TULERIE

215 Million

WasteViolet Gross
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Fast fashion has been getting a lot of heat lately. While we disagree wholeheartedly with the fast fashion business model, turning & burning inventory (quite literally), we do understand the appeal to consumers. Not too long ago, we were habitually filling our closets with cheap, trendy nylon too. But we’ve educated ourselves, changed our habits, and started a business that combats part of the issue. At Tulerie we pose the question, why should five people buy the same skirt when those 5 people can share one? Last year, H&M had $4.3 billion of unsold clothes. Considering their average sale price, that equates to 215 million articles of unsold clothing. All of that dead inventory in retail cost the U.S. $50 billion last year. Case in point.

We’re not animals though, we’ll nod to the fact the H&M group is trying to right the vessel with a non-profit arm dedicated to improved recycling along the supply chain but keep in mind the company produced 3 billion garments last year. So while material re-use is important and should be celebrated, the massive amount of clothing produced is the real problem. Not to mention, most companies still choose virgin fabrics over the recycled alternatives available.

But this is a tale as old as time, simple supply and demand, fast fashion retailers will produce at the pace we (the consumer) set. The company expresses they have no plans to slow down volume because they don't see an alternative...“We can stop producing the volumes we do [now], but then the 98 percent [of companies that are] less transparent and less sustainable will just keep making money. We have a role to play going forward — we ought to put others who are not transparent out of business.” We like how Elizabeth L. Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, explains it "it's not enough to just be less bad than your competition.” We couldn’t agree more. That’s like saying you ate chocolate cake for breakfast but it's okay because you didn’t eat dinner.

Fabrication: 100% Pineapple

Companies Doing GoodViolet Gross
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2019.  Saying it out loud makes it feel like we are living in the future.  2019.  Remember Y2K?  Grocery store shelves were bare due to peoples uncertainty.  But we not only survived, and thrived and advanced. Some cars stopped using gas and run on battery power.  Herbs and vegetables are grown in old shipping containers. Flip phones upgraded to buttonless devices that basically control our lives. Fashion though, has somehow stayed the same.  Until now.  

The future of clothes is getting excitingly close and we believe there are a few things you sustainably fashion saavy  Tuleries ought to know – your textiles.  Yes we know you’re fully aware of cotton, wool and silk but if you think that’s the latest in fashion than you better check your Nokia at the door and catch up.   There are a slew of companies working on a whole new range of textiles that will be in our clothes (hopefully) soon.  The details of most are on a sciency level that we can hardly comprehend, but we get the drift and hope you will too. 

Evrnu has developed the first denim made of regenerated post-consumer cotton waste.  They create recyclable, customizable textiles through engineered fibers, ultimately creating a product that can be broken down in the future. 

See ya leather, hello Zoa. Created by Modern Meadow, zoa is a lab grown, chameleonic leather-inspired material that is meant to be combined with other matierals.  And because it’s highly adaptable and moldable, it can accommodate any shape or texture. 

Buh bye polyester, welcome PrimaLoft Bio, the first 100% recycled synthetic fiber on the market. The  company behind it is collaborating with like-minded brands to use the technology in developing new products that are composed completely of biodegradable components.

Nylon is so last year. We’re so into Econyl, which is solving two problems.  They company is aiding in cleaning oceans by collecting abandoned fishing nets and other industrial plastic, along with rugs that would typically end in landfills to create a regenerated nylon material. 

Bleh acrylic, we love the feel of Polylana.  It’s a fiber blend of virgin and recycled materials and is the only low impact alternative to 100% acrylic and wool in the market. 

Silk? No.  Microsilk. A proprietary technology that replicates the tough work silk spiders do, giving the ability to do the same work sustainably and in large scale. 

Still craving more leather goods?  Try Mylo, a synthetic made from mushroom roots.  Let that satisfy your hunger for vegan leather.  Stella McCartney and Patagonia are already digging their claws in. 

Pinatex is taking over where durable fibers are needed. Made of by-product from pineapple harvest, this new sustainable textile is tougher than jute, hemp and sisal. Have your rug and eat it too. 

Cotton and polyester, you are so pre Y2K.

Resolutions

Violet Gross
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Each January we start the new year with goals.  Some ambitious, others less so.  The most popular resolutions going into 2018 were 1) get healthier, 2) enjoy life to the fullest and 3) spend less, save more.   But in resolutions’ 4,000-year history, I am curious how many have actually been fully satisfied.  

