For the past five years, Jo Wray has been creating eco-fashion and jewelry through her clothing line, Wild Flower Heart.
Wray’s grandmother taught her to sew when she was about 8 years old. She was a smaller kid who had to alter all of her clothes. When Wray was in high school, she made all of her clothes.
So when she was ready to retire from teaching, she looked online at other designers who made sustainable women’s clothing.
Although Wray did learn the rules of sewing, she doesn’t follow them. Wild Flower Heart is a sustainable clothing line that uses vintage items and materials to make runway ready fashion. What makes Wild Flower Heart eco-fashion different from conventional clothes is not the style, but the fabrics and vintage material used and the way it is manufactured. Wild Flower Heart is handmade, one-of-kind, art-to-wear. She uses texturizing, fringing, ruffles, pleats, painting, distressing, hand dip-dying, and other artistic techniques. Wray also created her own patterns.
Rosa Lynn Alford is a big fan of Wild Flower Heart Clothing line.
Paula Alford said she loves that Wray can take a discarded item (out of style or just not worn any longer) from the closet and “remake it into a very unique garment– one of a kind!”
“Recycling at its best and for one personality only– each garment having its own personality in other words,” Alford said. “The style is uniquely Jo Wray! Unlike purchasing something from a department store line. With Jo’s fashions, you will not see someone else wearing the same jacket or dress you have on! That’s pretty neat!! She is very talented!”
Wray uses eco textiles such as organic cotton or bamboo or vintage items. Wray says those fabrics are kinder to the environment as they are grown without pesticides and insecticides. Reused vintage materials help save the earth and water by keeping these vintage items out of the waste sites.
According to Wray, organic cotton is often known as the natural fiber and a fabric she uses quite often. She also uses upcycled materials such as wood, plastics or leftover fabrics to transform what would be “waste” into clothes.
“By using upcycled fabrics, Wild Flower Heart has a lesser impact on the environment,” Wray said.
“Each piece has its own story to tell. When wrapped in sophisticated, comfortable clothes, women experience life in positive ways,” Wray said. “The total Wild Flower Heart look appeals to women of all ages all-over the world who share a love for life, with an attention to detail. The Wild Flower Heart woman is cheerful, loves learning, and listens to her heart. She has a sense of well-being and respects other people and the earth.”
Her fashion line is available online www.wildflowerheartdesigns.com and at craft shows such as The Made in USA Show, the Made in Mississippi Show, Grit and Glow Bazaar, Eupora Christmas Market, Canton Flea Market, and The Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival.
Please feel free to contact Wray by phone at (662) 417-2651 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find her on Twitter @jostewartwray, on Instagram as jostewartwray, or on facebook as jostewartwray.
***MODELS ARE DANIELLE WHITFIELD AND CAROLINE ALFORD
See this story in the November 3, 2016 edition of The Winona Times.