20 Reusable Everyday Items

Helping save the planet may sound like a superhero-sized task, but everyone can do their part to keep the Mothership clean. Our New Year’s resolutions reminded us to “reduce, reuse, recycle” with an extra emphasis on REDUCE and REUSE. Recycling is great but there are some untold complications (like high energy use and lack of recycling centers). The best solution is reducing what you use in the first place and reusing the things that you already have. Here are 20 reusable items – superhero powers not required.

    1. 1. Beer bottles: Repurpose old beer bottles as funky new string lights. Or, use an old bottle as a soap dispenser.
    2. 2. Wine corks: Fill an old jar (reusable items x2!) with old wine corks and 90% rubbing alcohol; let the corks soak for a week. What you’ll get is flammable corks for an easy, non-toxic fire starter. (Just make sure to use all-natural corks; no one wants to breathe in synthetic fumes.)
    3. 3. Tea bags: There are an endless amount of opportunities for reusing tea bag herbs: in homemade soaps or air fresheners, to feed your garden, de-grease dirty dishes, shine glass, renew wood furniture, and to treat burns, rashes, and infections. You can use old tea bags to add flavor to food (like jasmine tea to rice or cinnamon tea to oatmeal), and spruce up a bourbon or vodka cocktail with a little herbal somethin-somethin.
    4. 4. An old toolbox: This is possibly our favorite camping hack. Fill an old tool box with spices, pantry staples, utensils, mini bottles of booze, whatever you want in your camp kitchen kit.S19_Day_2_32_Group_Yurt_0138
    5. 5. Used coffee filters: Just to be clear, you CAN reuse coffee filters for more than one brew if you dump the grinds out. You can also rub dark shoes with used filters to make them shine again. To dispose, compost or stick them in your garden, grounds and all.
    6. 6. Coffee cans: Embrace the Kondo Method and use old coffee cans to collect all that random junk that’s accumulating. Already de-cluttered? Make indoor or outdoor planters from old cans. Or, a rusty colander comes ready-made with holes and needs barely any work to become the perfect planter.
  1. 7. Beer/Soda can tabs: Use a can tab to hook two hangers together, creating double the storage for hanging clothes. Small closets rejoice!
  2. 8. Old condiment bottles: Fill one old condiment bottle with pancake batter and one with eggs (un-shelled, obviously) for a quick camp breakfast. Best enjoyed outside with a side of bacon.
  3. 9. Egg cartons: It’s like they were designed specifically for growing seedlings. Plant a few seeds in each cup until they sprout into seedlings, then replant. (Bonus hack: let a few of your best plants go to seed and save the seeds for the following season.) If you don’t have a green thumb, reuse egg cartons as packing materials or donate them to local farmers.
  4. 10. Food scraps: There are zillions of ways to prevent food waste (we’re fans of Save The Food for endless ideas), but here are some Toad faves: season potato peelings and sauté for a crunchy and addictive snack; mix and match leftover veggies to make savory scones; and use strawberry tops for a refreshing Rosé Granita cocktail. Citrus peels infused with white vinegar make a nontoxic, smells-so-fresh, cleaning solution.
  5. 11. Jars: The poster child for reusable items. Reuse jars for leftovers, homemade sauces (see #10 for ideas), bulk dried goods, and pre-fab lunches. Pro tip: When freezing liquids, don’t seal the jar until contents are completely frozen or the jar will break.
  6. 12. Gallon jugs: Forget the bags of ice, fill an old gallon jug with water and freeze. That giant “ice pack” will keep your camp cooler just as cold. Bonus: You can use the water for drinking, cooking, or washing when it melts.
  7. 13. Prescription bottles: The perfect size for a mini first aid kit. Be a hero when you have band-aids, Neosporin, ibuprofen, and allergy meds on hand.
  8. 14. Empty laundry detergent dispenser: Fill with water, flip upside down, and you’ve got a camp hand and dish-washing station. Bungee your paper towel roll to the top for even more glamp-tastic efficiency.
  9. 15. Fabric scraps:  Like food, there’s a lot you can do with old fabric scraps. Here at Toad, we recycle them into new clothes. For minimal effort: use fabric scraps to wrap gifts. For more DIY, here are 100 fun projects.wrapping header
  10. 16. Bathroom items: When looking for things that can be reused, your bathroom is a great place to start. Old toothbrushes make great scrubbers for grout and hard to reach places. Empty toothpaste tubes can be repurposed as frosting tubes (cut the end off and clean them well!). Fill empty deodorant bottles with your own DIY deodorant. And when you finish a bottle of product, opt for a place like The Refill Shoppe that will fill up old containers with new shampoo/conditioner/etc.
  11. 17. Cereal liner bags: Lots of ways to keep these pesky little bags out of the trash. Make a piping bag for frosting, use the bag to store leftovers, or use the bag to crush crackers, nuts, cereal and more without making a huge mess.
  12. 18. Vintage camera: Turn a camera into a cool lamp. You’ll need an old camera, a few small tools, and a couple of free hours.
  13. 19. Sunglasses cases: Not just for glasses. Storage for reusable utensils, makeup, and anything else that you don’t want getting lost in the fray.
  14. 20. Old skis: The great and powerful shotski. As far as we’re concerned, a group shot-taking tool is the only use. Instructions for building one here.

