The last year-plus has been deeply difficult on many levels, but, amidst those challenges, a silver lining has emerged: the time for self-examination. As life slowed down and changed forever, we reflected on ourselves as individuals, as citizens, as mothers and fathers, as brothers and sisters, as friends, as neighbors, as members of communities, both large and small, as human beings. We reflected on the impact Live The Process could have on, and in, the world.
We asked ourselves hard questions: What role does the fashion industry play in the world? What is our level of responsibility? More specifically, how can we reduce our waste and carbon emissions? What contribution can we make to creating fashion that’s more circular, more sustainable? And what does that really mean?
From the beginning at Live The Process, we have functioned with the Earth in mind, but we’re also aware that there’s always room for evolution. Currently, the fashion industry is responsible for more carbon emissions than aviation (at 8%) and a quarter of the world’s chemical use. Globally, we discard 2.1 billion tons of unwanted clothing every year. We must do better.
Last year was a time for reflection. Now, it’s time for action.
At Live The Process, we have always focused heavily on the development and curation of our materials. We’re proud that a significant percentage of our knitwear yarns are responsible and safe, including recycled cashmere, recycled polyester, cotton sourced under the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to reduce the footprint of production and lightweight knits created via the Recycle to Upcycle initiative, to name a few. It’s important not just to choose sustainable fabrics at random, but to make sure that the root materials are non-toxic and safe to wear against your skin.
Going forward, we will only be adding more sustainable yarns to our stable and are focused on searching out a more conscious alternative to our beloved activewear fabric. We know that process might take a moment, as it took over two years to develop, but the staff at our mill is extraordinary and we can’t wait to see what manifests.
Based in Los Angeles, California, our mill recently modernized their dye equipment and dryers, resulting in a 50% decrease in water use, 45% decrease in gas and a 30% decrease in chemical use. All of the chemicals they do use are non-toxic, water-soluble, and re-enter the public water system without negative environmental impact. Our mill is also only 15 minutes from our factory, keeping our carbon footprint very low.
Our ethos has always been to create timeless pieces that last. We’re not interested in disposable clothing or contributing unnecessary waste to already overburdened landfills. Our garments are made ethically with integrity and quality, using materials and craftsmanship that endure, by people who we have come to know well over the past seven years, and are designed to be cared for and to stay in your closet for years to come.
If a piece does rip or tear at the seam, please reach out instead of sending it to the landfill. If it’s reasonable to fix, we offer free repairs. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll see what we can do.
We also have an ongoing partnership with luxury consignment shop, The Real Real, which ensures that our overstock doesn’t get tossed in a bin. We’ve also been known to use our leftover fabric to create smaller accessories like masks, headbands and scrunchies.
When it comes to shipping methods, we’re also exploring the best possible solutions. We make our activewear locally in California, but our knits in China, as their yarn technology is not yet available in the States. We’re also fortunate to have wholesale accounts and customers all over the world.
So, currently, we’re investigating more carbon neutral shipping options. We’re hoping to offer a way for you, as a consumer, to offset your carbon footprint at checkout. The carbon cost will be calculated based on the weight of the package, the delivery method and the distance. This service is, of course, optional, but, if you choose to use it, the world will thank you, and so will we!
This is where you do your part: We make our garments to last and transcend, but they do need proper care, so they can stay integral to your wardrobe for longer.
Some helpful tips:
We ship our garments to you in compostable and recyclable corrugated paper boxes. They’re not trash. Please re-use, recycle or compost. The tissue paper is recyclable too.
Currently, we’ve stopped using hangtags, as they seem wasteful, and are exploring compostable options. Our factory is currently packing finished pieces in individual plastic bags made from recycled plastic, so we’re exploring alternative biodegradable options for that too.
When we launch our more sustainable activewear collection, it will be in collaboration with 1% for the Planet, an organization-turned-movement that encourages companies to pledge 1% of their total sales to environmental philanthropies and vets those projects to ensure authenticity. We’ll be donating 1% to The Surfrider Foundation, a grassroots non-profit focused on protecting and preserving the world’s oceans, waves and beaches.
The road to sustainability is not always linear or obvious. Each choice begets other potential obstacles and solutions. As of now, there is no such thing as fully sustainable fashion, but we pledge to continue to evolve and come as close as we can. Hopefully, we’ll not only do our part to make the planet a bit safer, but also inspire others to make sustainable choices too. After all, we rise and fall as one. We are all on this planet together.