Sustainability in Detroit

Fashioning a sustainable future

After 30+ years in the fashion industry, Tracy felt called to embrace a fresh model for her new brand. Hope for Flowers is conceived around the idea that when we know better, we do better. The collection is designed and produced following the 3 guiding principles of sustainability: the health of people, planet, and equity in profit. Hope for Flowers begins this journey embracing responsible practices. Tracy plans for the brand to grow in sustainability with each collection.

Our Three Pillars: 

 At Hope for Flowers, we are working to do our part by responsibly sourcing our materials, minimizing our waste, enriching our local community through art, and collaborating with organizations and businesses to strengthen the artisan ecosystem. 


Pillar One: Conscious Design

Digital Prints
Tracy Reese sketches and designs beautiful feminine garments with intricate prints, which are then digitized and printed on fabric. Digital printing is more environmentally friendly than traditional printing because it uses less ink and can be done on demand, allowing us to print the quantities we need without high minimums, reducing waste. We use only OEKO-TEX certified inks so no harmful chemcials are used during the printing and dying of our textiles. 

Small Batch Production
To minimize our environmental footprint, we produce only what has been sold to our retail partners and a small amount for our direct-to-consumer sales.  

Responsible Sourcing
We mindfully source fibers produced with a lower environmental impact and the durability to last a lifetime. Our designs prioritize organically grown plant-based fibers wherever possible. These selections are safer and healthier for farmers and their communities, lowering their exposure to harmful chemicals and maintaining soil fertility. In addition, our hang tags are made of recycled cardboard with an organic cotton tie. And we always look for eco-friendly trims, such as Akoya shell and Corozo buttons. Our packaging for direct-to-consumer shipments are from Eco-Enclosed. They are thin-film recyclable mailers with a second adhesive strip for reuse. These items are 100% recycled with 50% post-consumer waste.

Our Next Steps: To deepen the sustainability of our design and production we are committed to taking the following actions.

1. We are launching a Dressmaker Apprenticeship program registered with the Department of Labor. The program will be focused on developing the advanced skills needed to produce luxury fashion in Detroit. The program will grow the local creative economy and reduce our carbon footprint by enabling us to produce in-house samples and expand in-house production.

2. We will strengthen our supply chain with partners who are transparent about their production practices that work with only GOT certified fibers.

3. We will visit our production partners in China, Peru, and India more frequently to see their operations firsthand and understand how workers are valued within their establishments.

4.We are committed to increasing the eco-friendliness of our production line by incorporating more zero waste design styles into our collections. For our excess fabric we are designing waste solutions, such as bandanas, scarves, and scrunchies. We are also working toward only using eco-friendly trims, such as biodegradable zippers, elastics, and stretch linings.

5. We are committed to living green. Our new permanent space runs only on electricity and is outfitted with furnishings from local vendors that use sustainably-sourced materials, such as Woodward Throwbacks.

6. We plan to have our suppliers ship our garments in biodegradable glassine bags instead of poly bags by 2024.

Pillar Two: Community Art in Detroit

We believe that community outreach programming results in greater enrichment and cohesion for Detroit’s citizens, cultivating pride in the local creative economy.

The Hope for Flowers Art Enrichment Programs offers free evening and weekend classes and workshops for Detroit’s children and adults to nurture local, creative talent and revive sustainable life practices that have been forgotten. Community workshops center on sustainable living practices to empower Detroiters with tools to sustain their communities and dispel the myth that sustainability is elitist. 

Our Youth Art Enrichment Program is for Detroit children ages 7 to 12. The program builds a diverse and compassionate community through introspective artwork, by learning and incorporating elements and principles, and community based exploration (Black spotlight artists and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals).

The Adult Art Enrichment Program is taught by local teaching artisans who lead by example. They teach workshops sharing how they’ve built sustainability into their practices and communities around the arts.

Youth and adults acquire creative tools for economic self-sufficiency through exposure to creative career pathways. Through the accomplishment of creating art, participants build leadership, public speaking, and presentation skills, and celebrate their successes.

We proudly create a welcoming, equitable space for Detroit’s community of artists  to gather and share experiences.  We look forward to doing even more in our flagship location later this year!


Pillar Three: Partnerships

Scarlet Crane:
Working with local artists and creatives to position Detroit as a modern, sustainable garment design and production hub is central to Hope for Flowers’ mission. Hope for Flowers is excited to collaborate with Detroit artist Shayla Johnson, founder of Scarlet Crane Creations, on a one-of-a-kind scarf inspired by our signature toile print. Together, we created scarves for our Fall ‘21, Spring ‘22, and Spring ‘23 collections and look forward to a continuing partnership.

NEST Craft Coalition:
Hope for Flowers partners with NEST Craft Coalition by linking our brand to a global community of Fair Trade Certified production partners.

In Spring 2022, Hope For Flowers partnered with Naturalizer to launch a sustainable shoe capsule collection. Tracy Reese brought her creative talent, slow-fashion savvy, and commitment to using high-quality and eco-friendly materials to the collaboration. The shoe box packaging used  80% recycled paper and soy-based ink and the shoes featured 96% recycled materials in the toe boxes and insoles.

Pottery Barn
In Summer 2021, Hope for Flowers collaborated with Pottery Barn Baby & Kids to create a collection that looks good and features responsibly sourced, organic cotton fabrics.



woman's hands holding flower