T-Shirts That Save the Planet
By Jenny Peters
FROM LEFT: California Rising’s ecofriendly T-shirts; Joshua Fischer and Jules Blaine Davis with their son
In 2009 the concept of organic clothing isn’t exactly unique. But when Joshua Fischer and his wife, Jules Blaine Davis, started California Rising—an organic line of tees, hoodies, hats, sweaters and more made from breathable hemp, organic cotton and slub jersey—they wanted more than eco-friendly garb, they wanted to create a fundamental shift in how the apparel business works.
“When we started out in 2006, we were the fi rst organic line in Neiman Marcus,” says Fischer, whose résumé includes stints at Mossimo, Dreamgirl Lingerie, Greenpeace and Red Engine Jeans. “Everything about us was organic and sustainable. I’ve always lived that way.”
In addition to using low-impact dyes and water-based ink for screen printing, Fischer says he takes great care to use only fabrics with a small carbon footprint.
The duo’s dedication to the planet even extends beyond the clothes they make. “We do our best to use recycled materials in our office and home,” he says. “I also work with local vendors and people I’ve known for a long time. We like to support our economy and use as little oil as possible bringing in items from overseas.”
Today, in an effort to help save the customer money, California Rising is primarily sold online and at
a few select retailers. However, the couple has plans to open a retail space in the future.
Fischer and Davis don’t only believe in helping the customer, they also make a point of givingback, donating fi ve percent of the company’s earnings to the nonprofi ts 1% For the Planet and DreamStreet Foundation. And one famous philanthropist is taking note: The pair recently designed a few pieces specifi cally for Oprah, which they’ll sell on their website this fall.
“We want to inspire change,” says Fischer. “We can all do stuff better. I just want to do business better. We have hope that we can change the world though fashion.” Visit californiarising.com
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.