Laurie Dunlap began Blue Canoe in 1994 with a clear vision—to create organic clothing made in the USA that would fit the way women really lived. As a women-owned and run company, we knew what our customers were looking for—it was what we wanted for ourselves.
We focused on effortlessly stylish and versatile designs in high-quality fabrics that feel good next to your skin. We combined functional with beautiful. We believed women should be able to dress once and go through the day. Our customers agreed. And the line and the business grew.
Today Blue Canoe is thriving in San Francisco where we manufacture a full line of timeless, eco-friendly clothing and lingerie. We remain committed to using the finest fabrics, manufacturing from start to finish in the USA, and designing for the real world with simple lines, sensuous fabrics and sophisticated styles that are never fussy.
To read more about our founding, click here.
Natural fibers, natural comfort, natural beauty. Organic cotton and organic bamboo are the hallmark of Blue Canoe—the heart of everything we do. Simply put, they’re good for the world.
Our cotton and bamboo are grown without harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Then, only the most gentle, nontoxic dyes are used, so plants, animals and people are protected. The result? Fabrics that are inherently soft, fluid and breathable, even in the warmest weather.
All our clothing is plant based. We don't use petroleum derived fabrics such as polyester or nylon that rely on oil and pollute the planet.
You will feel good wearing Blue Canoe and feel good choosing Blue Canoe.
Bamboo is the ultimate sustainable crop. It’s very fast growing, and renewable. It requires no pesticides, fertilizers or irrigation. It causes no soil erosion and reduces runoff. Bamboo can yield 20 times more fiber than trees and regenerates without plowing or replanting. It can be grown on soil that is damaged by overgrazing. Bamboo produces 30% more oxygen than trees thereby reducing carbon dioxide that causes global warming.
Like rayons from other sources, bamboo has to be chemically processed to break down the fiber.
Tencel is a rayon from managed tree farms. Although chemically processed, the chemicals are recycled and re-used, limiting chemicals in the waste stream.
Blue Canoe is following progress on these fibers closely in line with our mission of using the most environmentally friendly fabrics available. We offer our customers only plant based clothing made with organically grown fibers. We don't use petroleum based fabrics such as polyester and nylon. You'll feel the difference!
From fabric to finish, Blue Canoe has always been made in the USA. We support American workers, manufacturers and distributors. It’s the best way we know to help reduce trade deficits, leave a smaller transportation footprint and meet the highest environmental and labor standards.
The apparel industry can be a messy business, and all too often companies are not transparent about their supply chains or use media spin to make their companies sound more ecologically and socially responsible than they really are. We are lucky to live and work in the USA where there are strong environmental laws, worker safety regulations and minimum pay requirements that ensure we are held to the highest standards. Blue Canoe believes that making things in America is good business, and we have been doing just that since our founding in 1994.
We continue to make high quality apparel that you can count on, to support the communities where we manufacture, keeping jobs local, and keeping our supply chains simple so we and our customers know where and how our clothes are made.
Working here also gives us a nimbleness that can’t be matched by companies halfway around the world. We can turn out production in a fraction of the time. And we can manage in-season, just-in-time deliveries—a distinct advantage for our retailers.
When most people think about sustainability, they think of the materials that are used to create clothing—and they’d be right to think about that. What most people don’t realize is that a large part of the concept of sustainability comes from conserving the water used to grow and process the materials as well.
Water is one of Earth’s most precious resources, and it gives life to all of us. It also happens to be one of the most at-risk resources we have. Wasting potable water can lead to massive water shortages, ecosystem damage, and worse. That’s why Blue Canoe has always championed the cause of reducing water usage.
Conventional cotton is one of the biggest perpetrators of water waste. Though many countries are capitalizing off the crop, it still is a major cause of limited access to drinking water for 100 million people.
Organic cotton farming is a huge fix to this issue and has the ability to reduce water consumption by as much as 91 percent. That means it can save up to 218 billion gallons of water! That’s why Blue Canoe makes a point of choosing only organically grown fibers for our clothing.
You may not realize this, but mainstream fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. From the toxic herbicides and pesticides sprayed on cotton crops to the toxic chemicals used during fabric production and the use of petroleum-based fabrics such as polyester, the apparel industry is a huge player in contributing to environmental disasters.
Cotton crops world-wide account for a full 25% off all herbicides and pesticides. These chemicals pose a danger to local wildlife as well as the wearers of the clothing made from that cotton. That’s why we prefer to avoid toxins through the patronage of organic cotton farming.
To help reduce damage to the environment and people, Blue Canoe is dedicated to using only organically grown fibers such as organically grown cotton and bamboo and using US based fabric mills that follow GOTS certified standards in textile processing methods. (Global Organic Textile Standards)
By keeping our product usage in line with the highest standards possible, we create clothes you can trust, as well as clothes that help keep Earth pristine.
Dyes are another major toxic element of the mainstream fashion industry, with many “fast fashion” companies looking the other way in terms of dye safety. Most of the dyes used in apparel are very toxic, require high water usage, and lots of unused dye ends up in our waterways.
The health of our clients and the health of our planet are our primary focus, which is why we refuse to use toxic dyes in any of our products. Dyes used in synthetic materials are known to be riskier than most others and for producing higher amounts of waste during the dye process.
Knowing this, we took a stand. To ensure our dyes’ safety, we only use fiber-reactive dyes—dyes that can only be used to color natural fibers. Fiber-reactive dyes require less water to produce, create less waste, and also are generally safer for people.
Our dedication to high quality clothing will never stop. That’s why we make a point of ensuring that safety, sustainability, and love makes an appearance in every single step of our clothing creation process.
Many of our customers have chemical sensitivities and need to know specifics about what our fabrics and trims are made of. We strive to make our clothing as pure and allergy-free as possible while still producing functional, contemporary styles with mainstream appeal. See detailed information here.
All day, every day. Blue Canoe is so comfortable, modern and versatile, you’ll find yourself reaching for it every morning. Just read what our fans have to say...
"...Blue Canoe CAN truly go anywhere!" -Aliénne
"Thank you for beautiful designs, breathable fabrics and sustainable practices." - Melissa
"...supple, comfortable, fashionable and functional..." - Alexandra, San Francisco
"I loved the styling, the fabrics were very comfortable and everything fit." - Lisa, Washington State
"I live in your clothes!" - Alyona