Do you have more tips for reusing and up-cycling? Let us know, we’re suckers for living sustainably.

Tencel®: The New Performance Fabric

Mother Nature brings a lot to the table when it comes to performance. Synthetic fabrics like spandex, polyester, and nylon dominate the active wear marketplace, but plant-based fibers offer a lot of the same benefits with a fraction of the environmental costs. (Plus, nothing beats the feeling of plant-based fibers against your skin). Made from an eco-friendly eucalyptus wood pulp, Tencel® is perhaps our very favorite.

Tencel® starts with fine, water-loving fibers that quickly absorb and transport moisture away from the skin. Its cellulosic nature inhibits the growth of bacteria, which allows for stronger, longer lasting yarns. And softness. Like MEGA softness. Tencel® is akin to silk in both feel and drape, and it’s low pilling so you can wear it over and over again. Pure Tencel® fabrics are lightweight and airy (great for summer travel), while a Tencel® blend boasts excellent year-round performance (if you just can’t live without your polyester active-wear). Tencel® is 100% machine washable and won’t bag out or melt away in the dryer over time. #laundrywin

Last, and most importantly, we love Tencel® for its clean production process. The eucalyptus is grown in Europe and requires fewer pesticides and far less acreage and water than cotton. The raw eucalyptus is processed in an eco-award winning “closed loop” system that recovers and reuses 99.7% of the processing solvents. (Sidenote: the primary solvent is the nontoxic solvent amine oxide and is infinitely better than harsher solvents used in traditional viscose processes.)

Our Tencel® has been certified according to the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, a rigorous testing, auditing, and certification system for environmentally friendly textiles. It’s also recognized by the European Union as both safe and sustainable. Can your activewear claim all that?

Forget what you thought you knew about crunchy, shiny performance fabrics – Mother Nature knows best. Shop our Men’s Tencel® and Women’s Tencel® styles and see for yourself.

Toad&Co Sustainability Cheat Sheet

When it comes to sustainable, easy-on-the-earth clothing, there are some great options. But the apparel industry is still one of the biggest polluters on the planet due to poor-quality, cheaply made clothing. The industry is the second largest industrial polluter, second only to oil, and accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions. We’re doing our part to bring those numbers down by making high-quality clothing from better fibers. Our Sustainability Cheat Sheet identifies fibers that we think are good based on their low environmental impact, and fibers that aren’t so great because of their dirty production processes. Look at the tags or fabric content before you buy: If the majority of its fibers are from the ‘great’ list, it’s probably A-Okay; avoid buying items with ingredients from the ‘not so great’ list. You vote at the ballot box for sustainable climate measures, so vote with your dollars for sustainable, eco-friendly clothes. When you make educated choices, you can live well and do good.

