True Sustainability Requires Desirability
So, we have a confession to make… Sustainability was never a key objective when we started our T-Shirt company. From the beginning, our company was born out of the desire to make the absolute best T-Shirt in the world. This desire came from a selfish place: we were not happy with any of the Ts we could find and figured while solving this problem for ourselves, maybe we could also create a company out of the result. In a fortunate turn of events, satisfying our selfish needs ended up being a responsible thing to do as well…
Pima Cotton is defined by a longer fiber
Why that’s good for selfish-you: Longer fibers mean you need less of them in the weaving process. That results in fewer fiber ends, which results in a smoother and softer feel.
Why it’s good for responsible-you: In order to maintain the length of the fiber, pima cotton is handpicked as opposed to be being picked by a machine, a process that inadvertently tears/shortens the fibers. Hand-picking cotton reduces the amount of waste, lessening the environmental impact.
Longer fibers resist pilling
Why that’s good for selfish-you: Pilling refers to loose strands of fiber creating small balls of fluff on the surface of fabric. With typical cotton this starts to show up after around 10 washes as the result of the shorter fibers breaking and the ends getting tangled. Longer fibers are more resistant to this as there are fewer fiber strands used so there are less strand-ends which are susceptible to pilling. This means your shirt feels and looks like new longer.
Why it’s good for responsible-you: Longer-lasting T-Shirts mean less waste. Pretty simple.
100% Pima cotton has built-in natural properties
Why that’s good for selfish-you: Pima cotton has natural cooling properties, is less susceptible to wrinkling and resists fading. Since its hypoallergenic, it’s also an excellent choice for people with skin sensitivities (or those that just like nice things!).
Why it’s good for responsible-you: Cotton degrades 95% more than polyester in wastewater and will continue to degrade over time1. Synthetic fabrics in general, like polyester, spandex and nylon, can take between 30 – 40 years to degrade2.
Classic fit and versatile design never go out of style
Why that’s good for selfish-you: There is a reason why certain designs stand the test of time and why trends fade. A well-made T-Shirt always has a place in any man’s wardrobe and, when designed with intent, can be easily paired for countless occasions.
Why it’s good for responsible-you: Chasing trends is an endless pursuit and leaves a devastating trail. It is estimated that 3-in-5 clothing items purchased get thrown away within a year3. High quality fabric means longer-lasting, while a classic and versatile design means longer-wearing.
A focus on sustainability is obviously the right thing to do for the planet. I wish we could say we were so forward thinking in our initial founding of “If… Then Well.” That said, we would argue the long-term success of any sustainable product is going to depend on meeting our more emotional needs as well. There’s a reason why the Prius was discontinued, and Tesla is seen by many as the future of sustainable vehicles... Sometimes that guilty pleasure can come without the guilt!
2Source: International Wool Textile Organization