At Amberoot we approach sustainability by:
- Being ahead of the research, innovations in sustainable apparel and textile industry, and by sharing this with our readers.
- Providing sustainability filters to best adhere to personalised preferences.
- Sourcing a portion of products that will only be produced once purchased.
- Being a carbon neutral company and offsetting our carbon emissions.
- Giving 1% of our sales to environmental grass roots organisations working with 1% for the planet.
The first landmark definition of sustainability appeared in 1987 “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. The goals are quite clear, though ways to achieve them aren’t so lucid, and are defined uniquely by everyone. At Amberoot we realise that we all take more from nature than we give, harming nature more than we help it.
Still it makes a difference to do less harm, and lessening harm makes it possible to begin to imagine restorative and even through biomimicry, regenerative practices for planet’s future. It makes a difference for businesses, as well as consumers, to use fewer materials, less energy, less water and generate less waste; to make the difference we need to restore the planet to health or to allow it to restore itself. We need to make big changes and to make them fast. It would be irresponsible not to pursue every improvement and not to take action where we can.
Synthetic fibres are from a carbo-based chemical feedstock and are considered non-biodegradable. These materials are practically immune to natural processes and thus cannot be fed upon or broken down even after thousands of years. Non-biodegradable ingredients contribute to solid waste, which is very hazardous for the environment. When ingested by animals, land or aquatics, non-biodegradable materials can block an organism’s respiratory and digestive tracts and become fatal. Piles of waste also result in the release of synthetic chemicals and noxious gases into the atmosphere that can be very harmful and even fatal to living organisms – humans and animals alike.
In contrast, plant-and animal-based fibres degrade into simpler particles fairly easily. The process of biodegradation involves a fibre (or product) being broken down into simpler substances by micro-organisms, light, air or water in a process that is non-toxic and occurs over a relatively short period of time. Ideally the decomposed matter eventually mixes or returns back to the soil and thus the soil is once again nourished with various nutrients and minerals. Typically biodegradability has to be considered at the design stage, so that no non-biodegradable elements (synthetic threads, buttons, zippers, synthetic fibre blends) would inhibit the overall product’s biodegradability.
With this Amberoot’s filter you can help the environment by choosing products that are biodegradable.
We are more familiar with organic materials from walking down the fruit aisle than sifting through clothes rails. But of course it applies to textiles too, and the organic standard is a reputable claim with wide-reaching conditions to uphold. Organic standards cover all aspects of production, from animal welfare and wildlife conservation to material processing and packaging. Organic fibres are grown without the use of harmful pesticides or genetically modified organisms so promote a healthier farm and environment. Organic reduces the toxic load from air, water, soil and our bodies. Organic textiles do not contain allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemicals and are much better for children and sensitive skin.
Choose the Amberoot’s Organic filter for less toxic pollution and better conditions for biodiversity, wildlife, animals and people.
Upcycled products are created by transforming by-products, waste materials, and unwanted products into new materials and products of better quality with better environmental value.
Upcycled clothing forms the foundation of some of the most innovative and creative brands in fashion. Whether it is repurposing old airline seats, old firehouses, or old sails from boats into bags, swimming shorts from fishing nets and whatever transformations are possible; finding a new way of looking at a very valuable and often robust resource can lead to the most ground-breaking designs. The average lifetime of a garment is 3 years and today’s society uses the equivalent of 1.6 planets to provide the resources for its use. Knowing this, it seems obvious to upcycle anything we’d otherwise waste and be more considerate for the planet and the commons that sustain us.
Give limited earth’s resources a second life and choose Amberoot’s Upcycled filter for innovative and thoughtful designs.
Diversity of both materials and ideas can be hard to find in today’s mainstream fashion and textile industry, which is dominated by a large volume of similar, ready-made products in a limited range of fibre types. In 2010, cotton and polyester alone accounted for almost 85% of the world’s fibre production; a percentage that is increasing year-on-year. The total area of land dedicated to growing cotton hasn’t changed significantly in the last eighty years: in that time output has tripled. How does that work? Well, it can largely be attributed to the application of fertilizers and pesticides – some of which are classified as ‘highly hazardous’. The effects of such applications are well-documented and strongly correlated with a range of nasty environmental impacts including: reduced soil fertility; loss of biodiversity; water pollution; pesticide-related problems including resistance; and severe health problems relating to exposure to acutely toxic pesticides. They also contaminate groundwater, accelerating the growth of aquatic plants and algae to the extent that the water is deoxygenated and can no longer support animal life. More water problems include the highly irrigated land that cotton agriculture is associated with, the most infamous case being the ‘drying up’ of the Aral sea, after water was diverted from two feeding rivers to irrigate cotton plants.
We use diversity materials in an effort to temper the dominance of fibres like polyester and cotton, so that alternative, more resource-friendly and culturally responsive fibres can begin to flourish. Favouring alternatives such as organic cotton, flax, hemp and lyocell that reduce pesticides, naturally increase land yield, as well as reduce water use. Similarly, a step away from polyester towards biodegradable fibres such as wool would reduce our dependency on petrochemical products, including oil. The cultivation and usage of diverse fibres has the potential to turn them into the majority, which would serve our material needs more efficiently. Not only that, it could lead to more varied and locally sensitive agriculture, more regional fibres, more local jobs, and healthier, more socially robust environments.
Amberoot’s sustainability filter for diverse materials excludes conventionally grown cotton and polyester. All other materials are classified as diverse materials under this filter.
Artisan and Craftspeople Conservation
Due to the insatiable pace of the urban world, many artisan communities and craftsmanship traditions are threatened to extinction in favour of programmed machines. We support creative designs with a heritage that runs deeper than the latest trends, and that represents the quality of handcrafted precision, honed by centuries of tradition and unique to each item. Supporting hand skills means supporting people that contribute to a self-sustaining community.
We appreciate the object because of the work that goes into it, and because we are all makers. Holding these values close to us is integral to our connection to the world around us.
Choose Amberoot’s artisan and craftspeople conservation filter to support craftsmanship traditions and the creators.
Fairtade is about better prices, good working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. It is about supporting the development of thriving farming and worker communities with more control over their future and protecting the environment in which they live and work.
Choose Amberoot’s Fairtrade ethical filter to support workers rights.
This is a filter for brands with a particular emphasis on treating people with respect and care, with specific social schemes to support that ethos. They devote their finances or time to local charities, employ people with limited opportunities, focus on empowering women or in any other way contribute to building a better society.
Choose Amberoot’s Social Development filter for empowering people.
Transparent and Informative
We believe that only with knowledge and honest information, can we make the right changes. Being a representative of the industry and various brands we have the luxury to freely talk about issues and solutions existing throughout the industry. Having a broad outlook, and clear understanding of the conditions we are working with will allow us to bring about the change that we want to see in the world.