At SOAS we wanted to touch on an issue today that we have long incorporated into our business model since the inception of our company. An issue that is at the core of everything we do.
The unfathomable amount of waste that is created by the textile industry can no longer be ignored. It has been found to be one of the leading causes of pollution worldwide, second only to the oil industry. So what does this mean and what can we do to combat this?
Many clothing manufacturers focus solely on pumping out high volume, low quality products which take massive amounts of energy to create. The waste created from these items then grows due to the fact that these low quality fabrics aren’t made to last very long and are consequently quickly thrown away. These fabrics are left to amass in landfills that are ill-equipped to properly dispose of them.
Much of the harmful chemicals and pollutants left over from manufacturing ends up being thrown away carelessly and dumped into bodies of water without proper treatment. The same rivers and streams that families and children might be swimming in. The textile industry has ravaged the farmlands of places such as India, Bangladesh, and Cambodia, where environmental regulations are lax or nonexistent.
The environmental consequences of this type of behavior being pushed by fast fashion corporations then becomes evident, but that’s not the only issue at hand. This type of cheap, large-scale production also leaves the workers creating these clothes in horrifying, sweatshop-like conditions ,striving to earn enough just to survive. One only has to look to the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh to get a disturbing glimpse into the daily life that is the reality of many of these textile workers.
With this information we asked ourselves at SOAS the steps we could take to ensure we weren’t partaking in the types of activities that would harm our planet and those that live on it.
We have taken every step to minimize the amount of waste created through our manufacturing processes. We mitigate waste by repurposing as much fabric as we can and reselling our remaining fabric swatches at a highly discounted price to ensure that even though we weren't able to use it someone else can. We also repurpose our sublimation paper which has helped tremendously in reducing the amount of waste we generate here at SOAS.
At SOAS our emphasis has always been on quality, not price. We will never sell clothes that are cheap and disposable. We create clothes that are made to endure years of intensive wear and hard work. We create clothes that are of the highest quality, with fabrics that are sustainably and responsibly sourced. We manufacture and design all of our products in-house at our San Diego headquarters and ensure all members of our team are compensated fairly. Here at SOAS we emphasize the importance of transparency. We are proud of where our clothes come from. We are proud of how we create them, and we want you to be proud wearing them.
The SOAS Team