3-resolutions

3 Easy New Years Resolutions to Improve Your Impact on the Earth

By Janine Kick

3 Easy New Years Resolutions to Improve Your Impact

 

The New Year is in full swing and, if you’re like most people, you’ve made at least one New Year’s resolution. But it’s not too late to add another one, or in this case, three — especially when they’re easy and better the world around you.

We’ve covered plenty of ways to go green in the past. Here’s your chance to make a change and make it last!

Easy Resolution #1: Resolve to Recycle

Resolve to Recycle

Reduce the amount of waste you produce by purchasing products in returnable or recyclable containers, and then recycle them.

If you’ve ever told yourself that one little bottle or can that lands in your garbage can instead of the recycle bin can’t possibly be all that bad, consider this: According to the Oro Loma Sanitary District, a wastewater collection facility that provides recycling services in the San Francisco Bay area, the amount of energy you save by recycling one aluminum can is enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours.

That’s three episodes of The Voice, or six episodes of Big Bang Theory. That’s a lot of saved energy just for tossing one can.

If saving all that energy isn’t enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy, here’s something that might: Recycling costs you absolutely NOTHING.

Nada. Zilch. Zero.

Many communities provide designated bins for recyclables, but if yours doesn’t, create your own recycling bin, fill it with newspaper, plastic, aluminum and other recyclables, and then take your homemade recycling bin to the nearest recycling center.

Don’t know what materials can be recycled in your community or where to take your materials to be recycled? Look in your phonebook under “recycling” or contact your city or county government office (usually called the Department of Sanitation or Department of Public Works). A good online source is Earth911.com, where you can type in your ZIP code or state to locate recycling centers near you.

Easy Resolution #2: Don’t Buy Bottled Water

Stop contributing to the nation’s landfills. Save money and the earth by not buying bottled water.

“Roughly 50 billion plastic water bottles end up in U.S. landfills each year —that’s 140 million every day!” says Bank2Tap.com, an informational website that helps communities reduce plastic waste. “That’s enough, laid end to end, to reach from New Jersey to China and back each day.”

If you must choose plastic, select bottles and other plastic containers that have a 1, 2, 5, or 6 on the bottom. These plastics are accepted by most curbside recycling programs.

Easy Resolution #3: Give Up Plastic (and Paper) Bags

Use reusable shopping bags at the grocery.

A reusable bag will put you back about a $1. Ask yourself, when was the last time you bought anything for a buck that made such a difference? Many stores offer discounts for shoppers who use their own bags (and that’s savings in your pocket!).

Keep a few reusable bags in your car for your next shopping trip. If you happen to forget, choose paper in the checkout lane. It recycles much more easily than plastic!

Making resolutions and sticking with them all year isn’t hard, not when you know you’re creating a positive impact on the Earth. What earth-saving resolutions have you made? Share them with us!

Using Recycled Fibers to Create Green Fabrics

Using Recycled Fibers to Create Green Fabrics

By Kaela Santos

Using Recycled Fibers to Create Green Fabrics

 

Have you ever wondered what is behind the label of eco-friendly apparel? Just what exactly is the process and how is it good for our environment? How does Repair the World® make our green apparel? We will delve into the process so you can be informed! Our process uses 100% recycled materials! Repair the World® sustainable clothing utilizes two major raw materials: recycled colored cotton and recycled polyester.

Our recycled polyester comes from post consumer plastic bottles that are cleaned, chipped, melted and then extruded into new fiber. Our recycled colored cotton process uses pre-sorted colored cotton scrap and textile waste collected from cutting rooms and textile manufacturing facilities. Clothing cut from patterns then discards 15-20% of this raw material fabric. Other raw material that would otherwise be discarded comes from the textile supply chain, such as in spinning, weaving and knitting. What we do is sort this material by color and put it into bales…this becomes our "cotton field," without the need for land, cultivation, chemicals, irrigation and new dyes! Click here to find out more about How We Make It. We mulch the cotton scraps and intimately blend them together with the recycled polyester fiber to produce our yarn. Our green apparel made from this process is incredibly soft, comfortable and durable!

Our sustainable clothing not only saves vital resources, but also avoids using new ones. We can create great eco-friendly apparel for you in a spectrum of textured colors. Our lifestyle green apparel provides the perfect staples for your daily wardrobe. Our t-shirts give you that classic look, but allow you to stay green. It is so important in our world to utilize what we have to conserve and preserve energy and irreplaceable resources. You should feel proud to be participating in this worldwide effort to repair the world, because we sure are!

Eco-friendly apparel can make a huge difference in the industry. Not only having an impact on ecological conservation for our world, but also spreading the word about what people can do to contribute. Sustainable clothing needs to be more than a trend or fashion statement. It is about more than that. We not only recycle resources, but Repair the World® also gives back through our partnerships with Friendship Bridge and Miracles in Action. Join us and spread the word, contribute, and take part in the green apparel brigade. Comment below and tell us how eco-friendly apparel impacts your life!

Recycled Fibers - Variety of Colors

A great variety of colors are made without the use of new dye and chemicals.


Recycled Fibers - Intimate Blend of Raw Materials

The intimate blend of our raw materials.


Recycled Fibers - Bales of Polyester and Cotton

Alternating bales of recycled polyester (white color) and recycled cotton (pink color).


Recycled Fibers - The Finished Product

The finished product, from us to you!


How We Make It

Best Practices in Sourcing Green Clothing

Best Practices in Sourcing Green Clothing

By Janine Kick

Best Practices in Sourcing Green Clothing

 

Manufacturing processes in and outside the U.S. have large environmental impacts, as well as health impacts for the people residing in near by communities. At Repair the World®, we aim to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, and we encourage our consumers to also take the green initiative. That’s why we want you all to learn about the best practices in sourcing green clothing.

