“Sustainable” is far more than just a word — it’s an overarching concept and way of life that is stretching the limits, opening up new possibilities and challenging the status quo.
Just ask the folks at Mi Terro, a self-described green fashion start-up that created the “Limitless Milk Shirt,” the first shirt made from upcycled milk (a milk casein fabric) and micro-modal. Fully funded in less than two hours on Kickstarter, the young brand is already backed by investors from more than 25 countries worldwide. Robert Luo, chief executive officer of Mi Terro, told WWD, “The reason that we used upcycled milk to create a shirt came from a video about dairy waste in the U.S. that I watched on YouTube. As a self-avowed environmentalist, I was deeply troubled by how much milk is wasted every year globally.” Luo added, “Our milk fabric is three times softer than normal cotton. Because we are only using ‘unwanted’ milk, we aren’t wasting more water or land resources. Milk has 20 amino acids that are good for our body. It is also anti-microbial and temperature regulating. Our goal is to educate the public that we are overconsuming and wasting dairy products. This might sound ironic, but if one day we can’t find any more ‘unwanted’ milk, then that means we have done our job to stop dairy waste.”
And companies such as Supplycompass are helping brands and manufacturers choose sustainable materials, reduce waste and streamline efficiencies that keep supply chain costs down from conception to completion through its digital sourcing platform that “redefines” global supply chains. Led by founders Flora Davidson and Gus Bartholomew, the London-based brand launched their “design-to-delivery” concept in 2018 after spending two years living in India and meeting with 200 factories to gain an on-the-ground perspective on the ins and outs of the global supply chain. Supplycompass recently received $1.8 million in funding and has 30 factory partners located throughout India and Europe to date.
“Current sourcing methods aren’t fit for brands of the future; they’re off-line, inefficient and fragmented. Technology is needed for global supply chains to progress and become faster, more efficient and more sustainable. At SupplyCompass, we see the key to success lying in rethinking existing sourcing methods, with better collaboration, innovation and technology at the core,” Bartholomew explained.
Also of note is Cuyana — meaning “to love” in Quechua — a San Francisco-based lifestyle brand founded by Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah with the aim “to give women fewer, better choices” for their wardrobe. Cuyana is focused on creating sustainable closet staples, all handcrafted by artisans: Think of luxurious fabrications the likes of leather, silk, alpaca or cashmere centered on clean lines and other distinguishable features. The brand says they have a “foundation of fewer” — maybe less really is more.
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