Our reflection on sustainability
You’d be hard pressed to find an apparel brand today that doesn’t mention “sustainability.” This increasing emphasis is crucial, but we’ve found that there is still confusion and uncertainty around what a truly sustainable apparel brand looks like.
Let’s break it down.There are two main factors that contribute to the apparel industry’s environmental and social impact:
- How clothing is produced
- The quantity of clothing made
How clothing is produced: A piece of clothing touches many hands and travels hundreds of miles before making its way into a closet – from growing the fiber, to spinning the yarn, to creating the fabric, to dying the fabric, to sewing the piece, to packing the order. The environmental and social impact of clothing is driven by decisions at every one of these stages. While brands are starting to integrate sustainability practices, many are only addressing and communicating actions against select stages (e.g., paying fair wages to seamstresses yet having no visibility into the working conditions at the farm, using organic cotton yet having no control over the chemicals used when dyeing the fabric). Ultimately, this creates a lack of transparency around the true environmental and social impact of a purchase.
To truly commit to sustainability, brands need to be responsible for providing transparency at every stage of the supply chain.
The quantity of clothing made: Focusing on ‘how clothing is produced’ is not enough. At the end of the day, every new piece of clothing consumes resources, no matter how it is made. Brands today operate business models that rely on rapidly increasing consumption, leading them to make more product than ever before. With a focus on more product, more often, there is little incentive for brands to think about the purpose behind each piece they create. How often will their consumer wear it? How long will it last? Instead, to get their consumer to endlessly buy more, brands flood the market with constant ‘newness’. Ultimately, this results in closets filled with clothing that consumers get rid of after only a few wears.
To truly commit to sustainability, brands need to be responsible for putting products in the market that consumers will love to wear year after year, not just a few times.
Our sustainability principles
Consumers and brands both play a part in the industry’s impact on our earth. As a brand, we want to make sure we are doing our part to help make it possible for you to do yours. While the industry’s knowledge of sustainability best practices will evolve over time, we’ve set three Sustainability Principles to guide our decisions from the start:
- We will operate a business model that addresses sustainability fully, focusing both on how our clothing is produced and on the quantity of clothing we make
- We will be transparent about our decisions across the entire supply chain for each piece we make, from the farm to your closet
- We will deliberately design each piece to maximize its longevity, through perfect fit, purposeful details, and pure traceability