We need to set the record straight: Noah is not a sustainable company. Although we're very flattered that the press and our supporters frequently compliment our engagement on environmental issues, the way we operate isn't even close to sustainable. There's really no such thing as a sustainable clothing company.
True sustainability would mean turning back the clock on over a century of clothing consumption and production trends, most of which have been fueled by accelerated industrialization and the rise of consumer economies worldwide. Fashion has become one of the most resource-intensive (both natural and human) industries on earth, and its complex, global supply chain has far-reaching effects that are almost impossible to quantify. It produces stupefying amounts of waste on both sides of the producer/consumer divide.
We have a long, long way to go in terms of making a meaningful impact on these issues. We do, however, pride ourselves on being aware of the problems in our industry and taking an active role in slowly working towards solutions. We put integrity above trends, and try to work exclusively with suppliers and manufacturers who treat workers fairly. We encourage people to buy clothing of better quality that will last, rather than buying more of what is in fashion.
We may not be sustainable, but we are trying our best to be responsible. We've always believed that all companies should do at least one good thing--anything that makes any kind of positive impact. Unfortunately, in a culture where financial success is valued above everything, bottom-line decision making has been the norm, with no concern for social or environmental consequences. We are trying to be part of a new breed of company that is better than that. We donate to numerous causes we believe in. We feature recycled materials in things we make. We are actively looking for ways to make our packaging less wasteful.
Fortunately, our industry also happens to be a driver of conversations. From the beginning, we've strived to make Noah a vehicle to deliver important messages to the people listening. We highlight effective organizations and keep our channels of communication engaged with social and environmental issues. These are urgent times, and we'll continue to be loud about what we care about. We're a small company taking small steps, but we promise you this: we will always strive to be better. Your support has allowed us to make the progress we've made. To say we're sustainable would be a lie. To say we're doing a little more with each season would be the truth.
We look up to people and companies who've made commitments to sustainability and can point to real results. We'll be featuring some of them on our site in the months to come, and will follow up about the ways we're getting more serious about this ourselves.