Sure, we say we’re sustainable as hell, but what does that really mean?
Lots of companies use green materials for the actual product but manage to fill their trash cans with plastic wrappers, office waste, and shipping materials from supplies received and products sent. It is easy to focus on the materials themselves, but we think it is important to go further and integrate a sustainable approach to all functional aspects of the company. We have worked hard to make everything about what we do sustainable as hell!
- The studio develops reuse strategies for our textile waste and most of it is processed and reused in-house.
- Styles are developed to utilize waste materials from our studio as well as others.
- As worldwide demand for our work grows, we are developing plans for production runs done in the city where the order originated. We encourage people to buy local when possible but we also need to explore the way ideas catch hold and set the world on fire. The way industrial processes grow, learn, and spread. The way innovation is sometimes in the simplest details, and learning and showing and doing can be one and the same. As we grow, we pledge to hold sustainability closer than profits, and the growing greens of the earth closer than folding greens in our pockets.
- Applied images are made with a beeswax resist, or cut out of reclaimed fabric and sewn on, and we avoid using petroleum-based silkscreening processes.
- As we explore textile techniques we always keep the emphasis on the natural and are currently exploring dye techniques. We offer shirts that are rust dyed using metal waste and vinegar, and are using naturally derived indigo as well. Sustainable as hell….and we’ve found the natural dyes use far less water than their chemical counterparts.
- [a note about production methodology & philosophy] There are many different kinds of recycling. We have considered making cut-and-sew garments from new fabric that is made using old materials. Manufacturing new raw materials from reclaimed trash is a great way to upcycle that trash, but those machines and factories still have an impact of their own.
- Reduced emissions are still emissions.
- We have focused on ways to reclaim and upcycle discarded textile products locally using labor instead of technology wherever possible. We see this as a tradeoff where we spend money on people, who sort and process the materials as they are, instead of on machinery to (for example) melt soda bottles down and weave them into cloth.
- Vintage garments are hand-sourced for quality and adherence to our style.
- Some garments are cut up and used as raw materials for new garments.
- Many of our product lines preserve all the original structure of the garments and use applique, dye, and other techniques to reconstruct their appearance and give them new life.
- Applique fabrics are salvaged industry waste or fabric cut from other garments.
- Laser- and hand-cut graphics allow us to apply imagery without the use of any chemicals or paints.
- Studio waste is used for accessories, costume pieces, or shredded and used as stuffing.
- Whenever possible, paper supplies used in design and production are salvaged or reclaimed instead of being purchased new.
Office & Operations
- We use recycled packaging to ship our goods to wholesale & custom clients.
- We make local sourcing and product delivery runs using bicycle couriers and reusable packaging.
- We have developed a marketing strategy based in live events, in-person promotion, word of mouth, and internet communication, for minimum paper waste. What printed marketing materials we do need to produce are soy ink on recycled paper, delivered by bicycle from a local print house.
- Documents and inventory are kept and distributed electronically to minimize paper waste. All customers, clients, employees, and partners are encouraged to store and view inventory and invoices electronically.
- All office & warehouse paper supplies and envelopes are reclaimed materials.
- Where possible, office and warehouse electronics and fixtures are reclaimed or built rather than purchased new.
- Sometimes we feed everybody pie.