What does sustainability mean to your brand?
When I first started, I had a simple definition for this. Sustainable meant that the piece of clothing would not harm the environment. But over time, I’ve found that the answer to what is sustainable is actually quite complicated. After endlessly searching for sustainable suppliers and fabrics, I learned that aspects of sustainability stretch all the way from the seed, to the factory, to the longevity and re-usability, to the sustainability of the lives of the people making it. I have landed on our definition of sustainability to be pieces that make an honest effort to make a change. I have not yet found a “perfect” supply chain, but I do believe that the suppliers we use do their best to make a difference. And I hope that together we’re all making things a tiny bit better each day.
We specifically use recycled plastic, because I believe that recycling will continue to be very important as long as plastic bottles continue to be consumed as a mainstream product. I also believe that organic cotton should be used rather than cotton. I like bamboo, because the fabric is so soft, and it grows naturally and quickly. My suppliers have taught me to also question the way a factory operates, how they use and reuse their water, what type of dyes they use, etc.
What is the legacy your brand would like to impart on our planet?
The legacy we would like to start (and will hopefully continue to grow for many years into the future beyond us) is that tiny changes made to everyday life really add up to make a difference. We believe that slowly becoming more conscious of how our daily decisions impact animals, and the earth, allows us to work together to transition what is happening on this planet. As adults make decisions in something like what clothes they will wear each day, they set an example for the children around them. Being conscious about this example then inspires children to grow with this same compassion toward animals and the earth. We think this grassroots, one individual at a time, one day at a time mentality truly has the ability to change the world.
What is your brand doing to track its carbon footprint and offset greenhouse gases
I make every decision in my business very diligently to be as environmentally conscious as it possibly can. This runs the gamut from our clothing suppliers, to the eco-friendly ink and printing supplies we use, Etsy, who offsets carbon footprint in shipping, our paper print supplier who uses eco-conscious printing practices, our label supplier, who uses organic cotton, and my website hosting company, which is specifically focused on eco-conscious hosting. We donate $5 for every item we sell to a nonprofit animal welfare group, so our specific focus in offsetting what is happening in the world is by sending money to help animals who are struggling to survive. I do think it would be nice to look into our exact calculation and offset it with a group like The Nature Conservancy, or something similar.
What is your brand's stance on animal welfare?
Our brand is rooted in animal welfare. We believe that each soul on earth is an individual, unique, with something to bring, whether that be a human, or an animal. All should be treated with love and compassion. We started in the clothing business because we think that every time a person, adult or child, wears a piece of clothing with an animal printed on it, it offers the chance to spark conversation. (A much better conversation than if the piece of clothing were made from that animal!)
What sort of packaging is used for the items?
Unfortunately we use plastic poly bags right now to send our products because they are lightweight and keep clothing dry. I just learned however, about Better Packaging Co. They sell lightweight poly bags like we use, but they’re biodegradable. When our current supply runs out, I’m planning to change to their product.
Does your company partner with ethical factories?
Yes, we use two United States based companies for our manufacturing. I believe that they both work hard to be both ethical and sustainable. One company makes everything in a factory in New York. They share a lot of details about their factory processes, what they stand for, and personal bios of the employees. Our second manufacturer does some of their production in the United States, and some outside. But, they actively share their factories as part of The Fashion Revolution campaign and share pictures of people working, statistics about their sustainable practices, etc.
How are the factory conditions communicated to the company?
I’ve asked for the information. When choosing my suppliers I did a lot of digging, by all definitions, I pretty much fell down a rabbit hole! I chased down blank clothing suppliers, fabric suppliers and factory locations, and asked a lot of questions. Both of our suppliers have videos or photos that they share about their business. One has a Youtube channel that shows the inside of their factory. They also send emails introducing you to the employees. I feel this group is very reliable because they are wholly located in the USA and talk often about their small business and the people in it. For the other supplier, my sales rep looked up where each piece I sell is made for me, and shared a webpage that shows photos of factories and employees. That’s how I learned that they are passionate about The Fashion Revolution and ethical working conditions too.
Show Some Love
For Animals. For Earth. is a great example how one person with a passion can make a huge change. Brandy is transparent about her sourcing, materials, and production while giving back to animal organization around the world. It’s the best example of how one person can learn more about something they are passionate about to change the lives of thousands. And for all you animal lovers out there, it’s the perfect place to get a new shirt that fits perfect, pants that will last you forever, or a zip-up to lounge in. After our discussion with Brandy, we hope that everyone can support a cause they are passionate about.