Growing consumer demand for sustainable products has shifted brand awareness to include social and environmental to the bottom line of a business. We are so pleased to share a clothing line that supports the U.S. apparel manufacturing sector and reduces apparel waste sent to landfill – they organized the Nations Largest Collegiate Clothing Drive. ” SustainU is a clothing company focused on changing the way clothes are made to improve the environment, reinvigorate America’s manufacturing sector, and educate the world about how clothing can positively impact people’s lives.”
Chris Yura, Founder and CEO of SustainU was kind to answer a few of our questions, as he prepares for the 2012 Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego on June 4-7. “The Sustainable Brands Conference is where sustainability, brand and innovation leaders from around the world gather to learn, share and take action together to shape the future.” A wide range of brands and consumer industries (and over 150 speakers) will come together to explore market drivers and strategies for developing brand value for sustainability.
Are you attending the conference this year? Is your brand going to shape the future?
Q. What inspired you to found SustainU clothing? What is the company’s mission?
SustainU’s mission is to create more sustainable apparel using triune sustainability (Social, Economic, and Environmental) in the materials and manufacturing of clothing. I was inspired to start this company because I saw the unifying power of apparel both as a college athlete and in the fashion world. I was working as a fit model in NYC and started to see clothing companies using terms like “Eco-Friendly” and “Green” as buzz terms in their marketing. When I did my own research into the materials and labor that were going into these products, I did not see the progressive promises these marketing strategies offered. I decided to create a business model that could use eco-innovation as a way to get people back to work. I felt that for a communal buy-in for a more sustainable future for our country, job creation had to be at the center of this model for the greatest potential of retention.
Q. We’d love to learn more about your products. What materials do you use? Where are they manufactured? Who is your target audience?
All of SustainU’s products are 100% recycled and made in the USA. We use a domestic supply chain and environmentally progressive materials to reinvigorate the textile regions of our country with innovation. Our company is targeted into three pillars: Colleges and University Products, Concert and Music Apparel, and SustainU Retail Clothing. This target audience is comprised of three types of consumers: individuals that want a product that is made with zero virgin growth (100% recycled), people that care about job creation in the USA and purchase products based on the manufacturing location, and a growing segment of consumers that see in order to make a more sustainable product, domestic production is critical for social and environmental sustainability.
3. What are you looking to most about the Sustainable Brands conference?
I am very excited to attend The Sustainable Brands Conference to present on the potential of the Millennial Generation’s ability to unify our nation during this time in history in order to create sustainable change in the social, economic, and environmental sectors. I believe that this generation, in participation with other generations, can help companies see the demand for more sustainable products through peer education.
4. What’s next for SustainU?
SustainU has grown to be the more desired, sustainable product in college and universities, which has parlayed growth into the other pillars of our business. We will be growing nationally in 2013-2014 into a more aggressive Retail Brand while staying true to our company’s core values.
Images courtesy of SustainU.