The act of declaring resolutions came from the Babylonians who promised to the gods to pay back their debts and return items they borrowed.   Later the Romans picked up the practice by offering sacrifices to the deity and making promises of good conduct for the coming year.   Thinking about past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future was the approach for early Christians. 

We all want to do better and be better at something.  The new year brings a good reason to start something fresh, or improve in some way. So yes, working out in January does suck.  It’s over crowded, your favorite bike is taken and there is no room for your yoga mat, but give a little credit to the people who are trying to improve themselves. And remember, that was you at some point.  

You took someone’s favorite bike at one point.  And instead of shoving someone’s mat over, ask them to scooch a bit, then offer a tip on how you’ve best been able to melt into your favorite pose. 

We want to thank each and every one of you who understand the Tulerie mission.  Rewearing and sharing clothes has such an incredible environment impact, and as our community grows that positive reaction will only become greater.  Same is true for the shipping boxes that get reused.  You are saving countless trees.  Thank you.  

We have shared our top three personal resolutions below — feel free to harp on us and ask if we’re keeping up with them.  The added encouragement (or reminder in many cases) would be appreciated.   

While you’re at it, share your resolutions with your friends and encourage them to share back.  Then do a quarterly check in to hold each other accountable.  And don’t forget to channel your inner Babylonian and return your borrowed pieces on time. 

Happy New Year Ladies!

Violet’s Resolutions

Living in the moment. Never has that felt more important than with a new daughter who seems to change from day to day.  Each time I find myself checking emails rather than watching her explore, I realize that I am missing the most precious moments.  This time with her and all of her innocence is going to go by so quickly, that I now leave my phone in a different room when I am with her and will continue to do so in the new year. 

Discontinue plastic use.  I have been aware of the damage of plastic for so many years, and not only to the environment as we’ve mentioned, but also to the body.  It’s been something I’ve always thought about doing – one of those resolutions that you make but forget about before MLK Day. But this year, it’s a mission.  I was flying home with my daughter not long ago and rather than dumping the water from her sippy cup into the trash, I gave her a final gulp, then I chugged the rest.  And instantly regret it.  The water, even though freshly poured an hour before, tasted so badly of plastic.  It was at that moment that I realized how quickly plastic can be absorbed into the body.  As soon we got home, that cup went into the trash, and she now uses a silicone wrapped glass bottle. 

Waste less.  My sister and I have talked more about this in the last 6 months than in our entire lifetimes combined.  My household has already switched to reuseable water bottles, straws and grocery bags, but that barely scratches the surface.  And don’t even get me started on food waste.  The average American wastes up to 250 pounds of food per year. Ever think about how much money was wasted in that as well?  And think about all of the carbon emissions one would save my consciously wasting less. If you haven’t heard, Mother Earth is in serious trouble.  Help save her for future generations. 

Merri’s Resolutions

We’ve always been honest about the fact that Tulerie lead us into the sustainability movement. Yes, we recycled our take-out and we were mindful about certain environmental impacts but shopping at Zara for a cheap wardrobe update was the norm and not a behavior we bundled in with environmental un-friendly. It didn’t take much time or research to realize that not only did Tulerie serve our fashion needs it was solving a critical problem of under-utilization within the throw away culture.  In 2018 I did not shop at a single fast fashion store which was more liberating then it should be which proves what a problem it had become (at least in my life). Taking fast fashion out of the equation made shopping so much easier. I no longer filled my closet with generic looking clothes that I lusted for in the moment and luke-warm about AT BEST by the time I got it home. Now, I shop for only things I love which means I buy a lot less. And thanks to Tulerie, I can share them and earn back some of the investment. I resolve to continue my no fast fashion rule in 2019 which ultimately means buying less and sharing more! 

My next resolution is to read more books, earth-shattering, right? I spend most of my downtime doing something productive, I read articles and newsletters daily, and listen to five or six podcasts a week. I’m not lacking the mental stimulation that books provide I just simply miss the journey of a good book. I still buy books at the pace I used to read them so I’ve accumulated a nice stack of unread paperbacks in 2018 that are resentfully staring me down. Aside from the enjoyment reading brings, I could benefit from not having my phone in my hand or headphones in my ears for a hot second, so this is a two-for-the-price-of-one resolution. 

My last resolution is to give my time away to the people who matter most. I’m a very social person which can mean spreading myself thin with social obligations. In my 20’s this was fun and I sold it to myself as critical networking opportunities. Living in a city like New York requires more judgement here because it provides endless loose connections and the older I get (ahem, wiser) the more I saw this as taking away time from people who deserve it more. I resolve to be more mindful of how I allocate my time in 2019 and tip the scale towards the most important people in my life. 

