We interviewed muse Jennifer Hartford founder of Noble Carriage shop that sells 100% certified organic, fair trade and locally made products for babies. We absolutely admire women that inspire the community and focus on the safest standards for us and the environment. Full Interview Below
Full Name please and date of birth
Jennifer Hartford Long, 04/17/1986
Where are you based?
If you could describe yourself in one sentence.
I am a designer who cares deeply about health and wellness and is motivated by the desire to make a positive impact on the world through sustainable fashion and conscious consumerism.
Tell us about your life before Noble Carriage
I was an award winning art director and designer at a creative advertising agency in San Francisco.
Tell us what inspired you to launch Noble Carriage?
I started Noble Carriage as a way to address the growing concerns of sustainability in fashion and the harmful effects that this industry has on farmers, the environment, and ultimately the end consumer. This challenge is far greater than just one company can tackle, so I focused our efforts where we could have the most profound impact: babies.
The organic food movement has done a fantastic job of raising awareness about the harmful effects of pesticides and chemicals used to produce the food we eat. These same practices are done to grow the cotton that we put on our baby’s fair skin. It’s my goal to raise awareness about this issue and to create a curated shop of all of the best organic and sustainably made baby clothing, toys and accessories that people can trust.
How did you pick the name for your company and what does it mean?
The word “Noble” speaks to the values and principles that are core to our brand. It’s definition is: “possessing very high or excellent qualities or properties”. At Noble Carriage, we believe that quality is more important than quantity and that it’s our responsibility to share the important properties of everything we sell so our customers can feel good about the buying decisions they make for their babies.
The word “Carriage” is also very emblematic to two important characteristics of our brand. First, it symbolizes a baby carrier, which speaks to our specific focus on baby products. Second, it’s a symbol for forward movement. It’s our goal to create forward progress in the world of sustainable fashion and do our part to promote the important reasons why people, most specifically moms, should care about the clothing they’re putting on their babies. We use the horse-drawn carriage in our logo to draw off of both definitions of this word.
What are your can’t live without top three organic products for Mothers?
If you had to choose just three organic products I would start with an organic mattress, sheets, and sleepwear(our convertible jumper is a top seller for us). Our babies sleep on a mattress for 10-20 hours a day, during their most fragile developmental years. With each sleep, they are lying directly on the mattress, breathing in and absorbing the chemical off-gassing produced by the majority of mattresses. Switching to an organic or natural mattress is an easy way to reduce chemical exposure.. Babies also tend to sweat at night, increasing their skin’s absorption of chemicals that might be present in non-organic sleepwear.
Do you find a lot of companies claim to be organic & fair trade and aren’t?
The truth is, unlike food, textile products don’t have to be certified in order to be labelled organic. This has compromised the term “organic”–even clothing with as little as 10% of organic fibers can be labelled “organic.” A parent that chooses to buy baby clothing that claims to be “organic”, would probably be very upset to find out that 90% of the garment was still made with harmful chemicals.
If so, what steps do you take to know what’s truly organic and whats not?
At Noble Carriage, we curate our shop with products made with 100% certified organic cotton. We only work with designers that share in our mission to create products that are good for our baby, farmers and the environment.
The best tip we can give you is to look out for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) symbol. GOTS is the strictest global standard for organic materials. This symbol ensures that a product really is organic from field to finished product. If a product doesn’t have a GOTS certified label, that doesn’t necessarily mean it contains harmful chemicals and that we won’t carry it. It is important to understand that buying organic only makes a difference when the fabric is coming from a country where there is heavy chemical use. If a country wasn’t using chemicals during the manufacturing process, then the product is inherently organic. We recommend either looking for the certification or finding the source where your clothing comes from. And while there is no comprehensive list of the countries who are doing things the “right” way, we do know of a few countries who are offenders of using pesticides, like China, Turkey, and India. If we are buying from these places we always require the GOTS certified label.
We noticed Noble Carriage is a proud supporter of Charity: Water – can you tell us a little bit about this charity?
1 in 10 people worldwide live without clean water. Charity: Water is a non-profit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Access to clean water means education, income and health – especially for women and kids. Although organic cotton is a sustainable alternative to non-organic cotton, it still needs large amounts of water. Although charity:water isn’t directly related to our organic cotton crops, supporting Charity:Water is just one of the ways we have found to give back clean water to the world.
What / Who inspires and motivates you?
Every mother I know inspires me. Raising a tiny human is a BIG responsibility, and the moms I surround myself with do not take that challenge lightly. They are building tiny tribes amongst each other to share information and keep each other motivated on a daily basis. I believe that together, mothers can change the world.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m still working on my “typical day”. I have a few constants that I try to stick to, but I’m working on not feeling like I need all of these things to have a productive day. I wake up at 6AM and try to meditate for 10-20 minutes and then go on a run or swim. On the best days, my husband makes me breakfast and tea and then we start working around 10AM when our employees come in. Because we get started pretty late, we usually work up until dinner time, but I wouldn’t trade those mornings for anything.
What’s in your handbag right now?
Always red lipstick, random essential oil blends, sunscreen, my phone and wallet.
Favorite quote/ saying?
“The best is yet to come” – Frank Sinatra
What could you not live without?
Water. That might seem obvious, but it’s so vital for us all to remember to drink more water.
Can you give a quote about that you think of Mother Muse?
Mother Muse is a place to slow down for a moment and be inspired by those who create beautiful products, people, and things.