How is everyone’s summer going!? Too fast. This happens every year. But then again – this is so depressing – I feel like our summers are no where near as “hype” or fun as they were when we were kids. Remember the pool every single day? Waking up and watching tv for a few hours before truly moving to start the day? Take me back.
I noticed something in particular this summer around the city : the outfits. Every single girl here (I swear!) seems like they just have the best taste in clothing with zero effort. Shoutout to my friend Tess who is one of them! I go back and forth as to whether or not I’m the only one in the world who has a hard time picking out outfits to go out for a drink or to a beer garden. I feel like these days, I don’t have much to create a unique outfit. With my sustainability values, I really haven’t bought anything significant, in I mean, a while other than my shrimp jeans, haha!
As consumerism-centric as our country is, we have all, boy or girl, have had that feeling of being excited over something “new.” Growing up, we all gave fashion shows to our parents from our school shopping trips and slept with our new outfits on the sides of our beds for the first day of school. Even as a 25 year old, I wanted that feeling.
Five-ten years ago I wouldn’t have been able to find sustainable clothing companies that…
- I could actually afford
- Were easily accessible via internet search or walking down the streets of Manhattan
- Had clothing that I actually liked and could see myself wearing over and over again
Now? In 2019? There’s a handful and it’s only getting more and more exciting and more accessible to any average consumer. Or AKA me who does just want a new outfit to freshen things up!
I remember sitting and googling “sustainable fashion clothing” my senior year of college. There was only one that caught my eye: Reformation. Clicking around, my eyes bulging, I couldn’t help but think:
“Damn, how is anyone supposed to shop sustainably when it’s THIS expensive!?”
But here I am in 2019 – proud owner of a whopping three Reformation clothing pieces! I wish I could say that the prices went down. They didn’t. However the amount of money that I’ve spent over the last three years otherwise going to Forever 21s and H&M’s definitely would’ve added up to the amount I spent at Reformation. Also? These are TIMELESS pieces and I selected very carefully to ensure that I’ll wear them over and over again.
Reformation was kind of the first company that said “Hey, we’re doing things sustainably because that’s who our company is and what our number one value is.” Rather than the other ones who basically are saying, “Hey. We’re changing our clothing practices and doing recycling programs because we know consumers care about it and it will make our brand look better.”
Sustainability at the store level
- Their hangers made from 100% Recycled materials and “other earth friendly stuff” Typical hangers are made of plastic and have the lifespan of 3 months*
- They use Reusable totes as bags – sleek. Ones that you would actually use, nothing tacky.
Overall, they’re buildings are just straight up GREEN. Think: incorporating recycled fashion into their insulation, utilizing rammed earth as material (natural materials to build so that it will biodegrade) and also leverage LED fixtures for their stores. These types of LED lighting are 80% more efficient than traditional florescent lighting!
Sustainability at the sourcing level
According to Reformation, “less than 1% of material used to make clothing is recycled into new fabrics, which is equivalent to wasting a $100 billion worth of materials each year.”
They partner with a company called Osomtex to up-cycle their scraps to be put to other uses rather than tossed out. Osomtex typically leverages these scraps to produce yarn and wool.
- They’ve up-cycled 28,288 pounds of fabric scraps so far.
- This is equivalent to 643,835 lbs of CO2 and 2.85 Million gallons of water
How cool is that.
With regard to the impacts that they do make, last year alone, they…
“protected 1,000 acres of the Amazon Rainforest from deforestation, contributed 27 million gallons of freshwater to critically dewatered rivers and wetlands in California, and purchased landfill gas offsets. Kinda like Venmo, but for the Earth.”
Sustainability and their consumers
Okay this is where I get a little worked up. In a good way. Reformation does so much to help consumers fight their own impact in addition to their own as a company. They provide easy means to offset carbon footprints by offering “Climate Credits.” Let’s say you take an international flight or a domestic flight. If you’re like me, you feel guilty sometimes for the carbon footprint and you want to offset it but don’t know how: Reformation allows you to buy climate credits that will “offset” whatever respective impact you’ve made through their partnerships. It’s an investment in clean energy and carbon reducing projects around the globe. This is not a scam people, these impacts are BIG. They also have resources on their website to teach consumers how to wash smart. Some of these tips that I often don’t think about include:
- Hand-washing synthetics to avoid micro-plastics entering our waterways
- Instead of washing denim, try bagging and putting in the freezer for a day or two. Apparently this will kill bacteria and odors!?!?!
- Switch your laundry from hot water to cold – this can help prevent 500 lbs of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.
Closing Thoughts on Reformation
Alright. Here’s the thing. Is Reformation super expensive? Yes. Do I regret spending money on clothing from a company who has a dedicated business strategy around these practices? No. And here’s how I think of it – if we vote with our dollars – providing revenue from companies alike to Reformation – the H&M’s of the world are going to get serious about this stuff. The future fashion designers are going to have this set in stone as their own strategies knowing that consumers are paying for “sustainability.” Just my thoughts out loud!
It took me three years to buy something from this company until I was able to finally pull the trigger and afford to splurge on a few items. And I’m SOOO happy and proud of my purchase. I’m curious to hear what you think. Have you shopped at reformation or any other apparel company that has sustainability as its genuine business strategy and mission?
XO, The Sustennial