Earth Day Meets Ascots
Posted on 22 April 2013
“Green” is a difficult word. It’s evocative and powerful. Consumers and companies alike are attracted to it. But it’s vague, and can mean something different to everyone that uses or hears it. – TerraChoice, Sins of Greenwashing Report
We agree – green is evocative and powerful.
In celebration of Earth Day, the staff at Ceravelo wanted to take a moment to talk about what green means to us and the ways in which we honor our commitment to being environmentally conscious designers.
Recycling and Upcycling: Eco-Friendly Ascots
According to the Council on Textile Recycling:
- The average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.
- The U.S. EPA estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5% of all landfill space.
- The textile recycling industry recycles approximately 3.8 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) each year. This accounts for approximately 15% of all PCTW, leaving 85% in our landfills.
In order for there to be a sustainable textile recycling system, there needs to be consumer demand for recycled products. One way to create that sort of demand is to upcycle – to take fabrics and repurpose them in a way that adds value and meaning to the design.
Ceravelo incorporates upcycling in our design process by sourcing small quantities of vintage or reclaimed material from local sources. We buy locally to reduce our transportation requirements and to support a healthy local economy. As a result, the silks and other fabrics we find are rare and the ascots we create are unique. This bespoke quality adds value to the recycling process
Social, Environmental and Economic Sustainability
The Ethical Fashion Forum has set a standard for eco-friendly design that they call the “triple bottom line”—the three fundamental requirements for a designer to be able to call their business sustainable. Here are the three requirements, and the ways in which Ceravelo is meeting these challenges:
Requirement #1, Social Sustainability: “Increasing the capacity and well-being of the people and communities behind fashion.”
The staff at Ceravelo are committed to providing support in our local communities by means of building relationships with established organizations who serve the greater good.
Ceravelo is proud to be a member of SFMade: SFMade is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, established in 2010 and headquartered in San Francisco. It is the only organization of its kind focused on building San Francisco’s economic base by developing the local manufacturing sector. SFMade’s mission is to build and support a vibrant manufacturing sector in San Francisco, that sustains companies producing locally-made products, encourages entrepreneurship and innovation, and creates employment opportunities for a diverse local workforce. Our vision is a more diverse and sustainable local economy, where companies who design and manufacture products locally thrive, in turn, creating quality jobs for people from all walks of life and contributing to the overall economic and social vibrancy of our City.
We are also proud to support Wardrobe for Opportunity, a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the community to assist low-income job seekers so they can secure employment and become economically self-sufficient. Ceravelo is committed to donating a percentage of our online sales to WFO.
Requirement #2, Environmental Sustainability: “Minimizing the environmental impact of all business operations, throughout the supply chain."
Ceravelo's business model is based around environmental sustainability. All of our production is locally-based. We build in accountability by building real relationships – we know our suppliers, and we get to talk to them face-to-face.
We are also committed to being open and transparent with our business model – we welcome questions, and we welcome visitors! We are currently working on a blog post where we will take readers behind the scenes on one of our fashion buying trips, and future posts are planned on different aspects of our design and production process.
Requirement #3, Economic (Commercial) Sustainability: “Without a robust financial business model, none of the above can be achieved… A sustainable approach includes quality products or services that meet market needs and demands and are fairly marketed.”
The use of repurposed material is not a substitute for perfection. Ceravelo's mission is to prove that environmentally conscious design can be synonymous with sartorial fashion and a thriving business model. We feel very lucky to be part of the vibrant San Francisco design community, and to be creating products that are custom, unique, and easy on the planet’s finite resources.
How are you celebrating Earth Day? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!