Values & Sustainability
At Redthreaded, we believe inclusion is of utmost importance in creative communities, all bodies are good bodies, and environmental sustainability is our responsibility as individuals and as a business.
We respect all aspects of people, including race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, religion, and ability.
At its best, historical costuming is an opportunity to learn about society, material culture, and local and global history in a way we might not have otherwise. It is a pathway to a more comprehensive understanding of our past and our present, allowing us to build a better future.
In order to create inclusive and safe communities for everyone, we must first acknowledge three things:
- Our world has been shaped by the legacy of colonialism and white supremacy.
- Dress history is interwoven with global history and should not be removed from its historical context nor used to glorify or romanticize past wrongs.
- Modern costuming spaces can be harmful places for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) costumers through location/setting, themes, stereotyping, microaggressions, and overt racial violence
We encourage everyone interested in historical clothes to ask ourselves the questions, “Who would have made my clothes? How did they live? What do these clothes say now?” We also encourage costumers to always consider whether a costume is appropriate in the context it is being used or worn. Finally, we encourage all public events and organizations to develop anti-racist policies and codes of conduct.
At Redthreaded, we focus on taking consistent action to promote diversity and education within our communities. This includes:
- Supporting Black interpreters, educators, creators, and progressive institutions in tangible and collaborative ways
- Recurring regular contributions to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ rights organizations*
- Hiring diverse models to more fully represent race, age, size, and gender identities for all future photoshoots
- Dedicating the majority of our monthly Patreon income directly back to the Patreon accounts of BIPOC creators in related fields
- Pursuing anti-racist and restorative justice education as a company
- Regularly discussing the racial implications of historical dress, unconscious bias, and harm reduction in community spaces
- A commitment to diverse hiring practices when we expand our team in future
- Consistently promoting and sharing BIPOC costume accounts, work, and history on our social media outlets
- Speaking out for wage equity and the elimination of harmful employment practices in theatre-wage equity is foundational for racial equity in professional spaces
- Funding an annual merit-based scholarship for BIPOC undergraduate costume students at Cynthia’s alma mater, UNC School of the Arts
All Bodies are Good Bodies
Real people come in all shapes and sizes. While we strive to offer the most inclusive size range possible, we acknowledge that we will never be able to fit every body with off the rack sizing—so we offer custom sizing in all of our corsets and stays. We understand that close fitting garments like these can bring up complicated emotions about body image. Our goal is to make you feel good in the body you are in. You are you shaped—and that’s worth celebrating.
On the topic of bodies, we want to specifically let trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming folks know that Redthreaded is a safe space for you and your body. Please reach out to us with your corsetry questions. While it is not our main focus, we do have experience with minimizing corsetry, drag corsetry, and traditionally “male” corsetry. If we’re not the right brand for you (especially for more modern styles and aesthetics), we will be happy to point you in the direction of other inclusive brands that may better suit your needs.
The Redthreaded studio in Longmont, Colorado is ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible on the main level. We have experience fitting clients with medical device implants, scoliosis, and other physical differences.
The garment industry is an enormous producer of emissions and waste. Redthreaded is a micro business, but we are not immune from this reality or the responsibility to improve. Although we are small, we still contribute to the 92 million tonnes of textile waste created each year.
Here are some of the ways we minimize our impact on the planet during our production:
- We buy supplies in large quantities and American-made whenever possible to reduce shipments and freight emissions.
- Our city derives 50% of its municipal power from renewable sources—much higher than the national average of 12%.
- The servo motors in our industrial machines draw less power than traditional clutch motors.
- Our corsets are made to be durable, alterable and repairable, prolonging the garment’s overall life.
- We use 100% cotton fabric in our stock corsetry, which naturally breaks down.
- Our one-at-a-time cutting method means we can nest pieces together in a way that creates very little scrap waste.
- We recycled 100% of our fabric scrap and off-cuts via a local start-up recycling program.
- We work with neighboring small businesses for our t-shirts, pattern printing, and wooden busk manufacturing to reduce shipping and support our local economy.
On the shipping and logistics side, we are committing to going virgin plastic free in all shipping supplies by 2022 (excluding using up any existing materials). Additionally:
- All boxes are recycled and/or recyclable
- All print materials are printed on recycled paper
- We reuse or recycle all paper and cardboard products
- We purchase carbon offsets for all long distance business travel
- All orders paid with Shop Pay support carbon neutral shipping and tree planting initiatives
We have not and will never use ULine for shipping products, as our company values do not align
We acknowledge that we can and should always improve in these areas as individuals, as businesses, and as groups. Education is a large part of the solution-when we know better, it is our responsibility to do better. Here are some additional resources we recommend for further reading:
Fresh Frippery: Race, Microaggressions, and the Costuming Community
Youtube Panel: Inclusion in the Costuming Community
The Good Traveler - Carbon Offsets
*Here are some of the organizations we regularly financially support. We are always happy to receive new recommendations as well.
And other diverse artists, makers, activists, reenactors, historians, and businesses via Patreon and direct mutual aid