Making ethical and sustainable clothes is at the foundation for everything we do. As we continue to learn and evolve, we think it's important to always share our current efforts and how they are making an impact. 

MATERIALS

We consider the cost of our clothes - not just the price tag - and assess the impact with every decision we make. The materials we use, and where they come from, matter. By selecting materials that consider the planet, people, longevity of wear and end of use, we are committed to a greener future that’s not only good for the earth but looks damn good on you too!

Organic Cotton
We choose to champion the 1% of globally produced cotton – organic. Grown without the use of toxic chemicals, organic cotton does not use pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides – protecting the health of farmers and the environment. This way of farming does not use GMO’s, is mostly rain fed, and conserves water and saves energy, while promoting soil health. When you choose to wear organic, your purchasing power can help grow the market, setting new Standards for farming practices that are healthy for all. 
 
Recycled Cotton
Recycled Cotton is exactly what it sounds like – post and pre-consumer cotton, upcycled into new cotton. It is made by breaking down reclaimed cotton fabric and scraps into fibers that are then spun into yarn to be used to make new fabric. Recycling cotton prevents unnecessary fabric waste from going into a landfill, and instead, gives it new life. Recycled cotton uses less energy and water than conventional cotton and emits less carbon into the atmosphere.

Power Couple
Did you know 20% of production fabric is thrown into the trash? A majority of this comes from the cutting process - that’s a lot of perfectly good fabric entering a landfill! We are not into that, so we use cotton fabric scraps from cutting waste (our recycled cotton...) and blend with certified organic cotton. Since making clothes, towels, sheets, and other textile goods will always be around, we believe this blend is a sustainable win-win! We are doing our part to reduce the 3.8 billion pounds of textile waste that enters a landfill each year by using recycled cotton and, by combining it with organic cotton, we are increasing the demand for more sustainable agriculture practices in the industry. 

Vegan
The Standard Stitch is committed to using only cruelty free materials made without the use of animal products.

Trims
Go ahead, call us materialistic… We take a holistic approach to our clothes, because even the smallest details have a big impact. Everything attached to our clothes – labels, swing tags, and drawcords – are made with only certified recycled or organic materials. Because afterlife is also important, our trims are printed with eco-friendly inks, and are fully biodegradable and recyclable.

PACKAGING

Nothing lasts forever, except plastic in a landfill… and most clothes are shipped in single use plastic bags. When thrown away, plastic takes years to disintegrate, only to break down into tiny particles that pollute our soil and water. Good news, there are better alternatives!

Our shipping mailer:
Since day one, we have committed to shipping our clothes using only sustainable materials. Our kraft mailers are made of 100% recycled content, are fully curbside recyclable, and naturally biodegrade. Because every bit counts, by using recycled mailers we help save trees, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy use and decrease water usage - when compared to non-recycled material mailers. 

Protective Bag
Inside a shipping mailer, clothes are protected by what is traditionally known as a “poly bag”. Most poly bags are made of single use plastics that are not recycled or recyclable. Because we are earth’s biggest fan, our protective bags are either compostable or recycled.

Recycled 
Let’s talk trash. Each year, millions of tons of plastic enter a landfill which takes hundreds of years to degrade. Unfortunately, less than 10% of plastics are recycled. We want to be a part of the solution – not the problem. Our bags are made of 100% recycled material from old plastic bottles  and are recyclable. Because the bags are considered thin film, curbside recycling is not the best place to dispose of your bag. Instead, thin film drop offs can be found at most grocery stores and hardware stores.

Compostable
Referred to as nature’s way of recycling organic waste, compostable bags will fully biodegrade and turn into rich compost – just like fruit peels! Under home and industrial compost conditions, our bags fully decompose, in only a few short months, leaving no harmful residues behind. 

Having trouble finding a spot to drop off your recycled or compostable protective bag? We got you! Send us an email at hello@thestandardstitch.com

WATER + TOXINS

The fashion industry is really thirsty - consuming a ton of H20 during the manufacturing process. It’s also recognized as the second largest global polluter of water, affecting access to safe drinking water for billions of people. As you can imagine, this is not only a problem for our health, but the environment and ecosystem too. Yikes! Beyond using organic cotton, which uses rainwater to grow, there are other ways we lower our water footprint while reducing pollution.
 

