PPAI Magazine November 2023

Look for easily identifiable standards and certifications, she advises, like Better Cotton Initiative, bluesign, Cradle to Cradle, GOTS (the Global Organic Textile Standard) and OEKO-TEX. “Brands that have products certified through these standards have done a lot of legwork to prove they aren’t greenwashing and are taking the sustainability of their goods seriously,” says Wimbush. Taschereau and her team look for rPET certified under the Global Recycling Standard, a voluntary product standard for tracking and verifying the content of recycled materials in a final product. “We want to make sure that it’s got a chain of custody and it can be authenticated,” she says. “If you’re saying that you have recycled poly in your shirt or in whatever it is you’re doing, if a distributor like me asks, you want to be able to say ‘here is the certification document’ so that we have that authenticity through the supply chain.” Taschereau says T-shirts made with organic and recycled fibers are nothing new, and “all the main apparel players have rolled out a lot of sustainable textiles,” but she’s excited to see the product offerings expanding to outerwear. “Seeing really beautiful, cool, functional performance wear and outerwear is pretty new in our space,” she says. “Getting access to sustainable T-shirts has been pretty easy for a while, but starting to see puffies and fleece and shackets and flannels and polos and products outside of that T-shirt and hoodie realm, it’s just really blown up in our industry in the last few years, and it’s awesome.” Versatile outerwear that supports layering can make a person’s wardrobe more eco-friendly overall, says Vicki Ostrom, trend analyst/futurist with supplier SanMar and founder of Trendependent, a trend resource for the promotional products industry. With layering, she adds, “you can have one wardrobe that takes you from January through the whole year round, and it does have to do with sustainability, because even if the fabric itself isn’t organic or recycled, if it helps you not have to have the air conditioner on so high or the heat up,” reducing your carbon footprint. Be sure to share your sustainability story, too, says Ostrom, because customers want to know that you’re trying. “Now, there’s just so many ways that you can try to do better,” she says, “and storytelling is really important.” This Unisex Tri-Blend Tee is a favorite for Taschereau and her team. The supersoft T-shirt, made with 50% recycled polyester (about six plastic bottles), 25% organic cotton and 25% Tencel modal is carbon neutral thanks to offsets via www.carbonfund.org. Comes in 22 colors (deep sea green shown) and sizes XS-L. Allmade Apparel PPAI 743984, S1 allmade.com This Ultimate Fleece FullZip Hoodie, made of a cotton/ poly blend, contains up to 30% recycled polyester and sustainably sourced cotton. Thoughtful details like the dyed-to-match drawcord and print-friendly covered zipper give it a polished look. Comes in 10 colors (army green shown) and sizes XS to 4X. Threadfast Apparel PPAI 622344, S6 threadfast.com PPAI • NOVEMBER 2023 • 23 In Style | Essentials