Charlie Darwin Textiles is a slow, sustainable, and artisanal textile brand that uses natural, nonsynthetic fabrics and dyes in earthy tones and textures. Every garment is handmade to your measurements and can be easily self-mended over time because we believe the garments you love should outlive you, not contribute to landfills.
Meet your seamstress
Leah Widdicombe is a visual artist pursuing projects that investigate our relationship with earth, animals, and nature. She is the founder of Charlie Darwin Textiles, for which she is also the self-taught fashion designer, the seamstress cursing loudly at her sewing machine, the natural dye scientist, and your typical 5'1" fashion model. On top of all that, she conducts social science research on human-animal relationships. Leah has been sewing since she was 11 years old and, like many of you, is passionate about building a meaningful relationship with the earth and creating a self-sufficient zero-waste lifestyle.
Behind the name...
Charles Darwin's theory of evolution based on natural selection has transformed how we view the world and our place in it.
As an art form and clothing brand, Charlie Darwin embraces the notion that humans are social, loving animals, existing so briefly in the ongoing flow of evolutionary time.
Don't think of us as animals? Just look around! We make nests, groom each other, and decorate our bodies with clothing as a form of protection, to find mates, and to express our personalities.
By making more sustainable choices with your clothing and nesting, you are not only celebrating your inner animal, but also honoring your relationship with the many other individuals sharing your ecosystem.
minimizing our environmental footprint
If you are seeking more meaningful avenues to feel connected with earth and nature, I want to bring that feeling to you in the most positive way possible. This is clothing made of more earthy feeling materials, built to outlive you. When your clothing does meet its end, I want it to be optimally biodegradable. Wouldn't it be amazing if we left the same environmental footprint as any other primate?
My artistic practice is committed to:
Using only high-quality and plant-based materials such as linen and cotton for clothing;
Using plant-based dyes for pigments, such as tea, onions, and acorns;
Including a mending kit with each clothing order to extend the life of your clothing;
Sewing at custom sizing to reduce returns and wasted clothing;
Beautifying simple paper and cotton twine for marketing materials and packaging.
These decisions sometimes slow down the making process or increase prices, but in the end, the product is more intentional, mindful, and durable.
Thank you for joining me on this journey!