GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Like many parents, Karly Hiser found herself struggling to find clothes her young kids would wear.
“I have three children who all have intensely sensitive skin so when my oldest was getting ready to go to kindergarten we noticed that the mornings were a major struggle for us. He just would not get dressed, so we looked into it further and we found that the clothing was actually really irritating to his skin,” Hiser said.
She tried different brands and fabrics, but nothing on the market worked. So she dug out her grandmother’s old sewing machine and started making her own, using organic cotton and hemp material instead of polyester made of plastic.
Eventually, Hiser’s neighbors and friends started asking for her T-shirts. When the requests started coming in quicker than she could make shirts, Hiser decided to launch her own clothing line called Crann Apparel.
Hiser says her focus is on sustainability and ethical labor. Her business contributes 1% of all sales to a global nonprofit called 1% for the Planet.
“We are so happy that we found something that helps our son feel better but it was really important to us that we give back to the community in general,” Hiser said. “It’s very important to recognize that apparel is not necessarily the friendliest to the environment, so we want to do it as nicely as possible.”
Crann Apparel’s clothing line is available only online and direct to consumers to keep prices down.
Right now, the company makes children’s T-shirts and boxer briefs but will expand to include sweatshirts, sweatpants and jogger pants later this fall.