When you start your company with sustainability at its core, you find innovative ways to reduce waste and negative environmental impacts throughout every phase of operations.
"We like to look at the process from manufacturing to the end of life for that garment," said Dan Weisman, vice president of marketing for the Boston-based apparel company Ministry of Supply. "We're aiming to close that loop as much as we can."
Cloverly is proud to join in that commitment to responsible business practices. By integrating Cloverly for Shopify with its online store, Ministry of Supply has given its ecommerce customers the opportunity to make shipping their purchases carbon neutral.
However, "it's not just the shipping," Weisman said. "It's nice that we're able to use Cloverly for that, but starting with garment production, we're always looking for ways to reduce waste." Here are some of the ways they've found, with Weisman's comments:
- Durability. "We make garments that are going to last a long time so that people don't need to replace them as often."
- Washability. "We're pretty adamant about making clothing that doesn't have to be dry-cleaned." Solvents used in dry-cleaning can cause health problems and can contaminate drinking water.
- 3D knitting, which is similar to 3D printing. It knits fabric pieces to the exact size required for the garment—no trimming needed. "It's essentially waste free in production because there's no cutting room. Everything is just knit into the garment."
- Made-to-order shirts, created on demand to a customer's specifications. "What that does in terms of limiting waste is that we're not holding excess inventory. We only have to buy what the customer actually wants."
- Facilitating garment donations. The company's 1 In, 1 Out program encourages customers to donate unneeded clothing rather than throw it away. When customers receive an order, they can cull unwanted clothing from their closets, put it in the same box and send it back to Ministry of Supply using a company-supplied mailing label. Ministry of Supply donates the clothing to Goodwill.
Weisman said Ministry of Supply continually looks for ways to reduce its environmental footprint even further. "It's not just, 'Here's our sustainability collection,'" he said. "It's that everything should be sustainable."