2022 Environmental Impact
The most important reason we exist as a company is to support to young people in need. Through the sale of our products, we’ve been able to provide transitional employment opportunities to over 160 young people experiencing homelessness, give away 20,000+ pairs of socks, and donate $66,584 to non-profits supporting homeless youth.
This impact is only possible thanks to our amazing customers. However, all the good we’re doing is pointless if we’re causing harm in other areas of our business. We recognize that clothing companies can be environmentally damaging, so we’ve taken a number of steps to minimize our ecological footprint.
Small decisions can have an enormous impact. For example, by using recycled cotton in our products, in 2022 alone we were able to save 12.4 million gallons of water when compared to growing conventional cotton.
There are many aspects to our business model that go far beyond materials when it comes to environmental responsibility. From quality craftsmanship to how we care for our products, we are always trying to improve the way we take protect our planet.
As a clothing company, we need to be the first to admit that creating new products is environmentally harmful. We can use less-harmful materials or offset the negative impacts of the things we create, but the most effective thing we can do is to make less. When your socks are made to last, you replace them less often. Producing higher quality goods uses the same amount of material at first, but we can make less of them over time.
The impacts of your clothing don’t end with the production process. In fact, most of the energy, water, and other materials that go into your clothes come from cleaning them over the course of their useful life.
So what does that look like for products to be low maintenance? Don’t dry clean. Wash on cold. Tumble dry on low (if at all).
Dry cleaning can use harmful chemicals. It requires gas/electric to heat the water in your washing machine. Throwing your clothes in the dryer is energy intensive and shortens the lifespan of your favorite items. What do you think is filling your lint trap?
It matters where your products are made. Environmental regulations for factories vary drastically from country to country. By making our products in the USA, our manufacturers conform to more strict regulations than those in many of other countries where clothes are frequently made.
Transportation also contributes to your clothing’s footprint. It’s simple — it’s easier to get a pair of socks 1132 miles from our North Carolina knitting mill to our Minneapolis warehouse than it is to get them from Shanghai which is 6751 miles and an ocean away.
Materials matter. Using recycled materials limits the amount of resources used in the production process. Recycled cotton uses 99% less water than new cotton and diverts fabric waste from ending up in landfills. It doesn’t need to be dyed, and when blended with recycled polyester we’re able to eliminate the need to create new synthetic fibers for our products.
Occasionally, when recycled materials don’t allow us produce the highest quality of products, we opt for organically produced options. Conventionally grown cotton is extremely pesticide intensive. The use of certain chemicals can harm people, plants, and animals in the area surround cotton farms.
In our wool products, we use ethically sourced merino wool that conforms to a number of different environmental certification standards.
We could write a number of articles on the environmental impact of the materials in your clothing. Going forward, we hope to share more about our products, supply chain, and our ongoing efforts to source responsibly.
We’re constantly on the search for ways to run our entire business sustainably. In recent years, we’ve made the switch to using biodegradable and recycled shipping materials, transitioned to a remote-work friendly office, among other efforts to be more responsible.
It’s important to us that we make progress when it comes to limiting our environmental impact. We hope to roll out more improvements in the future. If you ever have feedback or suggestions on ways we can improve, please comment on this post or get in touch with us.
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