So you're looking to order shirts embroidered with your company logo – but you also know that generating 1 pound of textiles emits up to 7 pounds of CO2. So what's an environmentally conscious VP of marketing to do? You need to get these shirts made, but you want to be able to minimize your environmental impact at the same time.
Fortunately, you have some options. There are at least three different ways that company apparel can be eco-friendly. Garments can be made from: (1) organically grown fibers; (2) sustainably grown materials; or (3) recycled content. Consider these choices and you'll have your staff rocking earth-friendly company shirts in no time.
Organic Cotton: Organically grown cotton is among the most popular eco-friendly clothing options around. Conventional cotton crops account for 10-25% of the world's pesticide and insecticide use – that added up to 55 million pounds of pesicides in 2003 alone. By choosing to go with organically grown cotton, you can help reduce the amount of harmful pesticides used.
Beechwood (Modal) Fabric: Beechwood (also known as
modal) textiles are another great alternative to conventional fabrics.
Modal fabric is made from reconstituted beechwood cellulose and is
extremely durable, lasting several times longer than cotton, and also
resists shrinking. Since it comes from hardwood trees, there's much
less issue with the use of pesticides when compared to cotton
harvesting. Modal feels like very soft cotton, and it's considered a sustainable choice. However, there are only a few styles of corporate apparel made from modal fabric at the current time.
Bamboo Textiles: Bamboo textiles have been used for
thousands of years in China and Japan – it's soft, easy to dye,
hypoallergenic, and has natural antimicrobial properties. It's also
potentially the most sustainable textile crop – bamboo grows
quickly and densely, requires little to no irrigation, pesticides, or
fertilization, and as a woody tree, dense bamboo groves are ideal CO2
sinks. Modern bamboo fabrics are typically spun into a polyester, so if you like the feel and moisture-wicking properties of polyester, bamboo is a good choice.
Recycled Materials: Over 11 million tons of textiles are trashed each year. Textiles are recyclable, though, and those that do make it back into the system can be woven into new clothing. In fact, polyester from plastic bottles can also be reused as fabric. By taking advantage of these recycled materials, you can help save up to 700 gallons of water per shirt. Hanes "EcoSmart" line of traditionally styled polo shirts, tshirts, and sweatshirts have some recycled content. Garments made with 100% recycled content have been offered on the market in recent years, but demand was week, so manufacturers have dropped them from their lines. However, there are several brands & styles in addition to Hanes that offer garments with some recycled content.
EmbroidMe San Diego can source earth-friendly t-shirts, polo shirts, and sweatshirts for use as your company shirts. Whether you choose apparel that is organic, sustainable, or made with recycled content, you can sleep soundly knowing that not only do your shirts look great, but they were made from eco-friendly materials. Contact us today to order your sustainable company shirts.