CORNWALL, N.Y. -- A search to bring up her daughter in a place more connected to nature led Laurie Perrone to Cornwall.
Little did she know when she moved to Orange 18 years ago that nature would instead inspire her and form the backbone to her company, Farm2Fashion.
A former NYC fashion designer who was behind such labels as Liz Claiborne, Izod, and Talbots, Perrone started doing private label work for a local farmer, helping him to create a yarn collection from Angora Goats he was raising in Pennsylvania. That's when the lightbulb went off.
"I saw a future with a company that was local and offered sustainable fibers," she said.
The result is her three-year-old company, Farm2Fashion, which supports independent farmers, craftsman and designers with products that are American made and include natural animal fibers and recycled yarns.
"It's like the farm to table movement, but with fashion," she explained. Before she even had a collection, she had a brand -- and a name people responded to. "They get it," she said.
"It's sustainable, ethical and is food for the planet."
Once she had the name, the business took off fairly quickly.
Perrone has her products knit in a local Hudson Valley factory, as well as second one in New Jersey. She also has a studio in the Old Carpet Mill in Cornwall.
Among the items in her collection: scarves, ponchos, wraps, hand-crocheted pillows and throws mostly made of recycled cotton, baby alpaca, and merino wool. New for fall: Cowl neck pullovers and novelty hats with faux fur pom poms that use different combinations of patterns and yarns.
Along with online sales, you can find Farm2Fashion at The Shops at Jones Farms at Cedar Lakes Estates in Port Jervis and at her Cornwall studio, where she's not immune to making local deliveries for loyal customers.
"To me, selling locally is much more important than selling a mass retailer 100 pieces of something," she said.
"People here really appreciate what I'm doing."
Go to www.farm2fashion.com/ for more information.
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