It’s November and the holidays are officially here. Best to keep these essentials on hand.
It’s November and the holidays are officially here. Best to keep these essentials on hand.
We love the holidays (gathering, eating, appreciating) and Planet Earth (mountains, water, trees, life as we know it…). So this year we’re on a mission to make our favorite traditions a little more earth-friendly. Here are our 7 tips to help you have a waste-free holiday season and score some extra points on the Nice List.
The 90s called, and they’re not getting their jeans back anytime soon. We’re thrilled to announce that we’re now offering vintage denim on our website. By rocking vintage, you’re doing your part to keep clothes out of the landfill, which keeps the circular economy in motion, and lets Mother Nature rest easy (most denim production also uses a ton of water, so shopping vintage is just as water-wise as it is a win for your closet).
Because each pair of vintage 501s has its own unique story, inseam lengths will vary and some pairs are more washed and worn than others. We think it’s awesome that no two pairs are the same, and love the idea of adding your chapter to your new (well….old) pair’s story.
Our in-house denim gurus (AKA Kyle, our Head of Product, Design, and Supply Chain, and Lindsay, our Web Merchant/Style Superstar) share their super simple, step-by-step guide on how to cut denim to make it your own. Give it a try and we can guarantee that your newly acquired jeans will thank you for keeping them from the landfill, and breathing some extra life into them too.
And a pro tip from the rest of the Toads: Make it to the end for a good laugh.
Our long term commitment to sustainability wouldn’t be what it is without our vow to save water. We’ve been reminded to turn off the sink while brushing our teeth from a young age, and we can all agree that protecting this valuable resource is more important now than ever.
We’re on a mission to cut our water usage by 100,000 liters per year by 2025. Here’s what we’re already doing, and will continue to do, to up our H2O-saving game.
When it comes to sustainable fibers, recycled fibers are the gold standard. Virgin materials require a ton of land, energy, chemicals, and—you guessed it—water, to produce. Recycled fibers, on the other hand, rely on materials that have already gone through those resource-intensive production processes once. If you want to get in the eco-weeds, here’s how fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles.
From 2018 to 2019, we have almost doubled our use of recycled fibers. And each year, we’ll continue to raise the bar.
A conventional cotton T-shirt takes 713 gallons of water to grow (enough to sustain one person for almost three years!). But organic agriculture uses water more responsibly. For something to be GOTS certified, it must use a certain amount of “green water” (a more sustainable kind of water, which uses rain water instead of irrigation) versus “blue water” (pumped in from lakes, streams, glaciers, and snow). Overall, organic cotton uses 88% less water than conventional cotton to grow.
100% of our cotton is certified organic or recycled, always and forever.
Fabrics that take less water to produce, such as hemp and TENCEL™, are a big win for Mother Earth. Hemp is more than the latest buzzword—it’s an epic wonder weed that relies primarily on rainwater to grow. And TENCEL™ is a plant-based fiber made from certified sustainable trees (often eucalyptus, which require far less acreage and water to grow than cotton). It’s made in a closed loop process, recycling process water and reusing the solvent at a recovery rate of more than 99%. Lenzing Modal® is another fave eco-friendly fiber of ours. The bulk of it comes from renewable beech trees which grow quickly, don’t rely on artificial irrigation, and propagate on their own.
From 2018 to 2019, we’ve more than doubled our use of hemp fibers, increased our use of TENCEL™ by over 30%, and increased our use of Lenzing Modal® by almost 40%. And our commitment to these low maintenance plants isn’t going anywhere.
In a closed loop system, products are designed and manufactured to circulate within society for as long as possible, with maximum usability, minimum waste generation, and the most efficient use of resources (ie: using our natural resources to their full potential before discarding them, and even then, discarding in a way that won’t harm the environment). In closed-loop factories, wastewater doesn’t leave the plants. Instead, it’s filtered and sent back to its own system to be reused. Fibers like TENCEL™ and Modal are processed in closed-loop systems which recover and reuse solvents.
Let’s do this, sustainability. ‘Til death do us part.
When one eco-friendly trailer door closes, another opens. While Dr. Drew’s passion for sustainability and general stoke for life have been integral to launching our Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable mobile tour, his time on the road has come to an end. While Drew returns to the Toad mothership in Santa Barbara, CA, we’re kicking off a new chapter of the tour in Freeport, ME—with a new rad couple at the wheel.
