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Talking Trash: Issue #1

A bi-weekly look at what’s going on in the worlds of recycling, apparel manufacturing, and sustainability from Thread’s Director of Impact, Kelsey Halling.

The fashion industry remains one of the most corrupt and polluting industries on the planet, but we’re committed to changing that with the most responsible fabric and beautiful products in the world.

This week:

  1. Understanding a problem is the first step to solving it.
  2. Do you know what’s in your clothes? And why you should care.
  3. News that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Hat Tip of the Week:

At Thread, we are proud of our transparent supply chain and we think all companies in the fashion industry should strive to be honest and transparent.

Here’s to Patagonia, who in collaboration with the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management released a report on microfiber pollution and the role that their own products, predominantly polyester fleece, play in this pollution. The report has been making the rounds in the sustainability space and served as the impetus for our debut “Monday Mailbag” Q&A.

Why this is important: 
We love seeing this level of transparency and honesty within the apparel industry. As our understanding of environmental and social impact changes, it’s important that we all are able to adjust course. This report also holds tremendous implications for Thread, as we explore recycled polyester fleece.

Facepalm of the Week:

Who makes your clothes? What is in your clothes? These are the questions that a transparent supply chain can answer, but unlike Thread, not all companies are open about their production process.

Greenpeace released their third annual Detox the Catwalk report, which tracks the commitment and progress (or lack thereof) of clothing brands in the reduction of hazardous chemicals by 2020. While some of the fast fashion giants including H&M and Inditex have been making progress, other brands such as Nike and Limited Brands are listed under “faux pas,” which in this case, is French for “full of toxic chemicals”.

Why this is important: 
Do you know what’s in your clothes? Beyond unknown toxins being in close contact with your largest organ (skin), the waste and pollution from textiles that don’t make it to your closet is astonishing.

Fabric production is literally giving people cancer. This report seems especially timely given that the Cradle to Cradle Institute released their Fashion Positive Materials Library this week –  a listing of yarns, fabrics, and hardware for brands and designers looking for responsible materials. (Editor’s note: Thread’s t shirt jersey is featured).

This certification proves that none of the materials, inputs, chemicals or additives used in Thread’s production process causes human or ecological harm.

Start Stockpiling Canned Food Because:

Climate change is happening and it is up to businesses to step up and reduce emissions. Join Thread and be the change we need to save the planet.

New York City could see thousands of heat deaths by 2080 if no steps are taken to reduce emissions.

Why this is important: 
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan

This isn’t theoretical. It’s not a threat that future generations will face long after we’re gone. We are talking about people dying in New York City in our lifetime, or our children’s lifetime because of climate change. It is real and it is something every one of us needs to address and take some responsibility for while we can still affect change.

I challenge you to take one action this weekend to lower your carbon footprint. We always have a choice.


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