Category: Sustainability

Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?

By dweb247 on April 19th 2019

Weed, reefer, ganga, Mary-Jane, skunkweed, chronic, hash, hemp, herb, Devil’s grass… call it what you will, it’s all just Cannabis. And we’ll cut to the chase: We’re big fans of Cannabis. It’s got some insane super-hero properties (it’s phytoremediative, so it absorbs bad pollutants from the soil and replenishes the good stuff), it’s natural (no pesticides or GMO seed), and it’s a really sustainable crop (low-water, low-maintenance and thrives when left in the sunshine). It also helps a lot of people feel less stressed, less pain, and generally more happy. Who doesn’t like that? There’s a lot to like about this epic weed. 

WHAT IS CANNABIS?

Like all plant families, Cannabis has many different sub-species and each has their own unique features. You’ve probably heard of the two main classifications: Sativa and Indica. Marijuana can be made from both plants, but Hemp is ONLY made from Sativa. The Sativa plant is tall, stalky and generally associated with a “mental high” while the Indica plant is bushier, has bigger leaves and is associated with the body high. All Cannabis plants produce cannabinoids, but not all cannabinoids are the same…  

WHAT ARE CANNABINOIDS? 

This is the secret sauce of all Cannabis plants. And by “secret sauce” we mean complex chemical compounds found in resin. The most common cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).

WHAT IS THC?

THC is the cannabinoid that produces “psychoactive effects” (ie: gets you high) and is the main difference between Hemp and Marijuana: Hemp has trace amounts of THC (about .3%) while Marijuana has anywhere between 15%-40% depending on the strain (Maui Wowie, Pineapple Express, Purple Urkle… we could be here all day). THC can be extracted on its own and used in everything from vaporizers to brownies.

WHAT IS CBD? 

If THC is the stuff that gets you high, CBD is the stuff that heals. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory and when it reacts with the body’s Endocannnibinoid System it mitigates stress by getting the body back to it’s optimal state of homeostasis. And it won’t get you high. To make a very long, scientific story short, CBD has become a popular form of homeopathic healthcare and we’re not mad about it. Though the FDA has declared it legal, each state has its own laws so check before buying oils or tinctures.

WHAT IS MARIJUANA?

Marijuana is all about the THC. Marijuana is grown from both Indica and Sativa plants and is recognizable by dense buds full of crystals (that’s where the THC is). With high (heh, get it?) THC concentrations and smaller stalks, Marijuana is grown for recreational and medicinal purposes only. It’s also what distinguishes marijuana from being illegal in many places. For now… #LEGALIZEIT

WHAT IS HEMP?

Grown strictly from the Sativa plant, Hemp’s super-low THC concentrations and tall stalks make it an ideal crop for industrial purposes. This sturdy fiber is used in a range of products from paper to rope to food to textiles (that’s where we come in).  Fun fact: George Washington grew hemp at Mount Vernon and Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag from hemp! 

WHAT IS HEMP CLOTHING? 

Our bread and butter! Hemp textiles pack a lot of natural performance: strong, resilient, anti-microbial, and virtually indestructible in water. Hemp’s a porous fiber (like all natural fibers), allowing it to wick-moisture and respond to your body temperature. Its also got great drape, can be super soft, and wears well over time. We blend hemp with other fibers like organic cotton and recycled polyester to achieve different performance benefits.

From hemp fabric to CBD oil to Maui Wowie, we’re big fans of the Cannabis family! Check our latest crop of Men’s hemp clothing and Women’s hemp clothing and see for yourself why it’s so great. 

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

By cwiesendanger on April 18th 2019

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 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 & 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 energycredits.

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.

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.

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.

The World’s Most Sustainable Collection

By dweb247 on March 31st 2019

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 certifiedby 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.

 

How to Make Fabric From Recycled Plastic Bottles

By dweb247 on March 29th 2019

Make no mistake: Recycled fabrics are the most sustainable fabrics you can find. “Ya, but recycled fabrics still use so much energy to convert old stuff into new fabric…” Yes, but they don’t use nearly as much energy or resources as creating fibers and fabrics from scratch.

Take new polyester vs. recycled polyester. Virgin polyester is made from a combination of coal, ethylene (which is derived from petroleum), air, and water, which are formed from a chemical reaction under extremely high heat (If you’re a science nerd, here’s all the chemistry behind it). It’s a high energy process that relies on even more energy and natural resources when you consider the amount of resources it takes to extract coal and petroleum from the earth. Not great.

Recycled polyester, on the other hand, is made from recycled plastic bottles which cuts out the need for petroleum and coal extraction. Our recycled polyester literally starts at the dump to collect plastic bottles that don’t belong in landfills (yay waste-reduction!). From there, the plastic bottles are shredded into flakes by a machine (that can be run on renewable energy!). Those flakes are melted down into pellets, then the pellets are extruded (think spun and pulled like taffy) into yarn. The yarn is then knitted, cut, and sewn into clothing just like any other yarn. Check out this video for the whole breakdown.

 

It takes about 9 bottles to make one T-shirt. All of our recycled polyester fibers are made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles and they’re GRS Certified (Global Recycling Standard). Only 9% of the Earth’s plastic has been recycled, but we’re committed to boosting that percentage by using more recycled polyester every year.

In 2018 alone, we spared 12 tons of reusable material from entering the landfill, 8.7 million gallons of water, and 51 tons of C02 emissions by using recycled wool, recycled cotton and recycled polyester. This spring, we have 9 fabrics that use recycle polyester and we’re looking double that in the fall. The future is recycled!

Shop Men’s Recycled Styles.

Shop Women’s Recycled Styles.

 

 

Sustainable Clothing Certifications

By dweb247 on March 28th 2019

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.