Great Fibers

ORGANIC COTTON
The ONLY cotton in our eyes. Starts with GMO-free seed and follows practices that maintain soil health, conserve water and support biodiversity. 100% of our cotton is certified organic cotton. Period.

TENCEL®
Soft, perfect drape and made from responsibly forested trees in a closed-loop system. Efficient, clean and 98% of by-products are recovered and reused. Waste not, want not.

LENZING MODAL®
Starts with sustainably grown trees and processed in an energy-efficient system that reuses most of the by-products. We’re big fans.

RECYCLED POLYESTER
Goodbye plastic bottles, hello awesome fabrics. Made from post-consumer plastic waste which reduces emissions and uses less water that virgin polyester. Also stems the mountain of trash entering landfills and oceans.

HEMP & LINEN
Hemp & Linen are fast growing, low maintenance crops that are grown primarily with rain water, requiring minimal chemical inputs during growth and processing. Extra hemp bonus: the entire plant can be used!

RECYCLED WOOL
Upcycled wool garments and mill scraps are spun into new, performance fabrics, sparing reusable materials from landfills and drastically reducing the resources needed to grow, graze and process new wool. Bah-utiful!

bluesign® APPROVED
The bluesign® system takes into account the use of energy, water, chemistry, emissions and worker safety during fabric production. In Fall 2017 we have 13 bluesign® approved fabrics across 23 styles.

Not So Great Fibers

ACRYLIC
Acrylic may be cheap, but the costs are high. Acrylic is made from polyacylonitrile (a soft plastic and known carcinogen) in a chemical and energy intensive process. Toxic by-products during manufacturing have been linked to occupational hazards and waste water is difficult to treat. Acrylic fabric is nearly impossible to recycle. We refuse to use acrylic in any of our fabrics.

BAMBOO VISCOSE
Though Bamboo has natural origins, converting stalky bamboo into fabric is a dirty process. Pulping and spinning requires toxic chemicals and high energy demands. Issues with non-sustainable tree-sourcing risk deforestation of ancient bamboo forests. It’s common to see misleading eco-claims about bamboo (“bamboozling”) so we stay away from it altogether, preferring to use verified eco-friendly fibers like Tencel® and recycled polyester.

CONVENTIONAL COTTON
Don’t be fooled – regular cotton is pretty darn unnatural. It starts with GMO seed and high use of herbicides, inorganic fertilizers and hazardous pesticides. The process has high water use due to irrigation. For us, it’s organic cotton or bust.

RAYON VISCOSE
Cheap fibers leave big environmental footprints. Making rayon viscose is an energy intensive process that generally starts with unknown tree sources which can lead to deforestation in places like the Indonesian rainforests. Toxic chemicals are used in the pulping and spinning processes which generates harmful waste and by-product. Given alternatives like Lenzing Modal®, we steer clear of rayon viscose fibers.

SILK
Sure silk looks and feels amazing, but it requires a lot of trees and their tasty leaves to keep those worms fed. Large quantities of chemicals are used for growth hormones and de-gumming the silk thread from its sticky residue. Lastly, a lot of energy is required for processing.

Verified industry sources:
Textile Exchange Material Snapshots 2015, SAC Higg Index, Made-By Environmental Benchmark for Fibers

Wear Green or Get Pinched!

 

You know why we love St. Patrick’s Day? Because you gotta wear green – and not just the color, the ethos. We think “green” means sustainably sourced, responsibly made, eco-friendly clothing. Luckily, we’re chock full of it!  Making a T-Shirt doesn’t seem too complicated. Source some fabric, sew it up, throw it in a package and off it goes. This “simple” process is repeated each day by clothing manufacturers all over the world. When you do it the responsible way, it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Sustainable manufacturing techniques are few and far between. To keep costs low, clothing companies will source cheap materials and manufacture in unregulated facilities. These methods can have severe impacts on local environments and local communities. Choosing sustainability isn’t always the easy route, but for us it’s the only route. We call it eCo.

Look for our eCo tags to call out all products that get the sustainability stamp of approval.