Non Toxic and Low Impact Dyes
Not about toxic relationships? Same here. There are literally thousands of chemicals used in manufacturing apparel. Gross. What’s worse, most of these chemicals are harmful to you, the environment, and the awesome people making your clothes. Because using these chemicals doesn’t seem to be good for anyone, we’ve kicked them to the curb and only use low impact and non-toxic dyes. 

But what does that really mean? Basically, low impact dyes do not contain heavy metals or toxic chemicals. They typically have a higher absorption rate and need less rinsing water – reducing wastewater and run-off.

Microplastics
Shedding isn’t just for FIDO, it’s for your clothes too. But your fur baby doesn’t impact the environment like synthetics do. Synthetic fabrics, like polyester, nylon, and acrylic (all forms of plastic) shed tiny pieces called “micro plastics” when washed. These pieces are too small to be filtered out by washing machines, so some of these particles end up in our waterways and oceans. While all fabrics shed, natural fabrics (think cotton) easily break down and biodegrade quickly, compared to synthetics. This means choosing natural fibers instead of synthetics is better for you and the environment. 
 
Spandex is also a synthetic fiber, and sadly there is no current alternative. A few of our styles have a small percentage of spandex, but far less than the industry average. We use Spandex to help maintain the shape of your clothes so they can last season after season; after-all, longevity is a key component of sustainability. As we continue to try to find solutions, without adding to the mess, we suggest gently hand washing your clothes in cold water. You can also use a GuppyFriend to capture microfibers when you hand or machine wash.

Check out the blog for an interview with GuppyFriend founders, Alexander Nolte and Oliver Spies - HERE. You can also purchase GuppyFriend through their website HERE

ETHICALLY MADE

Behind the scenes, there are a lot of hard-working people making our clothes. We believe they should be taken care of and we only partner with vendors and manufacturers who agree.

Localized Supply Chain
We operate through a localized supply chain based in Los Angeles, only miles from our main office. That means from fabric to finishing, our clothes only travel a few miles to be made – 10.3 to be exact. Because our clothes aren't made thousands of miles away, we have a unique opportunity to work alongside our vendors and manufacturers and support our local community.

Health, Safety, and Honest Wages
Treating people with respect, providing fair and livable wages, and maintaining a safe working environment are very important to us. We expect our partners to uphold all legal, social and ethical standards, and recognize our Vendor Code of Ethics as a minimum. Together we can evolve beyond the minimum and work toward a truly sustainable and ethically made supply chain. Learn about our Vendor Code of Ethics HERE.


Third Party Certifications
We work with vendors who provide third party certifications to ensure the materials we use are as sustainable and ethical as they claim to be. Here are some of the certifications we look for:

Organic Cotton Standard (OCS)
Provides the tracking and verification of organically grown content in a final product. The goal of OCS is to increase organic agriculture production. Learn more HERE

Global Recycled Standard (GRS)
A standard in verifying recycled content in products while ensuring social and environmental processing requirements and chemical restrictions are upheld. Learn more HERE

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
Recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textile supply chain while also requiring compliance with social criteria. Learn more HERE

Okeo-Tex
This global standard is an independent third-party certifier that evaluates the safety of textile products against harmful substances. Learn more HERE

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
A non-profit organization that sets standards to ensure that forestry is practiced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Learn more HERE

Bluesign
By taking a holistic approach, Bluesign is a system that works to ensure products are safe for the environment, workers, and customers through the supply chain. Learn more HERE

Traceability
Because making just one garment involves so many steps and a lot of moving parts, companies can lose track of where their materials are sourced and garments are actually made - let’s get lost in the moment, not in the supply chain!  The apparel industry is very complex and relies on multiple tiers of farmers, suppliers, mills, and manufacturers around the world. So, to get full visibility can be tricky, but we want to be able to answer “who made our clothes” at every level of the supply chain. So here is our progress so far: We have 100% traceability into our Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. We have mapped out 50% of Tier 3 and are working toward 100%. Once we get there, we will dive even deeper into the suppliers of our raw materials - like the actual farm that grows our organic cotton.  

CARBON FOOTPRINT

Since day one, we’ve been committed to making the highest quality clothes with the lowest environmental impact for every body. But, here’s the stitch… Every time something is made – even our clothes – it will have an impact. Although we are proud of our localized supply chain and the materials we use to reduce our footprint, there is still more we can do. Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Carbon Offsets
We partnered with Native Energy to counteract our net emissions. By purchasing carbon offsets, we reduce the carbon emissions required to make our clothes by investing in projects that reduce global emissions. Because carbon emissions are a global crisis, not just a local problem, supporting communities around the world can make an impact for all of us. Learn more about Native Energy HERE.

