Can an Eco Friendly Company Be Truly Friendly to the Environment?
It is one of the most difficult balancing acts ever attempted. Can a truly Eco-Friendly company be profitable, not use slave labor and still not strip away excessive, essential resources from the environment? This has been a conundrum that has bothered many eco-friendly businesses, such as Patagonia. Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, is a lover of the outdoors and a true friend of the earth. At one point, Choiunard, in running his company, had realized that he had a billion-dollar company with thousands of employees while manufacturing clothing (which has no small environmental cost – with manufacturing and shipping – just one jacket requires 135 liters of water and 20 pounds of carbon dioxide) for people that may not even need his product. To deal with this, Patagonia did several things. One, it had placed an “Earth Tax” of one per cent of their sales. Second, Patagonia became the first company to monitor its mills from human trafficking – Doug Freeman, CEO of Patagonia estimated that in order to manufacture responsibly, it cost an additional 20-30% to the cost of production. Third, Patagonia helped launch the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a consortium of big retailers (Walmart, Macy’s and The Gap) to devise a system to give a “sustainability grade” to every purchasable product. (Summarized from “Annals of Retail Wild Man” from The New Yorker, September 19,2016 PP 61-73 written by Nick Paumgarten).
So, it is possible to be Eco Friendly, but there have to be some compromises along the way. The company can not be only about the profits. If you decide to take your manufacturing overseas, it may be difficult to not engage in human trafficking (slave labor). To avoid human trafficking, it requires a lot more vigilence to oversee production. The other compromise, is that it would be very difficult to be a multi-national, mass producer of clothing or products. Any significant “mass”amounts means creating a lot of stress on the planet, resources, shipping, etc. and it would create a lot of waste – all of which are the opposite of eco-friendly.
There are several Eco Friendly Clothing manufacturers and stores in the USA. This highlighted company is from Golden Valley, Minnesota and has been in business since 1999. The company is called Soul Flower Clothing.
Our philosophy at Soul Flower is simple: Be Kind, Be Soulful, and Be Yourself. Our passion is creating eco-friendly, comfort-focused fashions that reflect your spirit and respect mother earth.
we stick to our values
Whether it’s organic cotton, recycled fibers, low-impact dyes, made in the USA or fair trade, we carry products that are made in a positive way and that we can be proud of supporting.
we do it for you
We seriously pride ourselves in having the best customer service around! From silly notes on packing slips to exchanging sizes for you, our buds always put our customers first.
we know online shopping
We strive to make your online shopping experience just as good (if not better!) than shopping in-store. That’s why the Soul Flower family is always working towards improving upon and getting a little creative with the website.
we learn as we go
We don’t know all the answers, and that’s what makes it fun! We’re constantly learning and growing and looking for ways to do things better.
we go all in
Our employees boldly live the Soul Flower lifestyle. We love good music, living green lives, and keeping great company. This is one group who never turns down a happy hour with coworkers or tackling a last-minute “we-need-to-do-this” idea.
we love our work culture
From green practices at the office (eco-friendly shipping materials, recycling everything we can, etc), to loading dock BBQ’s, the Soul Flower offices are always a fun place to be.
Thanks to Margeaux for pointing out the New Yorker article on Patagonia.