Friday, 2 December 2011

American (Sustainable) Apparel

America's probably not the first place you think of when you're looking for a company that deals in sustainable clothing. That's why it's such a delight to see the success of SustainU, an American apparel chain that uses completely recycled fabrics.
SustainU clothes are made from fabric produced from post-consumer plastic bottles, recycled cotton and post-industrial textile waste. They're printed and embellished of them with eco-friendly, PVC and phthalate-free ink. The clothes are kind to the environment, and kinda cool, too.
More than that, they're fighting to bring jobs back to the moribund American clothing manufacturing industry. Based in Morganstown, West Virginia, SustainU make their clothes exclusively in factories in North and South Carolina and Tennessee, helping families in some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the USA to restore some manner of pride. Thinking locally has other positive impacts. From start to finish, their products take less than a 200 mile radius of transport to create yarn, knit the fabric, and cut and sew the clothes. By cutting out cross-country travel (and indeed the intercontinental shipping that most big clothing companies take for granted) , SustainU are cutting their transport and fuel bills off at the knee.
SustainU's message is getting across, too. Chris Yura, the CEO of the company was recently cited as a Champion Of Change by the White House, and he was one of the business leaders invited to a recent forum concentrating on ways of getting American manufacturing back on it's feet. As they expand into the retail market, it'll be interesting to see how Chris carries the strong, positive message of his company into the more mainstream market.
SustainU are doing all the right things in all the right ways, and we at Pier 32 applaud them for their forward thinking and belief in the power of locally-sourced, globally minded clothing.

Lots more to read at the SustainU website. Go see.

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