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      The Earth-Saving Environmental Footprint of Local Business

      The Earth-Saving Environmental Footprint of Local Business

      Our Shopping Habits Impact on the World Around Us

      By: Curtis Harding

      We started our series on defining what “local” means in 2021 by exploring how the digital world has expanded to encompass the entire world. We can now support so many more local brands and communities than ever before, but that doesn’t come without challenges. We can’t talk about shopping globally without acknowledging the hidden environmental costs. 

      When I was a kid in Pennsylvania, I used to visit family every weekend in Amish Country. Stopping by a roadside farm stand to pick up produce on the way home from my grandparents’ was just a normal part of life. They were by far and away the best tasting fruits and vegetables I have ever had, but what made them even better was the environmentally conscious approach.

      They didn’t require elaborate plastic packaging for protection, as they didn’t bounce from country to country. And then there was the fuel saved, as “shipping” meant it was carted from the fields to the side of the road. No planes, trucks, or boats needed. I can think of no purer example of the environmentally conscious benefits of staying and shopping local than those produce stands from my childhood. 

      Of course the benefits of shopping locally go far beyond these talking points. A much smaller local footprint, saving on heating and cooling costs, requiring less extensive development, and cutting down on overhead, carry over to all smaller, independently owned stores.

      But once we move beyond our ability to walk to our neighborhood stores or to pick up food from the side of the road, we’re still left with an unsustainable shipping dilemma and no perfect way to address it. Each company has to figure out its own methods. It is their responsibility and we should hold them to it. 

      Which Brands Have a “Local” Feel to them?

      OOKIOH is actively working to eliminate plastics from their footprint, so that their swimwear is produced, packaged, and shipped without the extra waste. This is crucial since, in 2018, the EPA estimated that the U.S. alone created over 82 million tons of plastic packaging. Over 30 million tons of that ended up dumped in landfills. That’s just from one country.  

      SOKO, on the other hand, ships relatively small pieces of jewelry around the world. They ship their items with hang tags made out of 100% recyclable paper, but on top of that, they make sure their packaging is kept small and is perfectly fit to their pieces. 

      It may seem like a small detail, but oversized boxes not only use more waste to secure — how many Amazon boxes have you gotten that are massively oversized and stuffed with plastic or Styrofoam packing material? — they also take up shipping space, creating more trips and burning more fuel. Over the past couple decades, international flights and ships have by far been the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Until we can develop greener fuel, we need to do what we can to slow that down. 

      Then there’s an apparel brand like Altar, which sources compostable, biodegradable, and recyclable shipping materials and offers consumers the option of adding carbon credits to help offset the impact of shipping. And the less patient we are, the greater that impact can be. Rushed shipping creates more trips and more greenhouse gas emissions as we hurry packages to our front doors. 

      Shop Local, Think Big

      Being able to support local communities and brands all over the world is an amazing gift. But it’s up to us to pull away from the instant gratification we’ve been conditioned to crave. And it’s up to us to support the brands willing to do their part to ship sustainably. Mass retail has been pushing us in a dangerous, unsustainable direction for too long. It’s time we turned to small, local brands as one way to push back. 

      D.O.B supports local brands who have a small environmental footprint, and companies who are committed to evolving their packaging and shipping practices with full transparency. We are on a journey together, focused on building towards a better future.

      How Streetwear-Inspired Brands Give Back To The Street

      How Streetwear-Inspired Brands Give Back To The Street

      Sustainable and Ethical Choices More Prominent Than Ever for Streetwear Brands

      By: Yashashree Samant

      A streetwear brand is not just a label on a dress or a logo on a shoe, it’s a lifestyle choice. It’s a symbol of an ideology that it truly believes in, a lifestyle choice that customers make, a statement to the rest of the world. Streetwear brands that have come up in the last few years have truly believed in this philosophy. Inspired by niche cultures and communities, it was a given that these brands would be sustainable and follow ethical labor practices. 

      There were several streetwear brands that delved even deeper, not only to make their products look appealing but were really conscious about the work that they did and how it would be perceived. They wanted to give back to the world, help the greater society and add value to others’ lives. Tons of streetwear brands have stepped up to this challenge, finding interesting ways to support the local community around them, creating opportunities for artisans, giving them a larger platform than ever before, finding avenues to implement specific ‘give back’ programs, and so on.  

      In the last year, the world was struggling to deal with the pandemic and imposed strict lockdowns or home quarantine. Quite a few people who could afford it, turned their boredom to online shopping. Somehow, scrolling through e-commerce websites and the occasional splurge helped take the mind off the grimness of the outside world. While no one needs to be overtly guilty about this, one can always wonder what if some of this privilege can be used for some possible good. D.O.B has begun to partner with brands who have initiatives to give back to their communities. 