Meet Rob and Rachel. Originally from Atlanta (Rob) and Connecticut (Rachel), the pair met at Appalachian State University, tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. They most recently lived in Denver where Rob worked as a land use planner and Rachel was working with geographic information systems for the city. Now, they’re onto their next big adventure as they hit the road to spread the word about how we’re helping to clean up the apparel industry.
Toad HQ: What made you want to join the Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable tour?
Rachel: We had been tossing around the idea of a big road trip for a while now, so when we heard about the tour through my sister Sam (who works at the Toad&Co Freeport store), we knew we wanted in! I’ve been a big fan of Toad for a while now and love the word that this tour is spreading.
Rob: We’re already fans of the brand and really support Toad’s ecologically responsible practices. We really wanted to be a part of increasing awareness of the environmental impacts of the apparel industry (4th largest global polluter—real bummer) and offering an alternative (go nude, or wear sustainable clothing). It was a no brainer!
What are you most excited about in the months ahead as you lead the charge on the STP tour?
Rob: I’m excited to see parts of the country that I’ve never been to, and engage the local communities as we raise awareness about sustainability.
Rachel: Aside from the two stops (Freeport and Chicago) on this next leg, every place will be new so I’m really stoked to see cities we haven’t been to and connect with the people in those communities.
What’s your favorite U.S. city to visit?
Rachel: It’s always whatever’s next! Recently, we’ve spent a lot of time in Santa Fe and we love it. The sunsets, food, and hiking are killer.
What about your favorite national park?
Rachel: Rocky Mountain National Park, without a doubt.
Rob: Ditto! Living in Denver gave us the opportunity to spend plenty of time there. I’m stoked to visit new parks along the trip, especially Glacier NP and Northern Cascades NP. Who knows—maybe we’ll wrap up our time on the tour with a new favorite…
How about your favorite road trip songs?
Rob: Can’t go wrong with a long Phish or Dead jam to crush some miles!
Rachel: You’ll usually find me listening to some folk or bluegrass. There’s a lot of John Prine and Vampire Weekend in my current rotation.
Which one of you is most likely to get caught belting out your favorite tunes while driving?
Rachel: We have a few solid duets in our repertoire, but probably me!
At Toad, we stand by the idea that every day is an adventure. What are your best tips for living life this way?
Rob: Go for it! If you’ve ever wanted to do something, you can find a way.
Rachel: And don’t wait. Just make it happen!
What outdoor activities get you most fired up?
Rob: Backpacking and fly fishing. But also into hiking, cycling, running, and climbing. I guess this is also how I live every day as an adventure!
Rachel: I love biking around to check out new spots, backpacking and hiking, and I’ve recently gotten into fly fishing with Rob.
Even the most adventurous of us need a little downtime. How do you like to spend yours?
Rachel: I love to bake (mostly pies) and garden.
Rob: Playing guitar, eating good food, and an occasional binge watch on a rainy day.
Can you share your best hacks for living life on the road sustainably?
Rob: Bring reusable cups and utensils, say “for here!” when ordering food and coffee, wear clothes a lot between washes (dirty is the new clean), and stop to make food on the road.
Rachel: We try to limit our waste as much as possible—make our own food, bring to-go containers, eat in if we don’t have them, and always say no to straws!
If we learned one thing from Drew, it’s that the search for the best cup of coffee and most tasty beer is critical on a long road trip (just kidding, Dr. Drew, you taught us a lot). What’s currently topping your list?
Rachel: I’ll get a vanilla latte when I’m treating myself, and my old neighborhood coffee shop in Denver, Queen City Collective, makes the best cuppa Joe. When it comes to beer, I’m really into the Milkshake IPA right now. WeldWerks in Colorado does ’em best.
Rob: You can’t go wrong with a good IPA, clear or hazy. Right now we’re in Maine and I’m loving Lunch from Maine Beer Co. For coffee, I typically go for a local light roast in whichever city we’re in.
Have you ever gone nude in the name of sustainability (we have to ask…)?
Rachel: We haven’t yet, but anything’s possible on the tour, right?!
What are your favorite Toad clothes to keep it comfy on the road?
