The Brand Story of Poppy California

woman posing with black wide brim hat in front of reservoir during the golden hour

What began as an epiphany...

Being born and raised in California on occupied Indigenous land, we traveled and explored the many landscapes California has to offer. From the high desert to the mystic redwoods, my California Indigenous ancestry connected me close to the land that I am from and inspired me to create a clothing and incense collection that strives for a “leave no trace” design philosophy while emphasizing creative self-expression. To me leave no trace means accessing your own consumption and consciously improving your own impact to achieve leaving no trace of yourself behind. This means always addressing the end uses to everything consumed and realizing it never ends or goes away - it will always end up somewhere or will become something else. 

Tri fold post board displaying the branding and design process for poppy california also known as the cosmic poppy

My spiritual journey connected me with my path, and in 2017 I was granted an academic scholarship to pursue a Fine Art’s degree in fashion. Poppy began as a school project and has been evolving ever since. Here, I focused on the three spheres of sustainability where I centered the ethos of my work on the environmental, economic and social issues in the fashion and retail industries. From this learning, the current retail climate was on the brink of a massive transition and I knew I was going to be a part of it.

Two women posing wearing poppy california clothing at burning man

A Silver Embroidered Jacket is Where it All Began…

It began with a silver embroidered jacket I salvaged from a thrift shop on Haight... The metallic embroidery was loosening, but I bought it anyway hoping to mend it before an upcoming dance party.

While at the party I received compliments on my outfit, but just past midnight it began to fall apart. The rhinestones I used to adorn my forehead sprinkled to the floor, fine glitter shed from clothes, along with plastic ribbon encasing my sequin wand. My best friend looked into my eyes and asked me a moving question, “But where does this all go even after we throw it away? Referring to the mess on the floor. What I realized was… it doesn’t. An issue with many decor elements adorning festival/party costumes is the poorly enforced rhinestones, sequins, loose glitter, and poorly fastened trims.

I was met with an epiphany as a wave of energy met my body inspiring me to create beautifully unique pieces without the use of micro-plastic extras. I have found this journey beyond challenging because sometimes we think our creativity and ability to stand out is lessened when not in flashy, light-catching pieces. This is simply not true. however, I am on a mission to source the highest quality, ethically sourced fabrics that are exceptionally unique and destined to stand out. We vow to never us glitter, rhinestones, faux fur, or any sequins on our fabrics. By testing each and every piece out on festival grounds months before its arrival we help to ensure it will not shed or fray leaving behind parts of your consumption knowingly or unknowingly. 

Ever since, I have been dedicated to creating a full line of festival/gathering apparel, and apothecary blends inspired by art nouveau, sacred formations found in nature, and ornate whimsical styles - thus, the birth of Poppy California.

-Sierra Dugas (Owner)

Read our Transparency Statements to find our more about our ethics 

Leave a comment