      Support Streetwear Brands That Support Others

      YEMA: Yema is a streetwear brand started by Yema Khalif - a wide-eyed kid from Nairobi, Kenya who made his way to college in the United States through extreme hardships and Hawi Awash - an ethiopian refugee in Minnesota with a love for fashion and a commitment to empower the communities back home. This streetwear inspired brand has a giant giraffe heart as their logo, but even a 2 foot heart would seem miniscule in front of the founders’ compassion. Yema designs stylish clothes that mirror their african roots and the brand gives back 20% of everything you purchase directly to orphaned kids in Ethiopia and Kibera slums in Kenya so they can have greater opportunities

      calinY: calinY is a streetwear brand born out of California that has now spread its wings in New York as well. The founders have a simple goal in mind - taking simple authentic tastes and creating a line that will reflect the community around them. While they took their inspiration from the locale, they also pledged to give back to the community and spread a wave of creative goodness for all. Most recently they’re supporting local dance groups.

      What is Your Purpose?

      D.O.B is founded on the idea of creativity with a purpose. Follow along with us, as we continue to identify and work with streetwear brands who have deep roots originating from art, music and culture, all while giving back to the communities who’ve helped them thrive. 

      How TikTok Became The Biggest Social Platform For Sustainable Fashion

      Tik Tok app icon

      The Social Media Titan Has Been A Prominent Voice In Advocating for Sustainable Fashion

      By Courtney Raymond

      With 689 million active users worldwide, the video-sharing social networking service, TikTok, has proven it has staying power. Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has amassed a fanatic following, especially with younger crowds like Gen-Z. As the most downloaded app in Apple’s iOS store, TikTok is reaching people from across the globe and not just those in search of entertainment. One emerging trend among TikTok users is promoting sustainable fashion and activism. 

      Gen-Zers in particular have taken to the platform to share their passion for secondhand shopping and ‘thrift flipping’ - the act of upcycling used fabrics and clothing into new, unique garments. Content creators use 15 to 60-second clips, designed to keep viewers interested and engaged, to share the message that sustainable fashion matters.

      TikTok has become a meeting ground for Gen-Zers interested in forgoing fast fashion for more sustainable options. The hashtag #sustainablefashion has more than 760 million video views alone, while #upcycling and #vintage have a combined 8 billion. Videos showing thrifting hauls and tutorials for repurposing clothes are spreading like wildfire among the app’s mostly Gen-Z user base. 

      This movement is also creating awareness among those who aren’t currently consuming sustainable fashion. The educational videos inspire users to hunt for additional ways to make fashion purchases with a more eco-friendly attitude. That, combined with content creators going viral for sharing secondhand scores and upcycling tips, is proving TikTok is inspiring younger generations to embrace environmentally friendly clothing.

      TikTok has also become a place where sustainable fashion brands are able to connect with and appeal to Gen-Z. Vintage Restock Reserve (VSR), which revives old clothing through custom dyeing, sewing and reworking, has built a following of more than 1.9 million with its eco-fashion focused videos.

      Founded by two members born to Generation Z, VSR uses TikTok to show people how they can reduce unnecessary clothing waste while making it fun. Gen-Zer Taylor Bright, known as @sustainablecherub on TikTok, uses her clout to educate on fashion and sustainable living. Videos such as “We Don’t Need Fast Fashion” and “It Rains Plastic” have garnered more than 63,000 combined views. Both VSR and Bright are examples of Gen-Zers inspiring their peers to embrace sustainable fashion and activism through TikTok.

      TikTok is full of quickly digestible content and users competing for their 15 to 60 seconds of fame, but somewhere in between are environmental pioneers looking to make a difference. Gen-Z is using the platform to transform the way younger people perceive fashion and its global impact. As sustainable fashion and environmentally conscious brands gain more and more traction, TikTok has demonstrated it’s going along for the ride.

      At D.O.B, we are committed to discovering and sharing brands who are sustainable, inclusive and local.


      How Sustainable and Ethical Clothing is Helping to Save Our Planet

      How Sustainable and Ethical Clothing is Helping to Save Our Planet

      Protect Our Planet: Sustainable & Ethically Sourced Clothing

      By Beth Hoad

      Earth day has come and gone, and just like fashion week, some trends fade, while others last a lifetime. 