Learn more about the Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable tour and find out if we’re coming to your neck of the woods.
The apparel industry is a dirty one (the 4th largest global polluter of air and water), and the way we see it, you have two options: Go nude or wear sustainable. So we’ve set out on a cross-country tour to spread the word – with our sustainably-retrofitted 1959 Shasta Trailer Buffy leading the charge and Toad Drew (aka Dr. Drew) at the wheel. We’re rolling into towns to host events with local retailers, organizations, artists, and makers to spread the gospel of sustainability. And yes, for those wondering, those are Drew’s legs on the driver’s side of the truck.
Drew and Buffy have been on the road for 92 days (that’s around 8 thousand miles, 23 tunnel breath holds, and 98 honks), so we decided it was time for a check in with our main man to see how life on the road is treating him.
Toad HQ: Where are you now?
Drew: Somewhere in Delaware, near the Pennsylvania border. This morning I got stuck behind a horse and buggy carrying a cart of hay during rush hour. First time for everything!
What has been the most unexpected part of your trip?
How big Texas actually is! You don’t really feel the 268,597 square miles until you’re driving it with a trailer in tow.
What’s the most beautiful place you’ve seen so far?
Great Smokey Mountains, Tennessee. The Smokeys were covered with snow-capped trees and untouched wilderness as far as the eye could see. It’s the most visited national park in the nation (pro tip: free admission!). I rolled through the park at first light and as I came through the hills, the clouds settled right at the treeline, staying true to its namesake. A must see for all wilderness fans.
Can you tell us a little bit about your sidekick Buffy?
She’s a 1959 Shasta trailer – and we’ve retrofitted her interior using 100% sustainable materials like upcycled cardboard and sawdust, recycled cork, upcycled steel, and beetle kill pine for the floorboards. We keep her well lit with a rechargeable battery and solar panels. She might be sick of my personal carpool karaoke moments, but she’ll never admit it (If you want to know what I’m belting out, check out my road trip playlist).
Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met along the way?
I met a great guy named Art in Raleigh, NC. He’s originally from Kauai and is making plans to sail from Maine down to Florida. We’ve been supporting local retailers and nonprofits in every city we stop in, and I’ve met a ton of cool people through those partnerships. Everyone’s been super welcoming and it’s been great to be part of each of these communities for a few days.
With “Go Nude” written all over your ride, we have to ask…how many times have you been flashed?
Surprisingly, zero! Though one gal did tell me, “You wish you could see me naked.” Ask me how many traffic violations have been committed after seeing the rig, though. Probably thousands.
We believe it. What else have you been keeping track of?
I’ve enjoyed 111 beers (discovering lots of rad local breweries), stayed in 19 2-star hotels, saw 85 dog sweaters in Austin, TX, and coffee intake has been too high to calculate.
Have you learned anything new about sustainability on your trip?
In Pennsylvania, we’re partnering with Stroud Water Research Center to put on events around the state. They’re an awesome non-profit that taught me a lot about organic farming. They advise on seasonal cover crop rotations (planned sequences of crops over time on the same field, which helps improve soil stability) rather than tillage (turning the soil to prepare for seeding). Soil tillage can increase the likelihood of nutrient runoff into streams and rivers and the release of greenhouse gases. Crop rotation also means fewer problems with insects and pests, preventing the need for pesticides.
How do you keep things eco-friendly while you’re on the road?
I dine in for most of my meals (relying on Airbnbs with kitchens so I can whip something up each night). I also always cruise around with a spork, a coffee/beer mug (what’s in it just depends on the time of day), and a water bottle. I shop with reusable bags (produce bags too) and bring reusable containers, like mason jars, for bulk bins at co-ops and local grocery stores.
Have you learned anything surprising about yourself along the way?
I never would have guessed I loved being on the radio! There might even be a podcast interview going live soon…
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten?
Brisket in Austin. Hands down.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten?
Okra. That’s some slimy stuff!
You’ll be saying goodbye to Buffy and passing the torch to a new tour lead soon. What are you looking most forward to during the final leg of your trip?
Scoring some waves in Maine and seeing our store in Freeport (also Maine).
What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get back to Santa Barbara?
I’m going to see Father John Misty at The SB Bowl with my lady.
