Day 113 / 365
I have a bad habit of leaving dudes out of the picture in these posts, when in reality, their clothing is just as pollutive as us ours.
Men buy less, so I feel like they make less of an impact and thus, most, are slightly less guilty of our consumption sins. My partner shops once or twice a year and mostly buys second-hand or vintage when he does. He wears his clothing into the ground. Anything he buys new is eco as he's on board with the mission and has a personal eco shopper (me) taboot. But when it came to a suit for his cousin's wedding, we bought badly.
I couldn't find any information on the exact environmental impact of the average suit, but just to give you some perspective, there's this:
The average suit weighs between 7oz and 19oz depending on the fabric, the average pair of jeans weights about 12oz - 16oz. Both are most often made of cotton. It takes around 1.5lbs of cotton to produce one pair of jeans, which needs 1,500 gallons of water to grow that cotton. If the cotton is not organic, it is treated with pesticides which means the 1,500 gallons of water needed to grow that cotten is then tainted with chemicals before it returns to the local fresh water supply and seeps in through the soil, tainting the environment for the flora, fauna, and humans who dwell there.
The cotton, once grown is processed in a factory into fabric. This usually takes more water and non-renewable energy. Then the fabric is then treated with dye, which on average uses another 10,000 litres (for 14 oz of cotton), all of which is polluted and converted into hazardous waste with chemical dyes.
Nearly 1 billion people do not have direct access to clean water and we're polluting 17-20% of that water with textile dyeing alone.
All that for one pair of jeans, which is the equivilent weight of one cotton suit. This example doesn't even consider manufactured fabrics like polyester and rayon which are considerably worse and can't return to the earth at the end of their lifecycle.
With all this in mind, when it comes to choosing a suit or any piece of clothing, especially when buying new, it is important to support businesses who have transparently shared the story of their production and are consciously producing and manufacturing their wares with the planet and her inhabitatnts in mind. To make these great brands a bit easier to find, I thought I'd round up a few who can get gents dressed in eco + ethical goodness, from handsome head to stinkin' toe.
ECO+ ETHICAL HOW? Gosh dang it I love Denmark. So much so I went through the trouble to learn the language when I was living in Ringkobing, despite the fact most people spoke perfect English anyway. KnowledgeCotton Apparel doesn't serve to disappoint my Danish delights, with stylish beautifully tailored apparel produced consciously with both ecological and ethical morals in mind.
WHERE TO BUY? http://knowledgecottonapparel.com/#/
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? Another exemplary brand creating consciously, Brave Gentleman focuses on using minimally impactful, vegan, recycled, organic and high-tech sustainable materials in their collections. They invest in sustainable innovation, superior vegan materials and ethical labor in their production following the slow fashion model of sustainable
WHERE TO BUY? https://www.bravegentleman.com/index.php/
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? Manufacturing unique hemp clothing, home, and footwear products in house, they grow, weave, knit and sew to ensure pure environmental sustainability. All their fibres are organically grown in the USA & Europe without pesticides. Each collection is hand-crafted through small-scale productions in the USA, Canada, and Europe and embellished with natural coconut, tagua nut, or seashell buttons.
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? I’ve never bought anyone a tie, but have recently become obsessed with these ones. They’re from Philadelphia based Sephen Loidoi and Shauna Alterio who met in a kissing booth at school and have worked together on a number of creative projects since, including Forage, for which they hand-craft limited edition bow ties and ties out of vintage and deadstock fabrics which they hunt for wherever they go. Each tie or bow tie has a secret message inside, inspired by an early 1900s autograph book they found in their foraging. Each item is made by hand in the U.S.A and packaged in hand-printed recycled materials.WHERE TO BUY? http://www.foragehaberdashery.com
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? Similar to Rent The Runway for females, you can rent stuff for dudes, from clothes to tux's on The Black Tux, meaning you gents can get your hands on whatever you need for as long as you need it, then put it right back where it came from. This reduces the need for clothing production and reduces the amount of clothing heading to the landfill. Plus, it gets you guys casually and impersonally into swapping goods the way girls do.
WHERE TO RENT? https://theblacktux.com
SECOND-HAND / VINTAGE
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? You're giving an item likely worn once or a few times a new lease of life in your wardobe. The serindipidous feeling that comes with finding a perfectly fitted piece of apparel from someone elses past is a little bit of magic that doesn't put a damper on anyone's life. Visit your local second-hand stores or vintage shops, or shop online on etsy and ebay.
WHERE TO BUY? Etsy / Ebay
sources: linked in