- Patricia Neuray
Green Is the New Black
Environmentally friendly products and services are not new, but businesses now seem to be taking the lead as much (if not more) than governmental organizations. From carbon neutral airlines to search engines that plant a tree every time you search, companies are successfully marrying commerce with conscience.
Even companies in industries not exactly known for eco-friendly practices are stepping up to the plate. According to Eco Watch, textile manufacturing is the second most polluting industry (oil is the first). However, there are companies like Coalatree Organics that want to radically change that.
Coalatree uses renewable energy in the manufacturing process, and sources organic fiber (cotton, linen, hemp, wool, huskware) and recycled materials (such as Earthspun® fiber, which is made from yarn spun from plastic bottles) for its clothing and accessories. The company actively seeks out mills that are members of BlueSign, a certification that guarantees the application of sustainable ingredients in a clean process that results in a safely manufactured product.
Not only is Coalatree setting an environmental standard for the rest of the apparel industry, but it has created a lucrative business that allows it to give back even more. The company runs its own organic farm in New Castle, Colorado, raising livestock and growing produce it donates to the local community. It’s given out over 5,000 free grow bag starter kits, helps farmers implement techniques to become more efficient and donates waterproof Kachula blankets to the homeless in Salt Lake City.
Coalatree is the perfect example of how sustainability works; it’s profitable and growing both its business and its social responsibility activity. Other clothing companies that want to stay in the black should learn a lesson from it and start acting green, too.
How going green is helping one apparel company stay in the black.