Social responsibility at earth creations
When it comes to making clothes, we believe that there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. At earth creations, it’s important to us that our company and our garments positively impact the lives of everyone involved with it—from the organic farmer planting cotton, to the textile workers sewing fabric, to the people wearing our clothing. We work hard to keep earth-friendly goals in mind for everything we do.
We start by using sustainably grown fibers such as hemp and organically grown cotton for our fabrics. Sustainable materials and organic practices are much more beneficial for the Earth and its people. For example, growing hemp and organic cotton doesn’t require pesticides, which can be harmful to water sources and toxic to the humans who apply it. We require certification from our suppliers that their fabric and yarn are organic and sustainably grown.
Clay dyeing and low-impact dyes
Our commitment to the environment doesn’t stop with fabric; it extends to the dyes we use. In fact, it’s an integral part of what we are all about. The bulk of our clothes are colored using natural clay. The eco-friendly dyeing process we developed for this purpose uses only natural and biodegradable materials. Not only does this process result in beautiful hues, but it also eliminates the need to use or manufacture artificially produced chemical dyestuffs.
By comparison, conventionally produced dyes—and more frequently the by-products of producing these dyes—are toxic. Additionally, many conventional processes use large quantities of table salt. Though tasty in our food, salt causes irreversible harm to the ecosystems in our rivers, lakes, and underground water sources when released from a commercial dye house. In many cases, conventional dyeing processes have been barred from use in the United States due to stringent government regulations. Yet, due to relaxed environmental laws in many foreign countries, the process is still used overseas and the final products do make their way to the United States.
However, nature offers only a limited color palette. To compensate, we also make garments that are colored using low-impact, eco-friendly dyes in agreement with organic standards.
Sustainable manufacturing practices
We strongly support Fair Trade and Sweatshop-Free practices. We want to produce the highest-quality garments we can, but not at the expense of hardworking people. Only fairly paid workers make our clothing, whether they live in the United States or elsewhere.
Our sewing plant in Moulton, AL
As the apparel business moved overseas and it became harder and harder to find places in the United States to sew our clothes, it became clear we would need our own sewing facility to avoid going overseas, too. The Southeast United States, where we are headquartered, was once a thriving textile center and, luckily, the infrastructure was still there. In 2004 we purchased a sewing facility in rural Alabama, where most of our garments are now sewn. We employ some of the best hardworking, dedicated people in the community at a fair wage. Our employees work in a clean and safe environment, and they actually believe in what they do. Many have years of experience in the garment industry, but lost their jobs after former employers took textile operations overseas. Some had not worked in years. By providing local jobs, hopefully we help keep a piece of our rural American culture alive.
Not only does producing in our backyard help to revitalize the community, it’s kinder on the planet. Clothes made in the United States, rather than some overseas location, ultimately leads to a smaller carbon footprint. That’s because most of our clothes do not need to be transported long distances via cargo ship or semi to get here; they already are here. Making the bulk of our clothes in Alabama is just one way we try to “Think Globally, Act Locally.”
If you’d like to learn more about our plant and our sewers, please check out our newsletter.
World Wide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
To offer better pricing on a few of our basic T-shirt styles (styles 600, 640, 655, and 665) while still making sure that these garments are sewn by workers that are treated fairly, we partnered with a plant in Nicaragua that is certified by WRAP.
WRAP is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the certification of lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing throughout the world. To become WRAP certified, a facility must prohibit child labor, harassment, and discrimination; require a safe and healthy work environment; offer benefits and health care that at least meet minimum lawful requirements; and allow employees to form associations and unions. To learn more about WRAP, please visit the organization’s website. (http://www.wrapcompliance.org)
At earth creations, community involvement and giving is an important part of who we are.
Every year we donate our irregular and overstock garments to organizations that help those in need, both in the United States and around the world. Over the years, we have donated approximately $50,000 in clothing to these worthy causes.
In addition, we donate clothes to many organizations that are working to protect the Earth and/or conserve nature. Over the years, these have included:
- Audubon Society
- Dolores River Fund
- Ogden Nature Center
- Animal Acres
- Georgia Organics
- Green Resource Center (Birmingham, AL)
- Vancouver Mountain Film Festival
At earth creations, we are trying our best to make a difference by bringing social consciousness and responsibility to the multi-billion dollar apparel industry. We thank you, the members of our earth creations family, for supporting our business and helping us to further this goal.