Which spring items have you seen flying off the shelves?
Check out our Save the Planet tour page to see if we’re coming to your neck of the woods.
And if you want more on sustainability from Drew, see him drop all kinds of eco-knowledge about one of our favorite fibers (hemp).
Scenes from the road…
When you live on Earth (which 99.9% of us do…), every day is Earth Day. Since every action we take affects our Mothership (hello Butterfly Effect), a little positive change can go a long way. Here are 10 easy ways you can help fight climate change, because we’re all earthlings and we’d like to keep it that way.
1. No more single-use plastic ever.
You’ve heard it before but we’ll say it again for the kids in the back: single-use plastic is a REAL bummer. Bad news: Humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute and only 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S. Good news: There are SO many great reusable options for water bottles, sandwich bags, grocery and produce bags, metal straws, silverware, alternatives to Saran Wrap like Bee’s Wrap – the possibilities are endless, and they’ve gotten really easy to find.
2. Shop brands that give back.
When everyone’s selling something, it can be tough to know who’s doing it in a responsible way. A few tips: Look for brands that are part of 1% for the Planet (that’s us), Conservation Alliance (us too), or are B-Corp Certified (workin’ on it). These are all signs that brands are doing their part to help save the planet.
3. Look for energy credits.
Lots of U.S. states offer tax credits for things like installing solar panels, making energy-efficient improvements to your home, or driving energy-efficient cars. Check out all the incentives your state offers here.
4. Reduce and Reuse.
Obviously recycling is important (fun fact: recycled fibers are the gold standard for conscious clothing), but Reducing and Reusing resources will have the biggest positive impact. Reuse the basics (pst: here’s our guide to 20 Reusable Everyday Items), and for goodness sakes attempt to FIX things before you replace them (here’s the 101 on how to sew a button). If you must, donate unwanted clothes to a program like The Renewal Workshop.
5. Support your local farmers.
Most food in the US travels an average of 1,500 miles to get from “field to plate.” It takes 435 fossil-fuel calories to fly a 5-calorie strawberry from California to New York. Shopping locally-grown food cuts that down to basically ZERO. More bonuses to buying from local farmers: It’s generally organic (ie: doesn’t rely on synthetic or petroleum-based chemicals), it fosters a healthy ecosystem in your own backyard, and small farms help keep the natural balance between humans and wildlife (and many farms even act as Certified Wildlife Habitats).
6. Bike, walk, run, skate….
Get that heart pumping and get moving the Flinstone way! Across the world, the longest-living people are the ones who have incorporated movement into their life daily. Walk to visit friend, ride your bike to the grocery store, get outside for a hike. Do things the old fashioned way (ie: without gasoline) and you’ll do right by the earth and the body.
What’s better than getting your hands a little dirty in the name of Planet Earth? Plant a tree. Pick up trash on the beach. Maintain trails. Do it with a friend and it’ll have twice the impact. Get your kids involved and you’ll have a Steward of the Earth for life. Here’s a great site called VolunteerMatch that will hook you up with local orgs doing cool things in your community.
8. Make it official.
Take your dedication one step further and become a member of 1% for the Planet, a network of brands, organizations and individuals that are committed to giving back to the earth by supporting key issues related to climate, land, food, pollution, water and wildlife. Businesses commit to giving 1% of sales each year, and individuals (that’s you) can commit 1% of their salary or volunteer hours to approved nonprofits. If the karma points aren’t incentive enough, you’ll get exclusive discounts and prizes from the 1% network of brands (like Toad&Co!) who are committed to being better.
Flex those democratic muscles and vote for candidates and policies that care, especially local politicians who are making decisions about your own backyard. Look for measures and representatives who are bike and pedestrian-friendly, protect natural areas, focus on waste management, and advocate for clean water.
10. Wear sustainable.
The apparel industry is the 4th largest polluter of air and water on Earth. The way we see it, you can either go nude or wear sustainable. (Shameless plug: we’re traversing the country in our sustainably-built “Go Nude” trailer to spread the word). Nudity isn’t always an option, but sustainable clothing is! 100% of our clothing is made with sustainable fibers and fabrics that are 3rd party certified for responsible manufacturing.
