Founded in 1991, Toad & Co. was born in a garage in Telluride, Colorado. What began as a one-woman operation making homemade hats for friends has since has expanded into an outdoor clothing brand consciously creating jackets, pants, dresses, and everything in between. They make versatile clothes, perfect for the trails or a night on the town, and pride themselves in being the original “trail to tavern” brand.
At Toad & Co. they claim they’re not in the business of making clothes, but instead in making change. Their heart is clearly visible in their mission statement: “Inspire people to live their fullest lives through socially and environmentally committed clothes, that look and fit as well as they function, from the trail to the tavern and everywhere in between. Look good, do good, and remember, every day is an adventure.”
Since the beginning, Toad & Co. has been committed to manufacturing their clothes using sustainable and ethical practices and giving back to the planet wherever possible. In the fall of 2018, they launched a new collection with 98% of the products sustainably made, reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by 51 tons. This spring, they’re striving for perfection with 100% of their products being made in a sustainable way.
“Achieving 100% eCo status is something we have been putting our heart and souls into for many years – I am absolutely thrilled at this achievement,” says Toad & Co. CEO, Gordon Seabury. “Sadly, there is no industry standard to define an eco-garment and many companies greenwash by calling some garments eco with as little as 10% sustainable fibers. We are proud of the high bar we have set with the Spring 2019 line and hope to educate as many consumers as possible along the way.”
In order for a garment to achieve the company’s self-defined “eCo” status, it must contain a “minimum of 80% sustainable fibers and/or fabrics that are third-party certified for responsible manufacturing.” Moving forward, the company plans to adhere to their strict guidelines and continue producing rad gear that is sustainably made.
Toad and Co. uses only organic cotton, which requires 91% less water than conventional cotton and is grown from GMO-free seeds. When cotton doesn’t fit the bill, the outdoor brand uses other eco-friendly alternatives such as hemp, Tencel, Lenzing Modal, sustainable stretch polyester, recycled polyester, and recycled wool. To avoid excess water and energy use in converting fibers into yarn, the company uses all-in-one closed-manufacturing techniques whenever possible.
Bluesign takes into consideration the use of energy, water, chemistry, emission, and worker safety during fabric production as well as throughout the dyeing and finishing process. OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 is a worldwide testing and certification system that ensures that no harmful chemicals are used throughout the production process and are safe to wear. Toad & Co. also has a list of restricted substances to ensure they are avoiding the use of any dangerous or environmentally hazardous substances in their products.
To take their efforts in sustainability one step further, Toad & Co. makes their products to last and encourages their customers to wear their garments until the end of their lives or to pass them on to someone who will. They also partner with The Renewal Workshop, through which they renew and upcycle discarded clothes in order to give them new life. Finally, Toad & Co. gives customers the option of having their goods shipped to them in a reusable, upcycled vinyl shipping pouch and all hangtags are 100% recylable.
The spring 2019 eCo line is revolutionary in its dedication to sustainability and has something for everyone. With both men’s and women’s lines, the collection includes pants, tops, dresses, jackets, layers, and active wear. Every piece is made with care, is high quality, and is something you can feel good about wearing knowing it was made with the environment in the mind.
“Making sure every one of our styles meet our eCo standards is extremely hard work,” says Kyle Boettcher, Toad & Co.’s vice president of design, merchandising and supply chain. “There is always a sustainable option or a cheap option, and though choosing sustainability isn’t always the easy route, for Toad & Co. it’s the only route.”
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