Alternatives to Organic Cotton - Recycled Fibers

Our raw materials – cotton scraps are recovered, color sorted and bagged to become our cotton field

Raw Materials
The choice of raw materials for clothing has large impacts on the environment. The fabric used at the design table strongly influences the environmental impacts of a garment over its lifetime. Animal-based fibers, such as cashmere, can have severe impacts on the environment where the animals are raised. Synthetic fibers are often made from petro-chemicals that require a lot of energy to produce, but sometimes can be recycled. At Repair the World® our products are made from two major raw material components, recycled colored cotton and recycled polyester. This allows our waste to be cut down significantly. Fabric choice also drives consumer care requirements, which themselves have large water, energy, and toxic chemical impacts. You can see exactly how different organic fibers effect the environment here.

Manufacturing
Textile dyeing and finishing mills are particularly high-volume, high-impact producers of water pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. This is why Repair the World® products are not dyed but receive their color from recycled cotton that has been previously dyed. Textile manufacturing has a huge environmental footprint polluting as much as 200 tons of water per ton of fabric with a suite of harmful chemicals, and consuming tremendous amounts of energy for steam and hot water. The Natural Resources Defense Council has designed a guide that can help save approximately 25 percent of water and 30 percent of fuel with initiatives that will pay for themselves within eight months.

Sourcing Green Clothing - Transportation

The town where Repair the World® clothing is made

Transportation
The apparel industry is a global enterprise, where raw materials, manufacturers, and retailers are routinely on opposite sides of the globe. Each mode of transportation sends different levels of pollution into the environment and affects different populations and ecosystems around the world. There are many choices a retailer can make to decrease the impact of global transport and to help protect public heath. The three main things to keep in mind 1) avoid air transport whenever possible, 2) pick the type of ship wisely, and 3) consider the route. You can learn why the transportation practice you use is so important and the effects each has on the environment here.

Consumer Care
Once purchased, the way the consumer cleans and cares for garments can have a surprisingly large impact on water and energy use. Clothes that are often washed or dry-cleaned often make their biggest environmental impact once they leave the store. Washing in cold water like Repair the World® suggests for all of their products and minimizing dry-cleaning can reduce impacts substantially.

What do you think? Are there other important practices in sourcing green clothing we forgot? Share your thoughts below!

endofyear

Our Impact in 2012 – Thank You for Making it Possible

By Lukas Snelling

It has been an incredible year for Repair the World®. This year we launched our sustainable fashion brand lur® apparel, expanded our availability to nearly 150 stores in 32 states and grew our business. More importantly though, we worked to create a positive impact on the environment, the communities we work in, and the non-profit partners whom we support.

All of our products were made sustainably from 100% recycled materials. Our Reparel™ brand fabric blends recycled cotton and recycled polyester to create an incredibly soft and comfortable material. We estimate this unique process saves about 160 gallons of water per item from entering the waste stream. That means this year by buying our eco-friendly apparel, our customers have helped save over 1.9 million gallons of water.

We also provided support to two non-profits that work to bring greater prosperity to the communities where we manufacture our products.

This year, our contributions to Miracles in Action will help 45 students (women and youth) receive training at Guatemala’s Santa Cruz Vocational Center. Our contributions to Friendship Bridge during the year were converted into ten micro-loans to help women in Guatemala start small businesses. With our customers help, we’ve directly improved the lives of 55 women and their families in Guatemala. This support also serves to increase the overall tide of prosperity in the country.

We did this while paying fair wages and only working with partners that met our strict code of conduct. While we are excited about the impact we have had this year, we continue to be mindful of opportunities to improve as well.

One thing is clear: we couldn’t have done any of this without our customers. We appreciate your effort to find and purchase eco-friendly clothing. Your support allows us to continue our mission and grow our impact. We’re looking forward to doing even more in 2013.

tistheseason

Tis the Season: How to Give Back During the Holidays

By Janine Kick

 

Thanksgiving has come and gone and all the year-end holidays are quickly approaching. Although our lives are becoming busier and busier it’s still important for us to remember to take time to give back. During the holidays there are plenty of ways to help those around us but here are some of our favorites.

Every year in my family on Christmas Eve we’re allowed to open one present and it’s always a new pair of Christmas pajamas. Although I’m lucky enough to receive my own pajamas each year there are many people out there that aren’t as fortunate. The Pajama Program has been around since 2001 and the program has given out more than a million pairs of warm pajamas and nurturing books to children in need. Donating a pair of pajamas to the organization at a local chapter can help children stay warm during the winter season.

According to water.org more than one billion people around the world do not have access to clean water. Donating a mere $25 to the organization can bring clean water to one person for the rest of his or her life. Every little bit helps and what better time than during the holidays.

Aside from donating money or clothes there are many other simple things you can do. Pick up the phone, call a friend or family member, someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile and catch up. Share a box of holiday cookies with a neighbor. If you’re living in a neighborhood where there are some elderly people offer to help with some of their yard work. These small things can really make you feel better about yourself and make a difference in someone else’s holiday!

Several companies, like Repair the World®, give a portion of their proceeds to non-profit organizations. At Repair the World® with every purchase you make a portion of the proceeds goes towards Friendship Bridge and Miracles in Action. This holiday season make conscious purchases from companies that are giving back to more than themselves.

These are only a few ways you can give back but what is important to remember is that even the smallest things can go a long way and make a big difference. Whether you’re donating clothes, money, or your time, it all counts and makes the holiday happier and brighter for all that are involved. From everyone at Repair the World®, we wish you the happiest of holidays!

Thoughts, Comments, Observations for Sustainability