When it comes to apparel industry pollution, the buck stops here. As pioneers in sustainable fashion, we set out to create a collection that didn’t waste, pollute, or use any resources. The result? The ZERO Collection, the world’s first clothing line made with zero impact.
Ok, we might be yanking your chain, but now that we have your attention… let’s talk sustainable apparel.
Here’s the short version: The apparel industry is the 4th largest polluter of air and water on earth and 12.8 million tons of textiles end up in US landfills annually. That’s a massive impact clothing has on the earth.
Here’s the long version: The apparel industry is not without flaws, but there are tons of innovative practices that are helping to clean up a dirty industry. For the last 23 years we’ve been on the front lines of the movement by doing our homework and adapting our supply chain. Here are some of the things we’re doing to make Toad&Co apparel better for people and planet:
When it comes to wearing sustainable clothing, sticking to organic, plant-based or eco materials is a great start. But we go one step further and look for 3rd party certifications to ensure that we’re doing right by people and planet. Here are some of the reputable sustainable apparel certifications you’ll find in our clothing:
The bluesign® system takes into account the use of energy, water, chemistry, emissions and worker safety during fabric production. Specifically, the bluesign® system monitors efficient use of resources during the “Dyeing and Finishing Process” of fabric production. The dyeing and finishing stage alone uses many resources: 85% of water, 80% of energy, and 65% of chemicals that are used to produce a single garment are used during this process. The bluesign® system audits this process to ensure that these resources are being used in the most efficient way. They rely on a 5 principle system to determine whether a fabric is up to sustainability standards. As of Spring 2019, we have 49 styles made from blueisgn®-approved fabrics – 1/3 of the spring line.
Your skin is the largest, most porous organ in your body. STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is a worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system that assures no harmful chemicals or toxins were used from fiber-to-finished garment. In short, OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certified garments ensure your skin isn’t coming in contact with nasty chemicals. Certified fabrics are tested for over 100 harmful substances (like pesticides, carcinogenic colorants and heavy metals) that go far beyond existing national legislation. As of Spring 2019, we have 14 styles with fabrics that are certified Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®.
The Global Recycling Standard (GRS) tracks and traces materials to certify that recycled fabric is made from at least 50% recycled content. GRS auditors also visit factories to ensure that workers are treated fairly, recycled materials are handled by adults, and factory processes protect natural resources. Our GRS-certified products are made from materials that would otherwise be in the landfill.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification ensures that our cotton is truly organic: non-GMO, free from pesticides, and responsibly grown using water-and energy-saving methods. Fibers have a big journey from farm to fabric. GOTS certifies that these fibers are handled properly at every step. GOTS covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading and distribution of all fabrics made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibers. We are proud to use ZERO conventional cotton and only use organic or recycled cotton. Check out our women’s organic cotton and men’s organic cotton styles.
100% of our products are made from a minimum of 80% sustainable fibers and/or have at least one of these certifications. See more about our road to 100% Sustainable.
Our hangtags say it all: “Wear it out, or pass it on.” So if your old Toad isn’t sparking joy anymore, thank it for the adventures and pass it on to our partners at The Renewal Workshop. The Renewal Workshop does 4 awesome things: repairs unwanted clothing for resale, recycles old fabrics into new ones, re-uses all hardware (buttons, zippers, snaps, etc), and re-purposes fabrics that cannot be shredded by turning them into useful bags, rags, towels, etc. All in the name of keeping things out of the landfills and back into circulation! We haven’t heard specifically, but we’re pretty sure Marie Kondo approves.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Take out all your clothes (yes, all) and assess if they spark joy or not. Keep the “heck ya!” pile.
2. For the “not anymore” pile, thank them (yes, thank them) and stick the Renewal Workshop-eligible items in a box and send them off!
3. Renewal Workshop-eligible items: Any old Toad&Co or Horny Toad (RIP) styles and anything from their 15 other partner brands! Everything else, please donate to your local thrift store. (Fun fact: most thrift stores have relationships with textile recycle centers. So never trash textiles, always recycle).
Sending via USPS mail:
CircleBack @ The Renewal Workshop
PO Box 416
Cascade Locks, OR
Sending via UPS/FedEx
CircleBack @ The Renewal Workshop
180 NE Herman Creek Lane Suite 172
Cascade Locks, OR