Making Ripples with Cool Comfort

The textile industry is one of the world’s worst polluters. Chemical-laden wastewater from large-scale factories spews unchecked into the world’s rivers and lakes — doesn’t bode well for our planet’s supply of fresh drinking water.

Meanwhile, cheap, mass-produced textiles and home goods come in and out of our houses as fast as the seasons change. And while some of them may claim they’re ‘green,’ their manmade stuffings and chemically-treated trims end up collecting in our landfills just the same.

That’s why we run Fresh Water Textiles FROM THE SEED UP.

By keeping our hands in every process — from sourcing the highest quality, sustainable raw materials to producing our own line of home soft goods and packaging them in our Traverse City studio — we can help improve the quality of our world’s fresh water, reduce our impact on our landfills, and bring you inspiring, sustainable home goods we can all be proud of.

We’re a small-batch business with big-impact ideals.

When it comes to creating fun and classic sustainable soft goods for your home, we’ll never cut corners. As long as it carries the Fresh Water tag, you can breathe easy knowing it’s:

• Carefully curated from artisan fiber farms, weavers, and mills around the globe who have integrity in their process and choose to protect our planet’s freshwater sources — even if they have little access to it

• Based on the science of farming, natural resources & the health of our waterways

• 100% organic (with or without GOTS certification), OEKO-TEX & USA-made whenever possible

• Handcrafted with full transparency from seed to sale

Jennifer Vander Roest
The Face Behind the Seams

I’ve always been obsessed with fresh water. Nothing fills me up like a quiet paddle, dockside drinks, or playing at the beach with my 3 water-loving dogs. While my husband and I were busy raising our 3 teenage boys in northern Michigan’s freshwater wonderland — and in my work as a land & water scientist — I was always paying close attention to this great natural resource and how making slow, clean consumer choices could impact it. 

I saw people eating local and shopping sustainable for their body and bath products, but there was a disconnect when it came to the soft goods they were using at home. Meanwhile, my family’s extensive travels were bringing incredible adventures in color and texture. So, leaning on my background in Geography, Ecology & Limnology (the study of lakes & fresh water) and pairing it with a hobby of sewing and a love of tactile experiences, I started learning everything I could about sustainable textile manufacturing in scalable terms. And in 2015, Fresh Water Textiles was born.

Today, I’m proud to be filling this gap with sustainable home textiles that are as timeless and beautiful as they are durable and eco-friendly. And when I’m not designing the next collection — or working toward becoming a B Corp — you can usually find me planning our family’s next backcountry adventure or making the dehydrated backpacking meals to carry with us. (Yes, I really do that!)


We love making things and making things well. From plant to product, learn how we bring inspiration to life.

01 design

Every collection begins with Jen’s sketch pad and her natural dye books & Pantone color wheel. Using nature as her inspiration — and the current parameters of the specific farmer or mill — she layers colors, patterns, and textures for the most distinctive product designs.

02 Sourcing

We send our finalized designs to a trusted, vetted group of small farms, mills, and artisans around the world, who hand-dye and spin the purest natural fibers, then weave them into the durable fabric that comes back to our studio for production.

03 Patterning

Once we receive the yards and yards of beautiful, custom-woven fabric, it’s time to get to work. We carefully pattern and hand-cut every piece so that we can minimize our waste. (There’s a reason our napkins and kitchen towels are the size they are!) The bits we do have leftover are sold to quilters and other fiber artists, with all of the proceeds going to support the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed and other impactful, eco-focused nonprofits.

04 Sewing

We manufacture each one of our sustainable soft goods at our Traverse City studio. We’re proud to employ some of the best seamstresses in the area, who put their skills to work, handcrafting the stunning pieces you get to enjoy at home.

Crafting supplies
05 Packaging

After we’ve inspected the finished piece, we package it up in-house with 100% biodegradable materials. Our product tags are printed with plant-based dyes on recycled paper and then tied with US grown organic string. We haven't cut corners up to this point, so we're not going to start now!

We operate our business transparently and without compromise — and we make sure to have a good time doing it.


Bring Slow, Intentional Fashion to Your Home with Jen's Fun & Timeless Favorites

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