From a general point of view, streetwear is known as a casual, fashionable and daring urban garment. But that barely scratches the surface of a style, rooted in subcultures like skateboarding, hip-hop and sneakers, that has become a $ 185 billion industry. In essence, the style itself relies entirely on the spirit of these counter-cultures. Because when it comes to streetwear, clothing basics are the base: a simple t-shirt, a plain crew neck, a hoodie, a beanie, a cap or even socks. Yet the blank canvas foundations that bring artists’ creations and branded products to life often succumb to the fast fashion productions that mark the planet. Too often, wholesale prices for basic clothing and quick turnaround times trump eco-friendly materials and sustainable practices. But times are changing, and so are consumers in this fashionable space.
At the forefront of this change is Version tomorrow, a sustainable blank company offering a new vision of luxury and raising the bar for environmentally friendly streetwear. What started as an internal project for the New York fashion brand Public schoolI quickly took on a life of my own when the co-founders Maxwell Osborne and Alain Mak realized the landscape of sustainability in streetwear. “Awareness is quite low and the action is even lower,” says Mak. “What we find for the most part is that environmental responsibility is not a priority, and the problem is exacerbated by frequent drops of products made from unsustainable materials.” Going forward, the pair are sharing more and giving their thoughts on real change going forward.
The basics of the basics
Whites, an industrial term for prefabricated clothing like t-shirts, are most often used in streetwear. “They allow brands to reduce their risk and up-front costs, which helps them keep virtually no inventory and not have to worry about minimum items,” the pair said. “And although they started out as startups, many of today’s most popular brands continue to use blanks for their products for the same reasons.” But not surprisingly, increased production comes at a high environmental cost.
By some estimates, more than two billion t-shirts are produced each year. With less than 1% of those made with organic cotton, and even less with recycled cotton, the impact is clear. “What this means is that over 99% of t-shirts are made with conventional GMO cotton, synthetic plastic-based fabrics or blends that contain plastic. These types of clothing cause a host of environmental problems. that pollute rivers and oceans., while also not being biodegradable or easily recyclable. Since there is no natural pathway for decomposition, they most often end up in landfills or are incinerated , increasing the global problem of waste and pollution that we are currently facing. “
How eco-responsible whites can help you
It’s these alarming statistics that put Osborne, Mak and Version Tomorrow in motion. While analyzing their own use of blanks, the pair embarked on a multi-year research and development process to find out how to build a better blank. “The key for us was our material innovation and low impact supply chain which allowed us to create our unique RECYCLED + ORGANIC cotton blend, made from
GRS certified recycled cotton and OCS certified organic cotton. Not only does this decrease water consumption, but it produces less than half of the greenhouse gas emissions like conventional cotton.
“With Version Tomorrow’s in-stock blank program, we’ve created a turnkey way for brands and designers of all kinds to be able to create long-lasting products without having to do heavy research and development. With it, they can quickly make a unique switch from using conventionally made or synthetic clothing to much more environmentally friendly clothing, made from our RECYCLED + ORGANIC cotton blend.
and creative, we believe that the quality does not have to be sacrificed to make the product more environmentally friendly.
“We were determined that our manufacture would be monofiber and contain only cotton. At the end of its life, Version Tomorrow’s clothing can be mechanically recycled using existing methods and is also biodegradable, if recycling is not an issue. option.”
The future of sustainable streetwear
Today, Version Tomorrow has extended its reach and mission beyond its in-stock program to offer its production services and materials to any brand or designer. With a fully customized production platform, they have partnered up with a number of well-known streetwear brands, such as
Future world and Kith, to move the needle of environmental responsibility within the community.
Exclusivity and hype will always be the driving force behind streetwear. But in the constant pursuit of long-awaited declines, reducing consumption and waste shouldn’t be an afterthought. Streetwear thrives on a clan understanding of a brand’s creativity and cultural impact. So, by teaming up with streetwear pioneers, Version Tomorrow bridges the gap in the sustainability conversation in this subcultural style.
“Our request is that designers take the end of life of their clothes into account before producing their products. In our opinion, the only way it works is to start at the raw materials phase and have a product designed for circularity. ” With this in mind, we can create a new vision of luxury and redefine the terms of streetwear.
Top photo: Getty
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