Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable Tour: Meet Our New Master Roadtrippers

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.

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Don’t worry, Dr. Drew always has his place on the tour.

 

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!

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The official passing of the torch (aka keys to the rig).

 

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?!

Rachel and Rob

What are your favorite Toad clothes to keep it comfy on the road? 

Rachel: Definitely the Hillrose Short Sleeve Shirt (in the Pink Sand Resort print) when I’m feeling fun! And the Tara Hemp Pant—the perfect summer pant. Dress ’em up, dress ’em down.

Rob: I love the Taj Hemp Short Sleeve Slim Shirt and the Rover Short!

Learn more about the Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable tour and find out if we’re coming to your neck of the woods.

 

Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable Tour: On the Road with Dr. Drew

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.

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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?

The Barrel House Hoodie (100% recycled!) and the Tara Hemp Jumpsuit.

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…

 

Earth Day Tips: 10 Ways to Fight Climate Change Today (and Every Day)

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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7. Volunteer.

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.

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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.

9. Vote.

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.

Shop Men’s and Women’s sustainable spring styles. Your Mother will approve.

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The World’s Most Sustainable Collection

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. 

 

APRIL FOOLS!

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:

  • -We’re a 1% for the Planet company
  • -We adhere to a strict criteria for what constitutes a sustainable garment and 100% of our garments meet that eco criteria
  • -We never use anything on our restricted materials list (which includes things like acrylic, angora, and tons of toxic chemicals)
  • -None of our clothes need to be dry cleaned and our hang tag says it all, “Dirty is the new clean. Wear more, wash less.”
  • -We use 100% organic cotton
  • -Our 2019 line utilizes 36 tons of recycled materials
  • -We use recycled polyester made from post-consumer plastic bottles
  • -100% of our plant-based fibers are certified responsibly forested and safe for farmers
  • -Our clothes are third-party certified by groups like bluesign®, OKEO-TEX Standard 100®, Global Recycling Standard, and the Global Organic Textile Standard
  • -All our partner factories promote fair labor practices and safe working conditions for adult employees
  • -We partner with facilities that are committed to environmentally conscious practices like responsible water usage, emissions capturing, and renewable energy
  • -We offset our energy use by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for all Toad&Co locations
  • -Any Toad&Co garment that’s damaged or defective is sent to the Renewal Workshop, not the landfill
  • -We ship our web orders in reusable shippers made out of upcycled billboards
  • -Our polybags are made from post-consumer plastic and were recently redesigned to move the air hole to the top for reuse as dog doodoo bags (because we love dogs as much as we love sustainability)
  • -And we’re always learning! We’re members of the Higg Index, TextileExchange, and OIA Sustainability Working Group – organizations working to identify and implement sustainable practices throughout our shared global supply chain

 

Sustainability isn’t the easy route, but for us it’s the only route. Check out our Men’s and Women’s collections (which aside from going nude, are about as sustainable as you can get).

And if you’re interested in learning more with a beer in hand, check out our Save the Planet, Go Nude Tour – coming to a local brewery near you! Join the movement and check the schedule here.

 

Sustainable Clothing Certifications

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.

Konmari Your Closet

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
97014

Sending via UPS/FedEx 
CircleBack @ The Renewal Workshop
180 NE Herman Creek Lane Suite 172
Cascade Locks, OR
97014

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.

2018 by the Numbers

By the Numbers: What Made Toad&Co a Top Sustainable Clothing Brand in 2018

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Hey, Thanks!

By shopping Toad&Co in 2018, you’ve helped us do some major things. From the bottom of our tree-hugging hearts, THANK YOU for being part of the sustainable apparel movement and here’s to an already momentous 2019!

We don’t want to ruin the surprise, but as of Feb 2019 our ENTIRE LINE is eco-friendly… Get excited. Thanks again, you’re the best.

What Does “Organic” Mean?

We all know the word organic just feels better. But what does it really mean?

From the veggies in your fridge to the clothes in your closet, crops grown organically are grown with GMO-free seed and follow practices that maintain soil health, conserve water, and support biodiversity.

Take that apple you ate for lunch. Why is it organic? Because the entire farming system used to produce it avoided the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and livestock feed additives. We’re officially changing the old saying to go something like “an organic apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Just like food takes the whole farming system into account, the whole apparel supply chain plays a part in determining whether that T-shirt you’re wearing is organic. Let’s start with the Holy Grail of organic textiles: The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). For an item to be organic, it must follow GOTS’ specific list of criteria through every stage of its process – from production to processing to packaging. Here are some of the major criteria:

Organic farming cannot use any pesticides.

For comparison, conventional cotton uses 16% of the world’s pesticides. Pesticide exposure has been known to cause impaired memory, severe depression, and immune system disruption among cotton farmers. Pesticides further permeate the ecosystem, waterways and surrounding arable land. By committing to organic cotton, we’re supporting better farming practices and protecting farmers’ quality of life.

Organic growing practices also support soil and land health.

Healthy land retains more nutrients and can produce crops for more seasons than conventional land. And here’s some cool science for you: Some organic growing techniques improve the soil’s ability to sequester carbon, pulling it from the atmosphere. On organic farms, soil productivity is often preserved with cover crops instead of synthetic fertilizer, so farmers can sell these crops for additional income, making this whole process twice as awesome.

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Organic agriculture uses water more responsibly.

A conventional cotton T-shirt takes 713 gallons of water to grow (enough to sustain one person for almost three years). Organic cotton uses far less water, and a more sustainable kind of water called “green water.” Green water uses rain water instead of irrigation, while “blue water” is pumped in from from lakes, streams, glaciers, and snow. Cotton cannot be certified organic unless it uses a certain amount of green water versus blue.

Organic farming supports biodiversity.

Research shows that biodiversity is greater on organic farms than conventional farms. Visit an organic farm and you’ll see more plants, flowers, insects, and butterflies. Why the abundance? Because organic farms aren’t filled with those nasty pesticides killing off natural pollinators. Living creatures are more likely to survive and thrive (PS: we’re really into bugs. Here’s more on that).

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Organic farms are in it for the long haul.

Fields can’t be considered organic until they’ve committed to the GOTS process for at least three years. This ensures that the soil has enough time to flush all of the toxins that have accumulated. So even if you’re farming organically now, you can’t be certified after your first year – No cutting corners!

Our Verdict: Organic Cotton or bust.

Apparel production touches the lives of people at every phase of the supply chain. Our commitment to sustainable sourcing is designed to protect the planet and all people throughout the supply chain (and that includes you!). When you shop organic cotton clothing, you can feel good knowing that you support it, too. So next time you’re shopping for clothes, choose organic. Consider it the equivalent of going to the Farmer’s Market (for your closet).

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Feeling inspired?  Shop MEN’S ORGANIC COTTON and WOMEN’S ORGANIC COTTON

 

 

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