We destine 2021 to be the year of self-love, indulging in the small things we can do for ourselves. With the pandemic and all of us ending up at home more often, we have all adjusted a little over the past year to be more comfortable. According to businesswire.com, the sleepwear and loungewear industry grew by 19.1 million in 2020, and they foresee the growth continuing. 2020 was the year of trying to figure it all out, but it turns out we do not have all the answers, so we might as well take this slowed downtime to enjoy a little extra love for ourselves, starting with our wardrobes.
MadZinnia creates comfortable, sustainable, all-natural, intimates and loungewear; for the no pants days. These pieces are everyday-wear not created for just the bedroom. MadZinnia is changing the way women’s underwear feels. The local Fort Collins business is bringing the coziness back into our personal lives.
Madeline Cook, the young female entrepreneur behind MadZinnia, has reshaped her vision over the years to end up where she is now, “I started back in 2016 making fun and funky festival fashion designs. I was very much into the music scene, and I still love live music. Still, throughout the years, my designs changed into more everyday wearable items.” Madeline explains about MadZinnia.
As many of us have adapted to alternative lifestyles, our wardrobes have adapted with them. What once to be a full weekend out might now just be a weekend full of spring cleaning and self-care, and we need something to wear on these days. MadZinnia makes ‘cozy and comfortable’ cute. It is time for the lounging around in our undies with an oversized t-shirt, wearing comfortable, movable, wearable pieces during our personal practices. The garments are ideal for a softer, slower, more mindful lifestyle. One of the essential aspects of MadZinnia is her deep-rooted passion for environmentalism.
“My biggest fear for fashion is ‘fast fashion’ in itself,” says Madeline who has always loved fashion. Since watching Project Runway with her designer mother throughout high school, she knew this would be a part of her life forever. As she has matured as a designer, she has incorporated and adopted practices into her design aesthetic to favor the environment. Madeline tells us, ” I swore off big fast fashion brands such as H&M many years ago. Last year I made the decision to do research on companies that I am thinking about purchasing from, and that has a very big role in who I purchase from today. I truly believe it is up to the people to vote with their dollar. I don’t buy clothes very often at all because I hate throwing pieces away; I have and still wear many things that I had in high school ten years ago. This is the essence of slow fashion – to maybe spend more money on pieces that will last you years. When I am needing something new, I look towards thrifting, local businesses, or supporting the independently owned or small brands I find on Instagram”.
Through college at Colorado State University, she did extensive research on sustainability in the industry. That is how MadZinnia has ended up where it is now. “In 2019, I eventually learned how to dye my own fabrics using natural things like avocado stones and skins and fiber reactive dyes which are certified low impact. I leaned into the comfort aspect, which I believe is so important and also completely missing in women’s undergarments, and started drafting my own underwear in the summer of 2019. Although the pieces I offered changed throughout the years, the vision of my brand didn’t. I have always wanted to create garments that are cute, flattering but also comfortable to wear and big on color! This is a big reason why Zinnia is in my brand name. Zinnias are extremely colorful and FUN, and they also represent the thoughts of friends and loved ones, which I wanted to convey as well. I hope those who purchase my items can feel the love in them and that they can offer a comfort similar to hugs from friends or loved ones.”
Madeline has all intentions of keeping her company just as cozy and intimate as her pieces; she wants to inspire and empower women on a smaller and more personal scale. Like her business, she is a small-town girl at heart. Madeline was born and raised in Colorado. This has a big influence on her brand. Madeline has always disliked the idea of moving to a big city to pursue fashion. This has fueled her passion and drive in her small business.
“From the amount of water that is used to the toxic dyes to the plastic/polyester phenomenon, to big brands having new items every week of the year creating mass waste in the landfill is all enough to make your head spin. I am trying to do better for the industry in my dye practices, water waste, and fabric choices. Any small business making things on a small scale already has a huge impact in a good way because the amount they are making is less, which means the waste in all areas is less. I do think people as consumers are more aware of this, so I have hope for the fashion industry, although it will take time,” says Madeline.
She encourages shopping through small businesses, on Instagram, or personal/partner creators, and tries to only shop this way herself, “I wish (and am seeing slowly) people were simply more aware of the waste that the fast fashion industry creates, as well as the problems in mass manufacturing. The fact that some t-shirts can cost the same amount as a coffee is alarming, considering a human-made that t-shirt for cents or maybe dollars. We (as a whole) have become very disconnected from the people behind the products, and therefore the entire process has cheapened. I am hopeful, though, as I see a collective shift where there is more awareness. If there is one thing I can be grateful for during this crazy year, it is this shift in consciousness and priorities and values that we can hopefully keep momentum on for years to come. I truly believe we are planting new seeds to change our habits and behaviors as consumers and as people in general, which is an exciting step,” states Madeline.
Madeline continues to hope for small businesses’ future growth in the fashion industry and offset the fast fashion trend.