Our Offset Program
To offset our carbon emissions, we are contributing to the Medford Spring Grassland Conservation Project. Grasslands store one-third of the Earth’s carbon, and just one acre of grassland can store an estimated 50 tonnes of carbon. When grasslands are converted, there is a potential of releasing 50 - 70% of the carbon they hold as carbon dioxide. The Conservation Project protects grasslands in Colorado from conversion to prevent an estimated 190,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere over the next 50 years. Learn more HERE.

Happy Trails
Because patience pays off for our planet, we don't participate in expedited shipping.  Rushed shipping methods add unnecessary CO2 emissions…

Wash Clean
Did you know the environmental impact of apparel continues after purchase? Yep, a large amount of carbon emissions is produced from how we care for our clothes. Here are some tips on how you can reduce your impact and keep your clothes lasting longer: WASH CLEAN

CIRCULARITY

They say all good things come to an end, but should they? We like to keep the party going, especially with our clothes. 

Life Cycle Assessment 
Today, most clothing is made on a linear model, which basically means clothing has a start and an end. Often, the end of a garment's life is in a landfill or incinerator. Sad. We believe the life cycle of a garment should be circular, and the clothes we make today should be recycled into new resources. We follow a six step life cycle assessment (LCA) as the base for every decision we make when producing our clothes:
Intentional Design
Let’s take it slow… Recognized for short lived and cheaply made apparel, fast fashion has a pretty bad rap for its social and environmental impacts. Sourcing, designing, and manufacturing clothes that consider the environment, people, longevity of wear, and recyclability is how we roll. By creating timeless silhouettes and season-less styles with versatility, we are into something long term. 

Until We Meet Again
Currently we are using biodegradable, compostable, recycled, and recyclable materials to avoid waste - but what about our own waste? So glad you asked… Although there are many ways we reduce the percentage of cutting waste before and during production, cutting scraps are inevitable. But where one sees trash, we see treasure. We collect and store our own cutting scraps until enough material is available to break down and make into new fabric - just like our own upcycled materials! 

Closing The Loop

What a waste! – says no one here… One day, a long time from now, your favorite tee from The Standard Stitch will have seen better days. First of all, great job on wearing the heck out of it. But also, don’t be sad when it’s time to move on – we’ve got a solution that will not only revive your wardrobe but help the planet too…

Introducing Re-Stitch! Send us The Standard Stitch clothes you loved and we’ll recycle them into new material. As a thanks, we’ll send you a $15 credit for every item you donate. Let’s get started…  

MEASURING OUR IMPACT

Together, with our partners, we have calculated the average impact of each garment and its sustainability compared to the apparel industry's conventional materials and manufacturing practices. Since The Standard Stitch was launched, here is what we’ve accomplished (so far)…

DIVERSITY + EQUALITY + INCLUSION

The Standard Stitch was founded on the belief that the fashion industry needs a shakeup – and that is exactly what we intend to do. Creating clothes that consider the planet and people from the start. We are proud to offer ALL styles and ALL colors in a size inclusive range from XS to 5X, and we continue to welcome feedback on how we can make our clothes available for every size and shape.

But, we believe the true meaning of inclusivity is far beyond the letter or number on your clothes. The Standard Stitch is committed to embracing the diversity in our world and creating a space where everyone feels welcomed and represented.

Advocate Program

We understand real change occurs when we work together. As we look ahead, we are excited to launch our Advocate Program in late 2022. By creating a healthy space that encourages education and inclusion, we aim to build a community that empowers others and ourselves.

To learn more about our Advocate Program, please email us at hello@thestandardstitch.com
 
Working at The Standard Stitch
At The Standard Stitch, we are a team. We understand the success of a team only happens when we work together. Treating people and our planet with respect and dignity is the foundation of our community. We value diversity and are committed to a healthy, supportive, and inclusive work environment where we all have the opportunity to reach our fullest potential, feel valued, and be our authentic selves.     

COVID19

We value the health and safety of the people behind our clothes. We want to make sure the proper measures are always put in place so everyone feels safe and comfortable. As things change daily, we continue to monitor and adhere to all state and local CDC guidelines and are committed to evolve our health and safety practices.

Have questions or just want to say hey?!
Email us at hello@thestandardstitch.com