      I’m sure we all have some sort of idea about the impact the fashion industry has on Earth. From the burning of fossil fuels, the use of synthetic fibers, to increased levels of toxic runoff, the manufacturing and disposal processes are contributing to our environmental downfall. I often wonder, how have fossil fuels made their way into my closets, when I try so hard to keep them out. But from overflowing landfills, to mass incinerations, the effects of fast fashion can be seen globally. It’s time for fast fashion to step aside and make room for slow fashion, the sustainable, ethical and inclusive sibling. 

      Saving the planet is a big job, but I know we’re up for it. Collectively and with repetitive action progress can be made and we can right some of the wrong. Today there are so many brands, big or small, who at the core believe in sustainability and ethically sourced materials. Initiatives created by the founders of Patagonia, such as 1% for the Planet, who pledge 1% of sales to protecting the natural environment. This pledge not only encourages fashion brands to join the fight for this planet, but is inclusive to all business owners. 

      Textile waste is severely damaging the world around us. Repurposing and recycling cotton is cultivating an industry that’s contributing to saving the planet. Utilizing waste is the approach Everybody.World has adopted, and by “pushing the boundaries of textile sustainability”, they’re “eliminating the need for additional pesticides, water, energy and soil”. As consumers, when we consciously choose to purchase from brands like this, we’re choosing to respect the Earth. 

      Sustainability Today, A Healthy Planet Tomorrow

      It can be difficult to match your love for fashion with saving the planet, but every day it’s getting brighter. Slow fashion encompasses awareness, cultural identities, choice, quality materials and sustainability. It provides consumers an outlook to freely express themselves through the power of clothing but keeps the Earth healthy, living and vibrant. Poplinen is a brand that understands that in order to flourish, the planet and people need to be put first and work together for a clean future. 

      From a young age I always loved fashion and the environment, but I never really knew how they were intertwined. Through conversation with local shops and by supporting brands who prioritize the Earth, you’re choosing to save “our” planet and protect future generations. As someone who’s an avid shopper, there’s no better deal than a sustainable and ethical purchase and a longer lifecycle of Earth. 

      It’s 2021, we can break down stereotypes, save the Earth and look good while doing it. 

      D.O.B strongly opposes fast fashion and the irresponsibly made, over-production of clothing. We also strongly believe that knowledge is power, and that we can change the way we purchase, care for, and reuse what we wear with the right information and a desire for a better future.

      What If Every Day Was Earth Day?

      What If Every Day Was Earth Day?

      Let’s Celebrate and Protect Our Earth Every Day

      By Curtis Harding

      As with so many things looked at through the lens of nostalgia, the threats to our planet seemed so much simpler when we celebrated the first Earth Day on April 22 1970. All we had to do was clean up trash, cut air pollution, and fix the ozone layer. We started recycling, slashed pollution, and closed the ozone hole. Done!

      Except we weren’t. And in the years since, we’ve learned how much larger and more complicated our environmental problems are. 51 years later the threats to our planet, rather than having been solved, seem to be mounting. So the thought of supporting a single day of environmental awareness? How quaint. 

      To be clear, Earth Day is still an important and powerful concept. The world’s nations very intentionally signed the Paris Agreement on it in 2016. 

      But when we stop and think about the troubles of our Earth, it becomes massive. Caring for our environment isn’t something that happens in one day, nor is it something that’s limited to a single issue. Or even a hundred issues. 

      These days, we have no end of things to worry about, and no end of “national days” dedicated to them. We’ve got Buzzards Day, Hippopotamus Day, Oceans Day, Reforestation Day — if it seems like there’s a special day for every day of the year, there is. Are we just getting carried away and overwhelming ourselves with a bunch of random made up days? And if that’s true, how can we confine the idea of Earth Day to a single day, or week, or even month?

      One approach to transforming Earth Day into something that we support Everyday is through the choices we make with our dollar. Help make Earth Day an everyday event by supporting businesses that use organic and recycled cotton, drive sustainable & ethical production, and reduce the use of plastics, pesticides and chemicals.

      This is why D.O.B supports brands like ONE432 that reduce waste through “made to order” and a transparent, ethical and inclusive supply chain that ultimately promotes a more sustainable future. It’s why D.O.B champions Vustra’s clothing made of organic cotton and low impact dyes, and Everybody World’s line, crafted from biodegradable, recycled cotton. 

      Together we can help combat climate change, clean up our waterways, and protect vulnerable species. We can tackle pretty much every environmental day we can dream up, and provide a real, tangible way to support Earth Day, today, tomorrow, and every day of our lives. 

      D.O.B cares about our environment every day, and will build awareness of sustainable, inclusive and local issues through the stories of our brands, partners, and our community.