we can recreate an item. Tell us what you liked best about the piece you want us to duplicate and we will create one that is very close to the original inspiration. Perhaps you’ll even like it better. Please note that most patterned or sequined items are collectors pieces which cannot be duplicated. Ask and we will let you know.
How do you keep moths away?
First order of business is cleanliness. It is perfectly fine to wear your cashmere 5 or so times without washing. Cashmere has natural properties to wick away dirt and is anti-microbial. Make sure that you wash your garment if you have dropped food on the front or if it has any body odor. It is especially important not to store dirty cashmere. When you prepare your items for Summer storage, wash the item and then store it in a sealed container. If you are concerned about moths, freeze the item for a week or two prior to washing and storing. Check out the details in ReVision + ReSources. We also carry clothing care items such as Rakes, Brushes and Moth Traps.
I have a serious moth problem, what do I do?
Get clothing moth traps immediately! Also, freeze your cashmere. We have detailed cashmere care info in ReVision + ReSources. If your infestation is significant check out the Trichogramma Wasp. This wasp is safe for you and your home. It is a natural way to contain serious issues. An eco exterminator can help.
I have cashmere I’m no longer wearing. Can I donate it to you?
Absolutely. Please, seal it up in a bag and freeze 5 days before sending. This will help us contain any cross contamination of moths. Please take it to your local thrift for recycling if it is too costly to send to us. Sometimes our customers would rather know that it is lovingly recycled by us so please, do what is best for you.
If my cashmere is imperfect can I still take it to a thrift store?
Yes. Your items do not have to be perfect to be donated. They must be clean but not free from wear. Thrifts have different categories and grades of goods. They pick the best for resale. Holey items can be sold and shredded for recycling into yarn and other industrial by-products. It is important to donate as opposed to ‘trashing’ your used clothing.
Is cashmere waterproof? No, but it is naturally water resistant. Cashmere is fabulous in the rain or snow. In fact, if you get caught in a deluge, you will be so thankful for your cashmere or wool. The outer layers swell in the moisture creating a protective layer that keeps you dryer inside.
Are customers allowed to visit your Troy, NY studio? Yes! We have a store in our studio. All the web items are stored there so you can peruse our website and then come try on things in person. During Covid-19 we ask that you wear a mask and use hand sanitizer when you come. Please call or email in advance if you want to visit the studio. You can also request an appointment to make sure our designer is here to help you. Request an appointment
Do you accept wholesale orders? Our accessories are available for wholesale. Just email us information about your store and we’ll get back to you.
How old is Jasper and Daphne and what kind of dogs are they?
Aha! You must know us well. Jasper (age10) and Daphne (age 1.5) are 3/4 English Bulldogs with 1/4 Boston Terrier. They are such characters and total love bugs. You might meet them at the studio if you visit. Be prepared for smooches and bulldog dancing.