For us, it all starts with sourcing good materials. We strive to use sustainable fibers, so you’ll see a lot of organic cotton, recycled polyester, Tencel® and Modal® in our products. We do our best to use bluesign® approved fabrics to trace the environmental impact of a fabric from sourcing to final production. bluesign® is a third party auditor that examines each step in the textile supply chain to approve processes and materials, ensuring they are safe for the environment and factory workers.

When we partner with a manufacturer, we look for manufacturers taking steps above and beyond to promote human rights, sustainability and community culture. Our partner in Turkey, for example, manages the entire manufacturing process, from organic cotton farming to making fabrics to assembling the final garments. Total processing within one country has many benefits: It dramatically reduces the environmental footprint associated with material transportation and increases traceability on all production platforms. They’ve taken their commitment to sustainability one step further by switching to solar energy at the factory – a transition that has reduced their carbon emissions by half.  We are proud of the long-lasting relationships we have with many of our vendors and  believe that you could visit any of our factories and leave not thinking less of Toad&Co or our products.


Just as orange is the new black, dirty is the new clean.

Sustainability starts with us, but it continues with you. That’s why you’ll find written in the care tag inside all Toad&Co garments the reminder to “Wear more, wash less. Wear it out or pass it on.”  Studies suggest that 58% of the energy and 45% of the water that goes into a garment happens post-purchase, so we recommend that you wear your clothing multiple times before washing to conserve natural resources and prolong the life of your beloved Toad&Co clothing.


Our eCo products pair well with Red or White, smiles guaranteed.

Currently 90% of our line is considered eCo and there is always room for improvement. Every season we strive to improve our sustainability efforts and reduce our footprint even more.  So when you wear Toad&Co clothing, you’re supporting ethical manufacturing and sustainable business. Together we are a force and together we can affect the future.

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Sustainability Cheat Sheet

 

During the busiest shopping season of the year, we want you to shop responsibly. Did you know that close to 12.7 million tons of textiles end up in the landfills annually? And that the textile industry is one of highest polluting industries on the planet? Luckily, there are lots of brands devoted to making clothing that minimizes our impact on the planet. If we could, we’d go naked everywhere, all the time. But eventually we’d get cold and crabby and probably make some rash decisions. Everybody wears clothes, everybody shops and that’s okay. Just shop with knowledge and give gifts that are sustainably built and from environmentally conscious brands. So cut this cheat sheet out, commit it to memory, screen shot it, send it to your friends and family, tattoo it to your arm… whatever you have to do. Just remember, what’s good for the planet is good for you, too. Happy Holidays!

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Feeling inspired? Shop our Organic Cotton Styles for Men and Women

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 Non-Mulesed Merino Wool Sweaters 

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Wear Green Every Day

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll wear green to celebrate. In honor of the planet, we wear “green” every day. “Green”, “eCo”, “sustainable”, “earth-friendly” – whatever you call it, we subscribe to the idea that you should never have to choose between living well and doing good. Our design approach is to make great clothes that last and work to lighten our collective environmental footprint. 

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It all starts with the fibers that make up our fabrics. Fibers, natural or man made, are the building blocks of yarns, which are then woven or knitted into the fabrics we use. We choose fibers for their various aesthetic and performance attributes and their sustainability factor. We’re big fans of organic cottonTencel®Modal®, recycled polyester and reclaimed wool. Fun fact: 100% of our cotton is certified organic!

Once we’ve got our “green” building blocks, we strive to develop fabrics with just as much integrity – we call these our eCo FabricsWe define eCo fabrics as any fabric that uses preferred “green” fibers and/or bluesign® certified fabrics. bluesign® is the “green” watchdog of the garment industry. bluesign® certification assures the use of chemicals and processes that are safe for the environment and best practices for efficient use of energy, water, emissions monitoring and worker safety. We’re proud that as of spring 2019, 100% of our product is considered eCo. So go ahead and wear green on St. Patrick’s Day – and every day.

Our greenest green…

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Our Men’s Hookline Shirt is made from 100% recycled fibers.

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Our Women’s Epique Short Sleeve Dress is made from all natural hemp and organic cotton that comes straight from the earth.