So, why did we decide to go eco-friendly?
Well, when I first began my small business, I did it for my daughter. I wanted to build something and show her just how powerful and strong women are. I wanted to build this business on a foundation that empowered women and girls, and build a community of strong mothers. At the time, I didn't quite know which way that path would go, but I soon realized a few things about running this business that I didn't like. It actually made me second guess my work, and second guess what I was doing and how this would impact my daughters future.
What you may not know about 'the vinyl business', is the amount of waste that comes from making t-shirts. Just to give a quick breakdown of what vinyl printing looks like, vinyl printing begins by creating a design on a computer, which then gets sent to a die-cutting machine to get cut out. Vinyl comes in long rolls, on a plastic carrier sheet. Once cut, the maker removes the vinyl from the negative space of the design, which is wasted vinyl (plastic) that gets thrown out. Then, the maker takes this design and transfers it onto a shirt using a heat press. Once the design is pressed, the plastic carrier sheet that held the design is also waste. After making hundreds and hundreds of shirts, you can imagine that this waste plastic adds up, and had me second guessing everything I had started. How can I sit back and build this business, and continue to directly have a negative impact on our planet and my daughters future?
I made a commitment to begin to research ways that I could change my business model to become a more eco-friendly shop.
Here are the 6 ways in which we are lessening our environmental footprint:
1. Our Clothing: for all of our adult clothing, we source Bella+Canvas brand apparel. I truly stand behind the brand not only because of the quality of the clothing, and their promise to produce ethically made blank tees, but their commitment to reducing their environmental impact. They are committed to water reduction, and use 7x less water in their manufacturing process than the average clothing manufacturer, and filter their water to be recycled and used again. They are committed to energy reduction in their factories by harnessing solar power to run their sewing and cutting facilities. They are also almost virtually a zero-waste manufacturing company, by using every single piece of fabric they they cut, smaller bits of fabric being used to make baby bibs, and the rest of the fabric scraps are used for stuffing in upholstery. If you'd like to hear more, click here.
2. Packaging: We use brown/undyed and unbleached kraft paper bags for our pickup orders and at in-person markets. For shipped items, most of our items ship in compostable mailers that are biodegradable within 18 months to two years of being in a landfill.
3. Clothing tags & Business Cards: are made from 90% post-consumer recycled paper, and are uncoated. Our clothing tags are then tied by hand to each shirt using natural twine and a safety pin.
4. Screen printing: We screen print ALL of our regularly stocked adult apparel, reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills, using about 25x less plastic waste! We also use every last drop of ink, and when finished printing we scrape every little bit of leftover to be used for another screen print run.
5. Clean up: We only use drain-safe, biodegradable degreasers to clean our screens!
It is my commitment to research, source and use only the best products to build a sustainable and responsible business.