Trashy Beauty

Violet Gross
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If you make a product, the inevitable truth is that you are contributing waste at some point. Identifying where superfluous waste transpires is a hot agenda point for companies trying to turn over a new “green” leaf and stay relevant.  One of the most wasteful points of the supply chain is packaging and thankfully consumers are welcome to alternatives.  Tulerie debated packaging in the beginning but as much as we love the idea of beautiful presentation our eco-chic ideals trumped that objective. 

One of the most wasteful industries in terms of packaging is the beauty industry because the product itself needs a container and then thanks to marketing, said container is wrapped in insta-worthy packaging for unveiling.  In 2017, the beauty sector generated 142.6 billion units of packaging with over 40 percent made from the rigid plastics.  Rigid plastics are one of the worst offenders because of their single use nature — if you need a refresh, we dedicated an entire blog post, breaking down plastic pollution. 

Nonetheless, packaging has a strong argument for its role in the supply chain because it is necessary at some level for purposes of preservation and transportation. The call-to-action is a move toward less single use plastics and more recycled materials or re-usable materials like paper, glass, and metal.  But of course it’s never that simple.  Glass which requires less energy to recycle compared with plastic creates a deficit in another way; glass is heavier which increases the carbon footprint over time from transportation.  Innovation, while easy for smaller, new brands to adopt is a challenge for mature business who have millions of products and have been operating with lower cost plastics for a century. 

So what’s the work around?  Supporting the new guys who are starting their businesses with eco-coonscious missions and/or the established brands actively taking steps to change their process (slow as it may be).  The beauty giant L'Oréal has committed to ending virgin plastic use by 2025, and is working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy (we are big fans of the work behind the Ellen MacArthur Foundation). Knowing this already makes us want to switch our Diorshow for L’Oreal's mascara. We want our dollars to work for green initiatives versus funding the over-design of a matte box for that tube of mascara that absolutely does not need a box, and most definitely does not need to then be put in a bag. 

Since Tulerie is one of the new guys, we’re a bit more nimble at this stage so early on we committed to reducing waste however we can which is why we don’t provide packaging and strongly encourage re-use of boxes for shipping among the Tulerie community. If you’re not sure where to start in a broader sense, just begin with consciousness. Evaluate at check-out if you need any of the packaging being forced on you and politely turn it down. Or, have a melt down in complete disapproval when a store tries to wrap your new denim in absurd wads of tissue paper — your call! Either way, it starts with addressing the problem, so let your voice be heard. 

A Close Second To Meghan Markle's Baby Kicking

Violet Gross
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Meghan Markle’s baby kicking in front of a global audience on Monday evening may have gone viral but there is more to recognize about Monday night’s British Fashion Council Awards

The annual ceremony hosted at the iconic Royal Albert Hall recognizes business leaders and creatives in the global fashion industry. The event is the pinnacle of the BFC’s fundraising efforts that support the future creative talent within the industry.

To win an award is no small feat as the international judging panel is made up of over 2,000 key industry figures and let’s just say “great minds think alike” — because we agreed with all the selections! Brand of the year went to Alessandro Michele’s Gucci (shocker!), Kaia Gerber took Model of the Year, and Clare Waight Keller took womenswear designer of the year for her work at Givenchy. None of these choices were surprising but BFC’s choice to make sustainability  a star at this glamorous event was.

Vivienne Westwood was awarded the Swarovski Award for Positive Change for her activism towards climate-change. The founder of Parley for the Oceans collected the Special Recognition Award for Innovation for his pioneering work removing plastic from the sea (ummm remember, we told you about the Adidas partnership with them?).

And finally, a woman we look up to, Stella McCartney, was awarded the first ever Special Recognition Award For Innovation. Her commitment to sustainability and animal rights stands alone and she’s been a voice for change in the fashion world for almost two decades. It’s about damn time she was recognized for it. 

McCartney told Vogue,  “It’s extraordinary that I started this conversation a long time ago and now it’s in the room and people are engaged and people aren’t angry or dismissive. Now they’re actually OK to pay some attention to that”

In regards to McCartney’s innovative uses of materials like plastics reclaimed from the ocean or viscose from sustainable forests, the designer told Vogue, “I love that side of the industry. It’s the future of fashion – the fact that we can use less water, less energy, use our land, our resources and the planet’s resources in a more efficient way - I think it’s fascinating and I think it’s the only way forward.”

Congrats to all the winners, especially our girl Stella! We hope more designers will follow in her footsteps and steals this award from her next year!