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Kyle Smitley '07 Balances Law Books and Running Eco-Friendly Clothing Line

May 4, 2009

Kyle Smitley May 2009.jpgMay 4, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — "In addition to stressing over finals like most law students, 24-year-old Kyle Smitley, founder and owner of eco-friendly children's clothing line, barley & birch, is concerned about when her next shipment of clothing will be in," begins a Toledo Free Press feature on the 2007 DePauw graduate. "She was an environmental geoscience and philosophy major at DePauw University and is now a full-time University of Toledo law student. Smitley has been operating the business since 2007. All of the clothing is made in the United States using 100 percent certified organic cotton and water-based inks." (photo by Daniel Miller)

"Organic clothing is important because conventional cotton today uses 25 percent of the world's insecticides, seven of the 10 top ingredients having been noted by the Environmental Protection Agency as having carcinogenic properties," Smitley tells the newspaper.

The story points out, "Every facet of barley & birch is carbon neutral ... Socially, barley & birch donates 30 percent of its profits to organizations working to improve the environment and global barley & birch.jpgcommunity." Megan Lewis reports that, according to Smitley, "the brand is really starting to take off with recent celebrity support. Stars including Jessica Alba and Sheryl Crow have dressed their children in barley & birch."

Balancing a business with law school is tricky. "I do a lot of multi-tasking," says Smitley. "If I get a break from class, I am e-mailing on my iPhone while making a call on my regular cell phone. I try not to work during classes, but sometimes it’s impossible."

Read the complete story at the Free Press' Web site.

Kyle Smitley was the subject of this February article.

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