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…