Many of today’s end-users are looking beyond the quality of the products you sell. In fact, consumers are more inclined to purchase a garment if they know it didn’t harm the environment. Sustainable features are great selling points, especially when you’re trying to differentiate items that are similar in nature. Know which brands operate sustainably and understand the scope of their sustainable practices to gain a competitive edge. Start by referring to our guide below. We’ve highlighted apparel brands that are committed to environmentalism and the different ways they work to minimize harm. Read through our list to identify brands that align with your values and your customers’ values:
Conscious is in the name for a reason. econscious creates products using carefully sourced organic and sustainable fibers. The brand has established a market-based approach to sustainable manufacturing, working closely with its supply chain to eliminate the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and other harmful chemicals.
Environmentalism is in Alternative Apparel’s DNA. This brand provides consumers with stylish alternatives to fast fashion. Focused on global, social and environmental responsibility, Alternative Apparel crafts its garments with sustainable materials and processes. Those processes include organic and recycled materials, low-impact dyes, and water-conserving washes.
Threadfast shows that it is committed to making an environmentally-friendly choice by supporting The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). BCI aims to improve the global cotton system by training farmers across the globe on more sustainable farming practices. Threadfast also offers several sustainable apparel options, including their Ultimate collection. These garments are made using recycled materials like plastic bottles and recycled polyester. Compared to virgin fiber, recycled poly uses less petroleum, emits fewer greenhouse gases and conserves water and energy, making a big difference for our future.
Bella + Canvas
One of Bella + Canvas’ mottos is “Earth First. Always.” It has demonstrated a commitment to reducing environmental harm by lowering its water and energy consumption. The company also produces virtually zero waste since it recycles pretty much everything that can’t be turned into a t-shirt. Bella + Canvas optimizes its cutting to reduce plastic use, and extra fabric is recycled into a number of items like baby bibs and stuffing for upholstery.
Sustainability is woven into nearly every part of American Apparel’s operations. The company controls almost every step in their supply chain, from yarn spinning to distribution. This direct control from raw materials to finished products allows the company to ensure that responsible and sustainable practices are deployed.
US Blanks prides itself on its domestic operations. It contributes to less carbon emission and controls more of the supply chain by sourcing and manufacturing in the United States. Its stocks dozens of fabrics in its textile warehouse and is constantly innovating and searching for sustainable options to sit alongside classic cotton and cotton blend fabric.
As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of apparel, Gildan is committed to developing and implementing innovative solutions that reduce its environmental footprint. Gildan invests in innovative energy initiatives to minimize its energy consumption. Those initiatives allowed the company to generate 40 percent of its total energy needs through renewable sources in 2018.
Next Level is known for its incredibly soft ring-spun cotton fabrics. The apparel business ensures that its manufacturers comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations. Beyond that, the brand offers t-shirts that are made of a variety of recycled materials like cotton, polyester, and even water bottles.
Sports company PUMA has sharply increased its target for more sustainable materials such as cotton and polyester. Following a previous target of 50 percent, PUMA now aims for 90 percent of all cotton and polyester used in its products to come from more sustainable sources by 2020. PUMA stands apart because the company’s strategy focuses on creating a substantial positive environmental impact throughout its product range.
Part of Marmot’s company philosophy is aimed at producing environmentally friendly products and fostering global ecological awareness. Marmot strives to minimize the impact it has on the environment whenever possible. EnviroFree is a Marmot initiative aimed at reducing chemical applications in the manufacturing process while maintaining or improving the quality and performance of the raw materials and overall product.
Hanes is committed to the responsible management of energy, carbon emissions, water, wastewater, chemicals, solid waste and recycled materials in all of our facilities worldwide. It also leverages energy from renewable sources like biomass, hydro and geothermal.
Columbia invests in initiatives that have a positive impact on the places it touches. The clothing brand implements initiatives that include adopting green chemistry, improving water sustainability, and powering businesses and products with clean energy.
As skiers and outdoor enthusiasts, the Spyder team takes environmental issues very seriously. The company is working on several initiatives that include removing chemical coatings, using more recycled materials in their products, and incorporating more organic materials in their garments.
Laurie is part of the marketing team for the leading supplier in the industry, alphabroder. During her free time, Laurie likes to ride horses, sail and spend time with her husband and her two children. Reach her at Lprestine@alphabroder.com
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